How can you help?

While some of the environmental challenges we face may feel daunting, the daily decisions we make about what and how to eat are some of the most impactful we can make. 
Here are a few helpful tips for ensuring that your actions and choices align with what’s best for the planet's health.
  • Choose plant-based dining options – Reducing the amount of resource-intensive animal products such as beef, lamb, pork, and cheese consumed is one of the biggest things we can do to lower greenhouse gas emissions and help the environment. 
  • Ditch disposables – The amount of plastic waste polluting our ecosystem is vast and continues to grow. Here are a few easy choices that you can make every day that will make a difference:
  • If you’re eating on site, choose a China plate and reusable utensils instead of a take-out box and plastic fork.
  • Use and refill a reusable water bottle. There are plenty of hydration stations around campus that will make this easy. if applicable
  • Get in the habit of bringing a reusable bag with you, so you don’t need to use plastic bags.
  • Sort your waste – Take a few seconds to ensure that you put only recyclables in the recycling bin. Avoid putting things heavily soiled with food into the recycling (e.g., paper plates with food scraps or greasy napkins) because excess food debris may contaminate a whole batch of recycling, making it unusable. Similarly, try not to put things that can be recycled (like aluminum cans and sanitary paper products) into the landfill stream.  

How LMU Dining practices sustainability

Green Restaurant Certification

The Lair Marketplace & Roski Dining Hall at LMU have been certified as a 4 Star Green Restaurant since 2018. We continue to recycle, compost, and use no polystyrene foam (aka Styrofoam™).  

The Green Restaurant Association’s (GRA) standards reflect 31 years of research in the field of restaurants and the environment. Thousands of restaurants and hundreds of thousands of restaurant personnel have provided the living laboratory for the continued evolution of the GRA Standards. The purpose of the GRA standards is to provide a transparent way to measure each restaurant’s environmental accomplishments while providing a pathway for the next steps each restaurant can take towards increased environmental sustainability.

Click on one of the eight environmental categories below to see the standards.

  1. Water Efficiency
  2. Waste Reduction and Recycling
  3. Sustainable Durable Goods & Building Materials
  4. Sustainable Food
  5. Energy
  6. Reusables & Environmentally Preferable Disposables
  7. Chemical and Pollution Reduction
  8. Transparency & Education

Click here to download all standards.

Franchises on Campus

As a university committed to sustainability, the franchises we have chosen to incorporate into our dining services have many sustainable practices. 

Local Farms

We work hard to get as many ingredients locally as possible. Our professionally-trained chefs write our menus to take advantage of the fresh fruits and vegetables that are naturally in season here in sunny Southern California. Information on local ingredients can be found at campus venues.

Sustainable Seafood

LMU Dining Services has received Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Certification for verified sustainable seafood. This certification process ensures that MSC seafood is traced back to the fisherman. 

Trayless Dining

Why are we trayless? When students use plates without trays, the amount of food waste decreases. Research shows that when trays are removed from dining locations, less food is wasted, less energy is consumed, and it reduces the amount of water and detergents used. The environmental impact of trayless dining is measurable, and LMU Dining is proud to support trayless dining. 

Fair Trade University

LMU was certified as a  Fair Trade University by Fair Trade Campaigns in February 2014. Fair Trade Campaigns recognizes universities in the US for embedding Fair Trade practices and principles into policy and their communities' social and intellectual foundations. LMU offers over 30 different Fair Trade items across its 13 dining locations.


The dining team on campus proudly uses Apex dishwashing detergent. Apex combines technology and products designed to save water and energy and minimize the environmental impact. In addition to the actual detergent being more environmentally friendly, this new product uses 95 percent less packaging material than prior products.

Bulk Items & Eco-Friendly Packaging

At all on-campus dining locations, we strive to offer products with as little and as eco-friendly packaging as possible. Please help us reduce waste further by only taking the pieces of disposable silverware, napkins, etc., that you need to enjoy your meal.

Xpress Nap Holders

The Xpress Nap napkin holders around campus reduce waste by dispensing only one napkin at a time and encouraging students and faculty/staff to only take what they need. The napkins we provide in the dispensers are made from recycled materials and are EcoLogo Certified.


LMU works with Baker Commodities to turn all of our used fryer oil into usable energy as biodiesel!

Reducing Food Waste at the Source

LMU Dining reduces food waste at the source through our "Lean Path" food waste tracking system. Learn more about the LeanPath system.

Orca Green Machine

In 2011, LMU Dining partnered with the University to purchase and install an Orca Green Machine in Malone Marketplace. The Orca Total Green machine is “a revolutionary alternative to traditional waste disposal. Vegetables, meat, rice, noodles, bread, fruit…anything that can go in your stomach can go in the ORCA.” All pre-consumer food waste is absorbed by the ORCA and converted into grey water within 24 hours. Watch a fun and interesting video about this machine here!

Food Waste Diversion: Post-Consumer

In addition to the Somat Dehydrator/Composter machines, our operations utilize a Somat food pulping system to break down post-consumer waste. This waste is reduced in size and weight, taking up much less room in the landfill. When comparing the fall of 2011 (before the installation of the pulping machine) and the fall of 2012, the amount of waste that went to the landfill from one of our operations, the Lair Marketplace, was reduced by more than 50%.

Cardboard, Plastic, Glass, and Paper Recycling

All recyclable materials are pre-sorted in our kitchens and sent to the LMU Recycling Center, where they are final-sorted and processed for recycling efforts.