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Sustainable Food

Today, we live in an interconnected world where the elements of your breakfast can come from multiple continents. Bananas could come from Africa, Coffee from South America, milk from North America, sugar from Asia and more.

While this vast web of food systems brings you more food options than ever before, this system takes a steep toll on our planet through mass monoculture (growth of a single crop) requiring huge amounts of water, fertilizers and pesticides, transportation of products by air and water across the world using fuel and releasing carbon dioxide, and consumer habits creating vast amounts of food waste. Globally, 30% of the food produced ends up in the garbage. Think Canadians aren’t part of the problem? 63% of the food we toss could be eaten.  

While these issues with our world’s food system may seem huge, there are many tangible things you and I can do in our day to day to make our relationship with food more sustainable and less wasteful at each stage of the process. Along with the tips below, check out 10 ideas on how to avoid contributing to this food waste problem.

When Purchasing Food

Groceries on Campus

Ramen and pizza are typical student meals with fresh vegetables often forgotten or not easily come by. Laurier offers two on-campus grocery stands:

  • Northdale Market Stand at Veritas features produce from our Northdale Campus. Check out our Instagram for updates.
  • Laurier's Farmers Market is run by the Laurier Foodbank in the concourse every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the fall and winter terms.

When Preparing Food

Fairtrade Campus

Fairtrade is a certification that allows you to identify products that empower marginalized producers to improve their own living conditions. With the proper resources, capacity, and access to key relationships, disadvantaged producers are able to earn their own means to a better life for themselves and their communities by joining fair trade networks. Watch a video on Fairtrade to learn more.

Fairtrade at Laurier

Currently, we have a baseline Fairtrade designation but is working towards receiving a silver designation during the 2019-2020 academic year. An example of what would need to be done to receive a silver designation is to increase the volume of fairtrade products on campus.

You can support producers by purchasing Fairtrade products at the following locations:

  • Fresh Food Company (Waterloo, Dining Hall)
  • Union Market (Waterloo, Terrace Food Court) (Tea only) 
  • BYTE75 Coffee and Social (Waterloo, Lazaridis Hall)
  • Wilf's Restaurant (Waterloo, Fred Nichols Campus Centre)
  • Veritas Cafe (Waterloo, GSA)
  • Golden Grounds (Brantford, RAC)
  • Catering (Waterloo and Brantford)
For more information and hours, visit Laurier Food Services.
  • Union Market (Waterloo, Terrace Food Court)
  • BYTE75 Coffee and Social (Waterloo, Lazaridis Hall)

For more information and hours, visit Laurier Food Services.

Food and Drink Discounts

As a student, we know you spend a lot of time on campus studying, going to class and participating in social and recreational activities and for all these, you need to stay properly fueled!

We want to make it easy for you to be sustainable while purchasing food and drink on campus and also save some money. Just do a little pre-planning before heading out for the day and you can help save the planet and your wallet!

How? In partnership with Food Services, we have two major discount programs on campus:

  1. Coffee Discount: Bring your reusable mug to any coffee or tea location on campus and receive a 40¢ discount all year-round. 

  2. Eco-Container: Laurier was one of the first Canadian universities to implement a reusable take-out container program. For a one-time fee of $5.00, students will receive an eco-container to be reused each time they purchase take-out food. Eco-Containers are available at Veritas Cafe, Wilf's, Terrance (Union Market & El Torito), Frank's Coffee Haus and BYTE75. Simply follow the 3 easy steps of the program to contribute to eliminating unnecessary waste.

    1. Purchase an Eco Takeout Card from a participating location: Union Market, Fresh Food Company (takeout only), Veritas, and Wilf’s.
    2. Give the Eco Card to a participating location and your food will be served in an Eco Container.
    3. Once your meal is finished, return the dirty Eco Container and we will exchange it for your Eco Card. We will take care of the Eco Container clean up!

Northdale Community Garden

Did you know we have a large garden on campus?

The Northdale Community Garden is 58,125 square feet wild area located a block behind Lazaridis Hall at the Northdale campus. Here, we work in partnerships to connect our community to the wonders of gardening, eating local food, supporting wild pollinators and more.

The garden space also has a greenhouse, located in the centre west of the garden space, where plants are stored pre-planting and sustainability workshops take place during the summer months. We hope to see you there!