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An Analysis of COVID-Related Changes in the Sustainability of Campus Dining Operations in Southeastern Pennsylvania

by emily dickens, nyomi gonzalez-evans, damian disbrow, irving rojo-rodriguez, wyatt stoner, nayeli tarrafa, tanya tran, leah barrett, logan eller, & lillian flynn

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The 2022 geography course, Sustainable Development, consists of a group of Geography, Environmental and Spatial Sciences, Biology, and other majors that are committed to making a difference in their campus and community. To this end, this semester they are creating a pollinator garden next to the existing campus garden beds, performing stream cleanups, turning off campus classroom lights on late Friday afternoons, and assisting at the Campus Cupboard. Beyond these plans, they are also seeking to develop a better understanding of some environmental issues facing their community so they can help to weigh-in with ideas for solutions. The class noticed that campus dining operations have changed from the COVID pre-pandemic situation, including increases in use of single-use packaging, and wondered if campus recycling and other aspects of sustainable dining may have changed as well. Here is highlighted the work of their investigations into changes in campus dining operations across a number of southeastern Pennsylvania campuses, with the students’ recommendations for enhancing sustainable outcomes.

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