Two of Swarthmore’s dining destinations earned rave reviews recently for their work toward promoting sustainability.
Essie Mae’s Snack Bar and the Science Center Coffee Bar were named Certified Green Restaurants by the Green Restaurant Association, an international nonprofit that advocates for environmentally friendly practices in dining. The certification awards points to eateries based on a number of categories, including their food offerings, water and energy conservation, and waste-reduction initiatives.
“Restaurants, historically, produce a lot of waste, but some care about being as green as possible with the materials that they’re using and the waste that they’re producing,” says Assistant Retail Operations Manager Tim Smith, who led the credentialing efforts on campus. “A certification like this proves that here at the College, we are trying to be aware and take steps to be the best that we can be.”
Both Essie Mae’s, which earned a three-star certification, and the Science Center, with two out of four stars, received high marks for their vegan and vegetarian menu options, energy-efficient tools and appliances, and recycling and composting efforts. The cafes also garnered points for being in close proximity to bike racks and electric car-charging stations.
The Dining Services team plans to pursue certification for Sharples Dining Hall this summer and Kohlberg Coffee Bar this fall, after the latter location resumes its full operations. (It has been operating in a limited capacity during the pandemic.) The staff will also continue to evaluate its sustainability efforts at Essie’s and the Science Center and take steps toward becoming even more green.
The Certified Green Restaurant designation “shows the commitment that we at Dining Services have to the College’s zero-waste and energy goals,” says Dining Services Director Linda McDougall. “It should be celebrated by the entire campus, as it takes many people to make this possible.”