Skip to main content

KNOXVILLE—Students, faculty, and staff who eat at the Southern Kitchen at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, are taking advantage of “Green Takeout”—a sustainable program with Volunteer Dining.

For a one-time fee of $5, patrons can receive a reusable food container every time they eat at Southern Kitchen, located on the ground floor of Volunteer Hall.

On their next visit, patrons who return their rinsed-out container can exchange it for a clean one at no additional cost. There is no limit to the number of times used containers can be exchanged for clean ones. Additionally, customers will receive a discount coupon for other campus dining locations with every returned container.

The containers are made of 100 percent BPA-free polypropylene and are microwave-safe.

“The program has been a huge success so far,” said Samantha Wentworth, Volunteer Dining’s director of retail marketing and sustainability project coordinator. “Not having to clean the container and the attractive design are elements that both highly appeal to our customers.”

Mary Leslie Patterson, marketing director for Volunteer Dining, initiated this program at the Southern Kitchen when it first opened in January 2011. The dining location also serves food on bamboo-infused plates and bowls to compliment the sustainable to-go containers.

These reusable containers are the only to-go boxes available at Southern Kitchen. Volunteer Dining is looking to expand the Green Takeout program to other campus dining locations in the future.

People interested in signing up can visit Southern Kitchen, which is open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For more information on Volunteer Dining, visit

Contact: Samantha Wentworth (ph: 974-0335,