The honor recognizes Duchesne's initiatives to increase environmental sustainability throughout campus operations.
The Green Restaurant Association has named the Schuhmacher Godfrey Dining Hall at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart a Level One Green Restaurant, a distinction that fewer than 25 dining establishments in the entire state of Texas have earned.
Duchesne implemented changes in the following six environmental categories to meet or surpass eco-friendly standards: energy, water, waste, food, disposables, and chemicals. Some of the specific changes that the school enacted include using energy efficient lighting, a focus on serving vegetarian meals, and removing plastic straws and utensils. Additionally, Duchesne has reduced its waste by approximately 50% through recycling alone and is a 100% styrofoam-free school.
"In keeping with our commitment to the Sacred Heart Goal III, which guides us to 'be stewards of the earth's resources,' we are are proud of this distinction because it acknowledges our efforts to preserve the environment for future generations," said Patricia Swenson, head of school.
As part of the effort to reduce food waste, Duchesne Academy will participate in "Stop Food Waste Day," an annual nationwide event that seeks to educate the public about food waste. Duchesne's dining service provider, Flik Independent School Dining, will host two educational challenges on campus. During the Milk Challenge, the students will dump their leftover milk into a bucket and see how much was wasted compared to what was served. There will also be a Trash Challenge where the total weight of the trash cans in the dining hall will be calculated.
For more information about green certification and standards, view Duchesne's profile on the Green Restaurant Association website.