Return Your EcoWare!

The UVM EcoWare program launched in Spring 2011. This initiative counteracts the environmental impact of take-out dining at UVM by using reusable packaging instead of compostable or recyclable food packaging. Originally, EcoWare cost $7.50 for students. After using the container, you could return it to any location and ask a cashier for a cow tag, which was the token exchanged for the container. The containers are washed on-site, making the process simple for the user. 

However, this process changed this past year due to COVID-19. The EcoWare program has expanded all over campus this year. UVM Dining upheld its commitment to sustainability by adding thousands more containers into the EcoWare system and making it the default take-out packaging. Students no longer need to pay for the program, or use a cow tag. This reusable container is a great alternative to disposing of plastic or cardboard containers into the trash, which is what most campuses are doing during COVID.  

Over 5,000 single-use containers per week are being avoided because of the program. We are incredibly lucky to have this program, and want to keep it going, but that can only happen if the containers get back to Dining promptly. Unfortunately, 61% of EcoWare containers were lost last semester because they either weren’t returned at all or were kept until they were moldy and unsafe to reuse. So please return your EcoWare promptly into the blue bins, labeled “EcoWare Return” that are found at all dining locations and most ResHall lobbies. Please return your EcoWare immediately after use in order to keep containers in circulation!  

Spread the word by sharing this video! I also want to thank the Eco-Rep team, and students who work hard to return their EcoWare. Let’s keep the system running together! 

 

Edited by Annie Stibora