Take-Out Containers

Reusable Mugs

Dining Services is committed to protecting our environment and using green practices. In an effort to reduce the number of paper to-go cups used in our dining halls, all new students are given a reusable mug upon their arrival for the fall and spring semesters. In the 2009-2010 academic year, Mount Holyoke College used 322,700 paper to-go cups not including Blanchard Café or Uncommon Grounds in one year. It takes over 31,000 gallons of water and close to 5 tons of paper to make that many cups each year!

When all students were given a reusable mug  and to-go cups were removed from the dining halls for the dinner meal a couple of years ago, we were able to realize a reduction in cups of 81,650 or about $5000.  The reduction in cup usage also reduced the amount of water to 23,201 gallons and paper to 3.3 tons that would be needed to make those cups.

All new students are issued a coupon that is redeemable at Uncommon Grounds for a FREE reusable mug or $5 towards the purchase of a reusable mug at the MHC bookstore.  Your reusable mug is leak proof, insulated and is 25% larger than our to-go cups. If you must take out food from the dining halls, to-go containers are available.

Please become a "green partner" and use your mug:

  • In all dining locations except Wilder (our Kosher dining hall) to take out hot or cold drinks.
  • At M & C's.
  • At Uncommon Grounds (our coffee bar in Blanchard Campus Center) and receive a 10% discounton any hot or cold beverage.

Thanks for helping to make Mount Holyoke College greener!

Take-Out Containers

  • There will be limited take out service available in all dining halls for all meals
  • Needed to provide a service for those students who were not able to eat in the dining rooms at our meal times – students are expected to use this option only when absolutely necessary
  • Replaced $21,000 worth of china, glass, & silverware when this option was not available
  • We will provide:
    • Paper cup
    • Paper tub
    • Plastic wrap
    • Plastic ware
  • There will be no styrofoam containers of any kind used
  • All students are expected to use their  reusable Dining Services travel mug.  This is in compliance with the specifications per the local board of health.  Please refer to "Policy for Personal Containers".

Policy for Personal Containers

Personal containers include tupperware, china, paper products etc.

Due to state law and local public health code requirements, Dining Services cannot  allow any personal containers, china, plastic or paper, to be brought into our dining rooms or kitchens.  These health codes were established to prevent any possible cross-contamination of food products that we serve.  Even though the container may be cleaned with soap and water, this does not ensure that it has been properly sanitized or stored in a sanitary manner.  Therefore, there is the possibility that bacteria could still exist on the container.  For example, someone puts food product into a plastic or china container with the provided serving utensil.  The container may not have been properly sanitized and that serving utensil touches the container. This is where there is the potential that the utensil, when placed back into the container, could contaminate the remaining product.  Paper products are not allowed either since Dining Services has not purchased the product or stored them.  This assures us of proper practices for handling in delivery and in storage. 

Dining Services is responsible for taking precautions against cross-contamination by using both chemical and heat (hot water) to destroy bacteria for cleaning all of our dishes and utensils.  The only exception that the local board of health will allow is personal wide mouth mugs and water bottles.  This is only allowed if the container, when placed on the beverage tray or drip pan, does not touch the nozzle of the beverage machine.  We encourage all students to use their “wide-mouthed” travel mugs for “take-out” purposes in the dining halls and Torrey Grab n Go and in Blanchard Campus Center at Blanchard Cafe and Uncommon Grounds.