Six Duke eateries were recently recognized at Sustainable Duke's second Duke Green Dining Awards May 18.
The awards were created the Students for Sustainable Living program, which used a scorecard of sustainable practices to determine winners based on criteria like use of local and organic food, energy and water conservation and composting to reduce landfill waste.
Joe Van Gogh and Saladelia at The Perk won the "Best Overall" award with the two top scores. The Loop won the "Best Chain Restaurant" category and The Refectory at Duke Divinity School received the award for "Best Non-chain Restaurant". Joe Van Gogh also won the "Best Cafe" award.
For the first time this year, the awards included a "Most Innovative" category. The Great Hall received this award in recognition of their use of produce from the Duke Campus Farm, pre- and post-consumer composting and a reusable eco-clamshell to-go container program.
"These awards help bring attention to and encourage the effort that cafes, restaurants, and the dining halls are putting forth for a more sustainable dining environment," said Phil Hartger, a graduate students in the Nicholas School of the Environment, and one of the students who evaluated the eateries.
To determine winners, student employees of Sustainable Duke met with a manager from each eatery to discuss how "green" each location is. Each winning eatery was presented with a plaque made of bamboo.
Hartger was particularly impressed by Saladelia at the Perk, which he says "has embraced sustainability, minimizing the distance from the farm to the plate, producing biodegradable corn-based products, and creating a culture of environmental conscientiousness."