Going Green at COSI

Photo of composting bins in Atomic Cafe.

Happy Earth Day from COSI! As the new Manager of Energy and Environmental Initiatives I'm excited to take this opportunity to highlight some of the great work COSI has committed to in the name of sustainability.

One way that COSI has gone green, is through composting. If you have been to COSI in the last year, you may have noticed that we collect food scraps in our Atomic Café. But, our composting efforts don't stop there! Many of our service items (such as napkins and condiment cups) are compostable too. COSI's commitment to compost doesn't end with our visitors. Our food service staff practices what we preach in the kitchen by separating out food waste from other waste items. These efforts lead to the collection of 18.14 tons of compostable material in 2012!

Composting isn't the only way that our food service operations protect the environment. Sodexo, COSI's in-house catering and café provider, reduced the amount of solid waste generated in the café by switching from Styrofoam and paper to reusable dinnerware. Other service options include compostable disposables. Individual condiment packets are no longer offered in the café. Instead, condiments are available in bulk. Daily menus are now displayed on digital signs, reducing the use of paper in this area. All of these efforts go a long way in cutting down on the amount of waste that COSI sends to the landfill.

Did you know that approximately 33 million tons of food waste goes into landfills in the United States each year (EPA, 2013)? Are you interested in reducing the environmental impact of your meals at home? Consider starting a backyard compost bin. There are various styles of compost bins available for purchase online and through local nurseries, or you could build your own. I have maintained two compost bins in my backyard for years. They provide me with an easy way to process my food waste and turn it into a healthy soil additive for my gardens. Earth Day is the perfect day to commit to taking action to help the environment. A backyard compost bin is a great way to reduce your household waste while making your garden happy!


EPA. (2013). Reducing food waste for businesses. Retrieved from

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About the Author

Photo of Courtney Price

Courtney Price

Courtney Price joined the COSI team in January, 2013 as the Director of Energy & Environmental Initiatives. Courtney enjoys gardening (at home and in the Team Garden at COSI), jogging, camping and spending time with her three pets, all adopted from local shelters.

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