Steps to Save the Planet

At Humboldt State, we're strong advocates of sustainability. You see that commitment in the meals we serve and our day-to-day operations. Here are just some of the steps we’ve taken to minimize the impact on the environment.

Local Products

Our campus eateries routinely stock food and drinks from dozens of Humboldt County farms, bakeries, fisheries, restaurants and businesses. Buying local supports our county's many eco-friendly farmers and businesses, and reduces the energy required to bring you breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Green Dining Ware

    • Dining locations provide biodegradable paper plates and bowls, utensils and napkins.
    • Campus catering puts on environmentally friendly events, include reusable flatware, cutlery, and cups at no additional cost. Packaged lunches are served in biodegradable boxes and to-go containers are available for leftovers.


Reusable containers, available at the dispenser machine in the Depot, cut down on the use of single-use plates and bowls, and disposable to-go containers.

Reusable Cups

Students are encouraged to bring their own reusable cups and mugs (sold at College Creek Marketplace), a mason jar (sold at campus coffee shops), or ceramic mugs (the J) for a discount on their next cup of coffee.

Price Breakdown

    • $1.50 - bring your own cup
    • $2.25 - purchase a reusable pint-sized mason jar
    • $2.50 - purchase a single-use paper cup


We use the BioBin and the product goes to a local worm farmer. HSU's taking a big step toward reducing its food waste with the introduction of a broad food waste program that promises big results. With the of staff in the Office of Sustainability and Dining Services, food waste and food-soiled paper from all campus eateries, including the Jolly Giant Commons cafeteria, the South Campus Marketplace, and the Depot food court are now being collected and diverted. The new Food Waste Diversion Program involves a 20-cubic-yard composting bin installed near the J cafeteria. The new bio-bin allows the campus to compost all food, including meat, dairy, the clamshell food containers sold in the Depot, and compostable bioplastic utensils. The expanded program is expected to handle as much as 280,000 pounds of food waste per year.

Plant-based Menus

    • Meatless Mondays: Students advocated for a menu with more plant-based dishes, and we listened. The local version of a global movement, which raises awareness of the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet, debuted at the J in 2015.
    • Vegan Chef’s Taste Test: We invited renowned chef Wanda White to share her plant-based recipes with campus. And based on feedback, some of her most popular dishes were incorporated onto the menu.


Energy-efficient appliances, including refrigeration units lit with LED lights, add up to major energy savings. A new lighting timer will also conserve energy in the University's main dining hall. We’re saving water, too, by using a special liquid, rather than ice, to keep the J salad bar cool.

Certified by Green Restaurant Association

The Green Restaurant Association rates existing restaurants and food service operations on seven environmental categories: water efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, sustainable furnishings and building materials, sustainable food, energy, disposables, and chemical and pollution reduction.

Visit Green Restaurant Association's website

Green Restaurant Association Logo

Local Business Partners

Arcata Scoop 
Beck’s Bakery 
Bien Padre 
Blackberry Bramble BBQ 
Brio Breadworks
Casa Lindra
Cypress Grove Chevre 
Diane’s Sweet Heat 
Dick Taylor 
Donut Mill 
Drake Glen Creations
Earthly Edibles
Fieldbrook Winery 
Fish Brothers 
Franz Bakery 
Henry’s Olives
Humboldt Bay Coffee Company 
Humboldt Chocolate 
Humboldt Cider Company 
Humboldt Creamery 
Humboldt Hotsauce 
It’s Alive Kombucha 
Little River Farm 
Loleta Cheese Factory
Los Bagels 
Lost Coast Brewery
Luna Farm 
Mad River Brewing Co. 
Mad River Farm
Moonstone Crossing Winery 
Muddy Waters Coffee Company 
Mycality Mushrooms
Natural Decadence 
New Moon Organics
Nonna Lena’s Organic
North Coast Co-op 
North Coast Mercantile
Organic Matters Ranch
Pacific Seafood 
Pasta Luego
Pierce Family Farms
Planet Teas 
Robert Goodman Winery
Stargazer Barn 
Sun Valley Floral Farms
Tofu Shop
Varsity Ice Cream Company 
Vellutini Baking Co. 
Warren Creek Farm
Wild Planet 
Wild Rose Farm
Willow Creek Farms