Sustainability Issues with Mason Dining

I find it highly irritating that Mason Dining claims to be becoming more sustainable when it leaves every possible light on in the dining halls after closing. I love the fact that they are switching to using produce grown on campus and bringing in food made locally, but I do not understand why, at Southside especially, the lights are left on every day. I do understand that it is used partly to prevent burglaries, however, there are too many lights being left on. I would be okay with the entrance lights being left on and a few lights in the actual dining area, but to have every single light on…is just ridiculous. Another issue that I have is that, also at Southside, all the televisions are left on. This leaves open the option of having light switches in the dining halls that would be programmed to keep the lights on from open until close. I came up with this idea after the class made a trip last week to the greenhouse in President’s Park.

When we went to the greenhouse last week, I was absolutely astonished by what was occurring inside. I had never ventured inside of a greenhouse before last week’s visit. I was fascinated by the type of soil used for the plants and how it was created. When we were shown the LED lights used during times of darkness, I could not bear to look directly at them, but I remember several times this semester, walking by the greenhouse while I was on my way to Ike’s and noticing the purple-ish glow coming from the greenhouse. I loved how the lights were programmed to be on for a period of time and turn off with no one managing it. I think if Mason Dining started to do this, they could save the a lot of money for the university.



  1. aimeecastil7 · November 3, 2015

    Wow! I didn’t know that Southside leaves the lights and TV’s on when they close. Every time I pass there after 10PM, I just thought that some of the lights were turned off. I do see your point now: it is ironic how Mason Dining is beginning to have a more, sustainable initiative but somehow it only applies to their supply of food. Hopefully they can also apply it to the amount of energy they’re producing with the lights and TV monitors.


  2. nicoleahedgepeth · November 3, 2015

    I’ve always seem the lights but I never realized it was all the lights on all night, plus the TVs? That is just ridiculous! No wonder buildings are Mason’s primary use of power. Even if the dining hall uses ask local foods wasting that much electricity is unsustainable! If they save on power it would make reaching campus sustainablility that much closer.


  3. andrewwingfield · November 10, 2015

    Dominic, you have made me curious about who decides what lights will be left on in SS when the place is not open. Is this a Mason Dining decision or a Facilities decision? I encourage you to submit a comment regarding your concerns on the Mason Dining web site’s customer service tab:
    Also, I will try to remember to bring this issue up at the next meeting of the sustainable food working group, Sodexo reps will be in attendance.


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