Dining at Mercer University has gone green. The on-campus cafeteria is now tray-less. The school has done away with trays every Tuesday for the last 3 years, but this year decided to make it everyday.
School officials say it's an easy way to cut down on waste and conserve energy and water.
It also has cut down on the amount of time students are waiting in line for food.
Food Service Director, Aaron Probst, says the point of eliminating trays was to help people think about how much food they were taking from each station.
He adds," [It] was also to reduce the amount of things that we had to wash, which would in turn reduce the amount of chemicals going into the waste water."
Mercer Student Bailee Kitchens says she has noticed a difference since the school eliminated the trays, "People get less food, because they don't have a tray to put it on."
Students say not having trays reminds them of eating at home.
"It's more of like how you would eat at your house," says student Lauren Turner.
This year Mercer also introduced reusable to-go containers.
Mercer Student Chris Smith says, "Usually I take it to go, and I go up to my room and I chat with my friends while I eat. Last year, they had paper boxes so I'd have a lot of trash.
Students say the option is convenient and for Mercer university it reduces waste.
Probst says,"We serve roughly 14,000 people a week. I'd say probably a 10% savings on the food."
Students are required to pay a one time deposit fee of $3.50. Then they are able to use the containers.
Smith says, "I just rinse it out in my sink...rinse it out and bring it back to them. So I think it's nice."
Mercer has also started a campus wide recycling program in an effort to become more eco-friendly.