Dream is Green


  • Sustainable Food

    Sustainable Food

    AU has a farmers' market on the Quad every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • tray free zone

    Trayless Dining

    Research shows that removing trays decreases food waste by nearly 30% and saves energy and water needed for washing.

  • Community Garden Hero Filmstrip

    Community Garden

    Eco-Sense's community garden is a place for students to come together around food sustainability. All are welcome to help work on the garden and enjoy the "fruits" of their labor.

Farmers Market

Fresh produce and local crafts are available for sale on campus every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the farmers' market on the Quad.

Community Garden

American University has a community garden, located behind Leonard Hall next to the tennis courts, with a variety of fruit and vegetable plants such as watermelon, sunflowers, basil, parsley, pumpkins, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, beans, broccoli, lettuce, and corn. Please contact communitygardenau@gmail.com or au_eco_sense@yahoo.com if you would like to learn how you can participate in tending the garden.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Community Supported Agriculture is a way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from farmers. Individuals purchase a "share" in a farm's harvest for the season. Typically, the share consists of a box of produce delivered to a central drop-off point each week throughout the growing season. Shares can be purchased for the whole season or, for students, just during the school year. 

AU hosts a drop-off location for Farmer Allan's Fresh and Local CSA. To learn more and sign up for a share, click on "Fresh and Local CSA" in the Related Links.

Food Services

American University contracts AU Dining to provide healthy and sustainable food choices for students, faculty, and staff. 

Sustainable Food Purchasing

During fall 2010, AU measured the amount of food purchased that is produced within 250 miles and/or certified to one or more of the following certifications: USDA Organic, Fair Trade, Food Alliance, Rainforest Alliance, Marine Stewardship Council, and Protected Harvest. They found that 36% of food purchased met one or more of the sustainability criteria above, totaling over $300,000.

Trayless Dining

A survey conducted by students in a Seminar in Environmental Issues (ENVS-102) showed that by removing cafeteria trays, food waste and dishes used per person is significantly reduced. In Fall 2009, AU eliminated trays in the Terrace Dining Room. Click here to see the paper published on this study in the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, or see "Research Paper" in the Link Bar on the right. 

Tenley Cafe became trayless in fall 2011 following a Green Eagle project suggesting a reevaluation of the placement of trays in the dining hall. Instead of taking trays upon entering the Cafe, students now only use trays to put used plates on the conveyor belt system which helps to reduce food waste.