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First UST Zero Food Waste Event - My First Dinner @ HKUST

This year’s My First Dinner@ HKUST, HSEO Sustainability Unit has cooperated with the Student Affair Office and held the first zero food waste dinner in UST. The First Dinner was not only a warm welcome to the new students, but also introduced the important concept of sustainability to our new members of the community.

A new academic year has started! Similar to past few years, the university held the orientation and welcome event for new students, My First Dinner @ HKUST, on 1 September 2016, with Sustainability as a sub-theme of the event. The new students gathered in the lawn area on LG7 with other faculty members and staff to enjoy their first dinner in HKUST in celebration of the beginning of university life.  

Different from previous First Dinners, HSEO Sustainability Unit have joined hands with the Student Affair Office (SAO) and transformed this year’s My First Dinner @ HKUST into the first zero food waste event in UST. This would not only help relieve the pressure of our landfills by reducing the amount of waste, but more importantly, it demonstrated our belief on sustainability to new members of the UST community.

SAO and Sustainability Unit have made a few green changes to this year's welcoming dinner. It started with the preparation. In view of the food waste produced from past years, SAO has reduced the number of dishes provided for each table from 8 dishes in 2014 to 5 dishes this year. Other than that, reusable utensils were used during the event, instead of providing disposable plastic containers as past years. No bottled water was provided and SAO encouraged participants to bring your own water and bring your own container for unfinished food. To achieve the goal of producing zero food waste, Sustainability Unit has arranged a food waste company to collect the leftover after the dinner. The collected waste were recycled into compost.

On 1 September, there were 3 teams handling the waste after the dinner.  The first team was responsible for collecting the leftover, the second one washed the used utensils and the third team cleaned up the tables and collected other recyclables, such as aluminum cans and plastic bottles. In total, we have collected 600kg of food waste.

It was a wonderful dinner. We hope you enjoyed the night and brought home with the embedded green message in the event. With your support, we could organize more activities infused with sustainable concepts on campus in the near future. 

collecting the cans for recycling

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My First Dinner @ HKUST 2016
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