Take the pledge to make every Monday Green Monday

New effort’s goal is to reduce the university’s ‘foodprint’

Why Green Monday? Phil Valko, assistant vice chancellor for sustainability at Washington University in St. Louis, talks about the global Green Monday initiative and how making a small change to your food choices can have a major impact. Take the pledge.

The Green Monday movement is coming to the campus of Washington University in St. Louis.

Green Monday is a growing global effort to urge consumers to consider how their food choices affect public health and the environment.

Sponsored by the Office of Sustainability, Dining Services and food service partners Bon Appétit and Aramark, the Washington University program will ask students, faculty and staff to pledge to Green Monday by eating vegetarian one day a week. The program also will offer educational materials about the relative impacts of food choices.

“The idea is simple, but the impact is great,” said Phil Valko, assistant vice chancellor for sustainability.

“If everyone in the Washington University community eats vegetarian one additional day per week, we will collectively reduce our carbon emissions by as much as 5,000 metric tons annually — equivalent to taking 1,053 cars off the road,” Valko said.

Green Monday began in Hong Kong, where it has seen incredible success. The Green Monday team is expanding to a global market and has invited Washington U. to be one of the first American universities to launch the program.

On Monday, Jan. 26, Green Monday’s founder, David Yeung, will be on the Danforth Campus to help launch the program.

Take the pledge and learn more about the program at any time during the day of Yeung’s visit. The schedule:

  • 9-10 a.m., Ibby’s: Meet & Greet with Yeung. Coffee and light breakfast provided.
  • 11:30 a.m.- 1 p.m., Danforth University Center (DUC): Take the pledge with Yeung to Go Green Monday and enjoy vegetarian specials.
  • 2-3 p.m., DUC: Cake cutting with Yeung to celebrate Green Monday launch.
  • 6-7:30 p.m., Bear’s Den & Village: Take the pledge and talk with Green Monday ambassadors to learn more about the program.

Each Monday, the Office of Sustainability will feature weekly messages around food, including agriculture’s role in global warming, water consumption, waste generation and global hunger. Weekly messages also will highlight the university’s efforts, such as composting and sustainable food and dining certifications.

Dining Services will feature vegetarian options across campus every Monday, including Bon Appétit’s operations at the DUC, Village and Bear’s Den, as well as Aramark’s operations at Starbucks, Bauer Hall Café, Einstein Bros. Bagels and the Knight Center.

Green Monday ambassadors will be stationed at pledge walls every Monday throughout the semester, alternating between the DUC from noon to 1 p.m. and the Village and Bear’s Den from 6-7 p.m.

Follow the weekly schedule and find out what the weekly vegetarian features will be at the Office of Sustainability’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/WUSTLSustain. Participants also are encouraged to share pledge pictures on social media channels with the hashtag #reduceyourfoodprint.