The Green Book: Food

What and how you eat has a major impact on the environment--from growth and processing to transport and disposal. Reduce your environmental “food”print by following these guidelines!

Eat Better: 4 Rules to Better Eating

Eat less meat

  • Raising cattle produces more greenhouse gases than all transportation sources combined
  • When you do eat meat, look for grass-fed and pasture-raised options from local farms

Eat organic

  • Organic foods, which are produced without growth hormones or synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, are better for both you and the environment

Eat local

  • An average meal travels 1500 miles to get to your plate. By eating local, you can save the pollution that comes with shipping and support the local economy
  • Find your local Farmers' Market at (see more on farmers' markets below)

Eat seasonal

  • Buy produce (and even meats) when in season - this should be easy if you are following the tips above!

Waste Watchers

Reduce waste

  • Cut down on to-go waste – get your food ‘for here’ as much as possible!
  • Don’t take more than you can eat
  • If you live off campus, bring meals in your own reusable container


  • Recycle any plastic to-go containers you use (after rinsing them out)

Reuse containers

  • Join the Eco-Clamshell Program for $5 on Food or Flex and get access to on-the-go reusable clamshell containers to use in The Loop, Grace’s Café & Quenchers
  • Bring a reusable mug to get a 20 to 35 cent discount on drinks at all Duke eateries
  • Use reusable silverware


  • The Marketplace and the Penn Pavilion compost your post-consumer waste, so leave your food on your plate
  • Compost at Duke (there are compost bins in a few buildings on campus as part of a pilot program through Duke Recycle's) and at home if you live off campus

Where to Eat: On Campus

Green Dining Award

Each year the Green Dining Awards at Duke recognize eco-friendly eateries with practices such as use of local food, educational outreach about sustainable food elements and composting to reduce landfill waste.  View the list of winners and choose these eateries for your on-campus meals.

Meet the Marketplace!

The Marketplace is the dining hall on East Campus where first-year students eat most of their meals. Sustainability efforts include:

  • 22% local
  • 10% organic
  • 70% of Duke Dining’s waste is composted
  • Vegetarian and vegan options available

Where to Eat: Off Campus

Farmers’ Markets – Local Foods

  • Durham Farmers’ Market – Saturdays year-round, Wednesday & Saturday during summer (500 Foster St, within walking distance of East Campus)
  • Duke Farmers' Market  - Fridays spring through fall (On the lawn off Research Drive between the Nanaline H. Duke and Bryan Research buildings)
  • Duke Mobile Market CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) –Tuesdays year-round (Pick up at Duke Gardens)
  • Duke Campus Farm - Offers a CSA for students during some months of the academic year

Organic and Natural Grocery Stores

  • Whole Foods Market Durham (621 Broad St, Durham)
  • Whole Foods Market Chapel Hill (81 South Elliot Rd., Chapel Hill)
  • Trader Joe’s Chapel Hill (1800 East Franklin St., Chapel Hill)
Restaurant Lists

Get Involved: Food

Next steps? Duke has plenty of food related organizations: