College of Natural Science Cookout Meets Sustainability Goals

Sam the Minuteman at the CNS College Day Cookout
For the second consecutive year, the cookout was 99 percent waste-free, producing a single bag of trash.

The College of Natural Sciences (CNS) celebrated the new academic year with their annual zero-waste College Day Cookout. This year, 4,800 students, faculty, staff and guests enjoyed grilled food and locally sourced fare, leaving behind only 4.2 pounds of trash. The Sept. 28 event in the ISB courtyard also featured live music.

“This signature event is a real-life example of our dedication to sustainability and a point of pride for CNS,” says Tricia Serio, CNS dean.

For the second consecutive year, the cookout was 99% waste-free, producing a single bag of trash. Since launching the event in 2013, organizers have tweaked their plan and created an effective blueprint for a sustainable event that is not only used for the cookout, but by other organizations across campus, too.

Everything featured at the cookout was sustainable. Guests used compostable plates and utensils, filled their water bottles at portable water stations and enjoyed sustainable, acoustic music from the Draper Annex Machine Shop Band.

The green cookout was made possible by coordination among many offices across campus, including UMass Catering/Dining Service, Physical Plant, Waste Management and Sustainable UMass.