Adams House, famously known as “Harvard’s Most Historic House”, has implemented a new tradition to add to its rich house history: Trayless Saturday Lunches. Instead of using trays to carry their meals from the servery to the dining hall tables, students simply carry their plates to their table, often using their creative vices to construct ways of carrying a plate of food, a bowl of soup and a drink at the same time.
While it seems an inconvenience for many, trayless has been welcomed by Adams for many reasons. Trayless dining has given the hardworking dining hall workers a much needed break. Trayless Saturday Lunches reduce the number of dishes used per person and because trays do not have to be washed, dining hall workers enjoy a more relaxed afternoon dishwashing shift. The dining hall manager, Dave Sealey, extols trayless for its environmental benefits. Trayless dining results in a food waste reduction as students have to consciously think of their portions. According to Dave, trayless dining has resulted in an individual food waste reduction of ½ ounce per person.
Besides its environmental advantages, students praise going trayless for the atmosphere it provides. As one Adamsian points out, “Saturday Trayless Lunches provide Saturday lunches at Adams with a homier, more comforting feeling. It makes me feel like I’m eating a leisurely meal at home and not shoveling down my food at some institution.”
The warm reception of trayless dining in Adams is slowly spreading to other Houses, helping Harvard to reduce its food waste campus-wide and provide a more comforting, relaxed atmosphere within the Houses.