Dining Services’ Sustainability through Responsibility program encompasses many different aspects which help the campus of Murray State reduce, recycle and reuse:
- As of Fall 2008, the majority of Dining Services carry out containers are 100 percent biodegradable.
- In the Summer 2010 Dining Services removed trays from its all-you-care-to-eat venue, Winslow Dining Hall.
- Dining Services and Racer Hospitality has taken a responsible step to help reduce food waste by requiring patrons of Winslow Dining Hall to choose only one entree at a time.
- Each day, the fruit and vegetable trimmings and used coffee grounds from Dining Services kitchens are sent to a composting site at Pullen Farm.
- The resulting compost is used to fertilize the sustainability garden at Pullen Farm, which provides some vegetables for campus kitchens.
The Sustainable Garden at Pullen Farm, while not large enough to provide all produce for the thousands of students to sit down at Dining's tables each day, is a working example of the circle of life. Starting with all-natural compost from the fruit and vegetable trimmings from campus kitchens, the garden is planted and maintained without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. This is achieved, at least in part, from a technique called companion planting. It is based around the idea that certain plants benefit others when planted next to or close to one another. Companion planting provides pest control naturally, without the need to use chemicals, and in some cases can yield a larger crop. Traditional recommendations for companion planting have been used by gardeners for a long time, but recent tests are scientifically proving they work and it's working for Dining Services.