BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Western Kentucky University was recently awarded Green Restaurant Certification from the Green Restaurant Association for its dining facility Fresh Food Company. 

While Fresh Food Company has been around for years, the university upgraded the facility to become more environmentally friendly. Requirements for certification included receiving a certain amount of green points in various categories ranging from energy-saving technology to efforts in waste reduction. The restaurant earned green more than 91 points giving them Level 1 certification. Upgrades to the campus dining facility were a joint effort between faculty and students. 

“Helping students understand the theory of experience in the classroom is a hallmark of the WKU experience that they were intricate involved and instrumental in making this happen,” said University President Timothy Carboni.

The new and improved restaurant includes LED lights to help reduce energy consumption and the elimination of food trays to reduce water consumption. The restaurant also collects food waste to compost and turn into material used both on campus and in the community. Styrofoam will no longer be provided in the cafeteria and students can use the refillable water bottle stations to reduce the use of cups. 

The initiative to become greener reaches outside of the university. The restaurant also offers a salad bar that uses produce from local farmers. “Providing organic options, food options that might have less chemical or pesticide residue that you might find in other restaurants are all options that we now provide,” said Director of Sustainability, Leslie North.

WKU is the only college campus in Kentucky to have Green Restaurant Certification and is also the first restaurant in Bowling Green. 

Students are excited about the new changes and are happy to have easy access to healthy options.

“I think it’s important for students to have a voice in making sure that the food that they eat is healthy and good for them and we also very much want to have a positive impact on our planet so it’s important for Western and dining services to pursue sustainability in every way that it can.” said agriculture student Elaine Losekamp.

You can find the newest green-certified restaurant in the Downing Student Union. The dining hall accepts all meal plan options from students and faculty as well as offering meals from $8.00 to $10.00 for the general public.