With us, eating green means more than a big bowl of fresh spinach mix. Recycling, local purchasing, composting, and preventing food waste, and even buying apples grown right here on campus are all ways we’re greener than our lettuce.


Did you know Iowa State has a compost facility south of campus? Pre- and post-consumer food waste from our dining centers goes to the compost facility. There, it’s turned back into a product that’s used on campus in landscaping and construction projects. Those banana peels and chicken wing bones? They’re put to good use.

ISU Dining is now collecting post-consumer waste at Hawthorn Market and Cafe.  There, food waste and compostable containers are sorted by customers, then sent to the compost facility.

Giving Back

  • Food at First – We partner with Food at First, a local organization feeding those in need. Products in our retail locations are collected and sent to the organization along with other items like breads, bagels and more!
  • The Shop – We support The Shop, a food pantry for students by students!
  • Student Groups – We support student groups in a variety of ways and also offer free Pepsi products through our beverage program.
  • Bring Your Own Cup – Save 35 cents, and prevent a cup from going in the waste stream. Available at all ISU Dining retail locations.
  • Give a Swipe – The Give a Swipe program gives students the opportunity to help peers on campus challenged with food insecurity.


Local Food and Product Purchasing

Our staff has teamed up with local farmers, growers and producers when feasible to bring you things like 6,000 pounds of green peppers grown right here on campus, local tofu, local chickens, apples grown by ISU alums and so much more.  Annually 10% of our purchases are locally grown.

Local Food Articles

Iowa State Raised Turkeys

Iowa State Grown Onions

Going Green





To feed a campus bigger than the size of most Iowa towns, we order a lot of food. Pallets, cardboard, glass, metal, cans, lightbulbs – if there is an outlet to recycling it, we do. For more details visit:www.livegreen.iastate.edu/campus-initatives/dining