We work together to continually develop and implement sustainable solutions. Through Green Thread, our environmental sustainability platform, we bring innovative and efficient solutions to life. We are passionately focused on reducing the environmental impact within our operations. 

Here are just a few ways we work to make our campus more environmentally conscious:

Reusable Cup Discount


Receive a discount when you use a reusable cup for fountain beverages and coffee in these dining locations and help reduce waste. UCI Hospitality & Dining has also partnered with The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF), UCI Facilities Management, and UCI Housing to offer several hydration stations throughout campus. Use the filtered water stations to stay refreshed and limit your carbon footprint.

2018 Reusable Discount Flyer PDF Thumb

Punch Card

Free Coffee Grounds Program

On a first come, first-serve basis, you can go to Zot N Go and pick up a package of coffee grounds at no charge. The coffee grounds are dried and packaged in single serving portions for your convenience. The bags used to hold the grounds are recycled; we use the bags that some coffee grounds are originally packaged in. 
In addition to gardening, coffee grounds can be used for DIY projects such as face masks, candles, soaps, and air fresheners. On each package, you’ll find tips and recipes to help you get started.
If you would like a large package of coffee grounds for your garden or event, please email lhthai@uci.edu.

Reusable To-Go Program

Getting your meal to go from The Anteatery or Pippin Commons? Take part in our Reusable To-Go Container and Cup program. 
Here's how it works: 
1. Visit The Anteatery or Pippin Commons and ask for a reusable to-go container or cup.
2. A $6.00 container and $4.00 cup can be purchased with cash, credit card, FlexDine, or Zot Bucks.
3. Fill your container up with any of your favorite menu items and fill your cup with coffee, tea, soda, or water.
4. Return the dirty container or cup for a clean one or request a "rain check" card.
Containers and cups are yours to keep, or return it so it can be used again in the future.

Certified Green Restaurant


The East Food Court, including Bene Pasta, Organic Greens To Go, and Topio's, is a 3 Star Certified Green Restaurant. We have implemented 50 steps and earned 182.86 GreenPoints™.

Green Resturant

Local Purchasing


UCI Hospitality & Dining sources food from many local farmers, growers, and distributors. Our partners change  throughout the year depending on seasonality and availability. View a sample below:

  • Fresh Origins (San Marcos, CA)
  • Polito Family Farms (Valley Center, CA)
  • Henry Avocado (Escondido, CA)
  • Calco Farms (Arcadia, CA)
  • Alta Dena (La Puente, CA)
  • Boskovich Farms (Oxnard, CA)
  • Muranaka Farms (Los Angeles, CA)
  • JJ's Lone Daughter Ranch (Redlands, CA)
  • Babe Farms (Santa Maria, CA)
  • Bee Sweet Citrus (Fowler, CA)


UCI Hospitality & Dining partners with the campus to recycle commingled, cardboard, and food waste from all dining locations across campus. We are committed to minimizing our environmental footprint. Look for signs in our dining locations for more information on where to put your recyclable material! 

The Anteatery, Pippin Commons, Zot N Go P.O.D. Market, and the Bren Events Center, including concessions, are all Zero Waste facilities that compost and recycle all materials! All service-ware is reusable in the dining commons, including cups, plates, and utensils. Additionally, recycling bins are available at all retail dining locations to dispose of your recyclable items, such as glass and plastic bottles. These efforts ensure that we minimize our footprint on the environment while also maximizing global sustainability. 

We also practice post-consumer waste diversion at Phoenix Food Court, East Food Court, and BC's Cavern Food Court. If you're ever unsure where your waste goes when you dine at any of these locations, just look for our helpful signs. All the items on these signs come directly from the respective food court to make it easier for you to see what goes where and help contribute to the goal of reaching Zero Waste.

Sustainable Coffee

UCI Hospitality & Dining is proud to serve Fair Trade, USDA Organic, and Rainforest Alliance Certified coffees. These certifications are all labels used to evaluate the coffee and the principles of its production.

Fair Trade coffee reflects and ensures a fair price and wage for workers as well as guaranteeing fair labor conditions, workers' rights, direct trade within a democratic and transparent organization, and community development. Fair Trade regulations guarantee that farmers receive a minimum price for their coffee, which in turn helps them afford healthcare, education, and housing for themselves and their families. Transfair USA is the nonprofit certification organization that manages the rules, membership and certification process of Fair Trade - for more information visit:  http://transfairusa.org/

USDA Organic Certification and the seal that says "USDA Organic" means that a product is made from at least 95% organic ingredients. A product labeled "100% organic" must be made entirely with certified organic ingredients. The USDA Organic label extends only to whether or not the food is organic and not to any other factors of the food. 

Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee requires agrochemical use and guarantees of worker health and safety as well as ecosystem conservation. The Rainforest Alliance is committed to conserving biodiversity and ensuring sustainable livelihoods. 

To learn more about sustainable coffee practices by Java City, please visit their website at http://javacity.com/. To learn more about sustainable coffee practices by Starbucks, please visit their website at http://starbucks.com/responsibility/sourcing/coffee.

Cage-Free Eggs

Dining proudly serves 100% cage-free eggs at the following locations: BC's Food Court, Phoenix Food Court, Greens to Go, The Anteatery, and Pippin Commons. 

Organic eggs are produced from free-range hens with no hormone or antibiotic treatment, as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). These hens are allowed to roam freely outside a poultry barn, rather than housed in battery cages. The Humane Society of the United States supports free-range treatment of hens as it allows them to partake in natural activities, such as scratching and dust bathing as needed. In addition, organic egg farming contributes to sustainable dining practices by producing less environmental pollution than battery-cage farming.

Be a Planteater

UCI supports Meatless Monday by indicating which dishes are vegetarian or vegan and encouraging students to be a Planteater. Additionally, there are accompanying Watermark Identifiers in all residential dining locations on an everyday basis to communicate to students the high water usage of dishes containing meat. By highlighting this information, students are able to make informed choices about the foods they eat. To learn more, visit http://meatlessmonday.com/

Food Donation

UCI Hospitality & Dining donates excess, unserved food from The Anteatery and Pippin Commons, UCI Catering, and the East Food Court to UCI’S FRESH Basic Needs Hub. Since the program began in Fall 2012, UCI Hospitality & Dining has donated over 7.5 tons of food to UCI and Orange County.

Sustainable To-Go Containers

UCI Hospitality & Dining is proud to offer Styrofoam-free containers at all our retail locations. We transitioned to biodegradable plates and to-go containers at all retail dining locations during Spring 2007. Biodegradable products offer many benefits to the environment as they are made out of bamboo, which takes only 6 months to grow back, while a tree would take 60 years to grow back. Other product benefits include: the product breaks down and can be used to fertilize land, no harmful materials leach into the ground, and it doesn't exploit the natural environment or disturb the ecological system.

Energy & Water Conservation

We train our employees each quarter on everyday energy and water conservation practices in order to conserve earth's precious resources.

Fryer Oil Recycling

One hundred percent of dining services used fryer oil is recycled into biodiesel.

Trayless Dining

Did you know UCI Hospitality & Dining has been trayless since 2008? By dining trayless, you have helped positively impact the environment by minimizing food waste, conserving energy and water as well as reducing the amount of cleaning chemicals entering the waste stream.

Green Cleaning

All dining locations are committed to using green cleaning products in our operations to reduce the need for chemical based cleaning products and provide a healthy and safe learning environment.