Make Your Dining Experience More Sustainable

Student group provides Duke community with free, reusable food containers

The eco-clamshell container can be used at several Duke eateries. Students for Sustainable Living is giving away 15 for free each Thursday this semester.

Beginning this Thursday, Students for Sustainable Living and Duke Dining will distribute 15 free "eco-clamshell" tokens to students, faculty and staff at a table near the Great Hall's cashier stand.

The tokens are traded for reusable to-go containers, also known as eco-clamshells, that can be used at the Great Hall, Loop and Refectory. They're made of environmentally friendly polypropylene, a type of hard plastic. The containers can be washed and reused, as opposed to being thrown away, like other to-go containers.

Thursday's give-away is from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and the event will continue each Thursday during the spring semester.

"We feel that each person is responsible for reducing the amount of waste they produce," said Lauren Gloekler, a graduate student at the Nicholas School of the Environment and a member of Students for Sustainable Living's green dining group. "The clamshell program is a great way to eat dining hall food on the go, while reducing your impact on the environment."

Gloekler said about 30 clamshells were given away at tabling events during the fall semester. Clamshells are being donated to the group by Duke Dining to help promote their reusable container program and sustainability. Normally, customers pay a fee of $5 to enroll in the program.

"It's been great working with students to promote the eco-clamshell program, because our big goal is to make the program as easy as possible to participate in, increase participation and reduce the use of disposable containers," said Tammy Hope, quality assurance manager for Duke Dining. "I love to walk through the Great Hall and see the eco-clamshells in use - it makes me smile."