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Green Choice: Sustainable Takeout System

Be part of the change by joining Green Choice today

UNT Dining Services is excited to launch Green Choice: Sustainable Takeout System, a program to reduce single-use plastic container usage waste on our campus.   

This pilot program began as a student-driven proposal that was awarded seed funding from the We Mean Green Fund.  

How it Works

Now Available at

The Campus Chat Food Court

Ask for your next salad, burger or bowl in a Green Choice container and pay the $5 membership fee one time to opt into the program. Once you’ve enjoyed your meal, return your container to the Green Choice Return Station. You’ll receive a token in exchange for your container. The next time you visit the Food Court, you’ll provide your token to the cashier to receive your meal in a Green Choice container at no extra cost to you. Repeat as often as you choose!

Early Bird Special!

$5     $2.50

to join

*While supplies last. Up to 2,000 discounted memberships available. 

How it Works

1

Request a Green Choice container when placing your order at Sauté, Flattop Grill and Union Circle Fresh Salads & Sandwiches at The Campus Chat Food Court in the University Union (Level 2).

2

Pay for your meal at the cashier and present your token –or pay $5 one time to join.

3

Enjoy your meal and give yourself a high five for making a Green Choice and helping the environment.

4

Deposit your empty container to the Green Choice Return Station, located on Level 2 of the University Union, near the main entrance of the The Campus Chat Food Court (close to the lockers and Starbucks). Let us do the dishes! Dining Services will properly wash and sanitize the container to prepare it for the next use.

5

Take the token from the machine and store it in a safe place. The next time you request your Food Court meal in a Green Choice container, provide the token to the cashier when paying for your meal. Repeat as many times as you choose! 

Why Green Choice?

Globally about 85% of plastic used in packaging ends up in landfills or as unregulated waste.

Seven billion tons of plastic waste have been generated globally so far, but only less than 10% has been recycled.

98% of single-use plastic products are produced from fossil fuel, increasing the level of greenhouse gas emissions into the environment.

About 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans every year, the equivalent of setting five garbage bags full of trash on every foot of coastline around the world.

36% of all plastics produced are used in packaging, including single-use plastic products for food and beverage containers.

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Green Choice FAQ's

How much does it cost?

To join the program, visit a cashier at The Campus Chat Food Court and pay the one-time membership fee of $5. When you return your container to the Green Choice Return Station, it will provide you with a special membership token that you will give to the cashier as proof or membership the next time you request food in a Green Choice container. Please note that membership fees are non-refundable. Tokens and containers have no refundable cash value. 

Where can I use my Green Choice container?

Green Choice containers are available at select restaurants inside The Campus Chat Food Court, located on Level 2 of the University Union. Currently Flattop Grill, Sauté and Union Circle Fresh Salads & Sandwiches offer Green Choice.  

Who can join Green Choice?

Anyone can join! Upon returning your container after its first use, you’ll receive a special token from the Green Choice Return Station. You’ll need to hang onto the token to exchange for a container next time, so don’t lose it! It serves as your only proof of membership, and if misplaced, you will need to pay the membership fee again to re-enroll in the program.  

Can I get more than one container?

Yes, simply pay the membership fee again to obtain another container or token. 

Can I use my Green Choice container to take food out of the Dining Halls?

Green Choice is only available at select retail restaurants inside The Campus Chat Food Court. Our Dining Halls already offer sustainable solutions with reusable dinnerware and dine-in service. This approach allows us to keep our Meal Plan prices affordable while also reducing food waste. Like most dine-in restaurants, outside containers—including beverage containers and Green Choice containers taken from the Food Court—are not permitted inside the Dining Halls. Our serveware, utensils and surfaces are sanitized to meet stringent food safety standards. If a dirty container makes contact with a serving utensil or self-service item, all guests are then at risk of possible contamination. Our team members ensure all Green Choice containers are cleaned between each use and handled properly before you receive your meal.  

What happens to the containers after they are returned?

The Return Station is emptied frequently to ensure used containers are washed soon after they are deposited. Then our Green Choice containers are cleaned in a high temperature commercial dishwasher at 180°F, which is tested regularly by our own internal health department as well as an external auditor.  Temperatures are consistently logged for quality control, and EcoLab, our sanitation vendor, tests the machines on a regular basis to ensure proper function.

How does Green Choice help the environment?

Using a recyclable, reusable eco-takeout container is an easy change that can make a big difference! Keeping plastic out of landfills and oceans helps keep our environment clean and wildlife safe. Reducing transportation needs by washing and reusing the containers in-house also cuts down on fossil fuel use and carbon emissions. 

How did Green Choice start?

Green Choice has been made possible by UNT students through the Mean Green Fund. In 2019, a group of students submitted a proposal to bring their vision of a greener campus to life. Their goal was to divert at least 18,000 single-use plastic containers from the landfill each year. By reducing waste, not only would our campus have a lower environmental impact, use less resources and energy to save money, but students would learn about carbon footprints and the impact of single-use plastics on our planet. Learn more.   

When will this be implemented in other Retail Restaurants on campus?

Green Choice is starting as a pilot program, and we will be evaluating participation, member feedback, financial sustainability and other factors to determine the future of the program. Let us know what you think! 

What happens if I lose my token?

If you lose your token, you may pay the membership fee again to re-enroll in the program. We are unable to provide replacement tokens if lost or stolen. The token serves as your only proof of enrollment. 

Who do I contact if I have other questions?

Dining@unt.edu or 940-565-2462 

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