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Cornell University

Energy & Water Conservation

In recent years Cornell Dining has reduced our energy and water use through a number of conservation initiatives, including purchasing only Energy Star rated products. Two of the initiatives we are most proud of are the introduction of trayless dining in most of our dining rooms in 2008, and our support of Take Back the Tap. 

Trayless dining

The initiative that makes the most impact in reducing food waste and electrical use - saving thousands of gallons of water each month - is trayless dining. By eliminating trays, our customers tend to take less food, plates, glasses, and silverware, reducing food waste and washing machine load.

You'll find trayless dining in the following dining rooms: Cook House Dining Room, Becker House Dining Room, Jansen's Dining Room in Hans Bethe House, Keeton House Dining Room, Morrison DiningOkenshields, Rose House Dining Room, Risley Dining, North Star, and Trillium Dining.

Take Back the Tap

The student-led Take Back the Tap initiative not only helps reduce the waste caused by water bottles, but reduces the energy required to produce and ship water bottles, and supports public water infrastructure. Water bottle filling stations can be found all around campus. Use the Cornell Maps web application to locate filling stations.

Take Back the Tap is a student initiative to reduce the supply and demand for bottled water. To support Take Back the Tap's mission, Cornell Dining provides easy access to filtered tap water at all of our soda fountain stations, and sells reusable stainless steel bottles at Bear Necessities. Cornell's tap water is delicious and safe to drink, and far exceeds federal standards for water quality. Refill your bottle at filtered tap water fountains and save money, stay healthy, and eliminate waste. Take the pledge on the Take Back the Tap website to choose tap water over bottled water.