Campus Initiatives

As a guest, it is easy to make smart environmental choices when you dine at our cafés. We know today's college students want to do the right thing for the planet and we also understand you lead busy lives, so our chefs and managers do a lot of the work for you behind the scenes!

Green Box

In the month of September, 2013, almost 20,000 paper to-go boxes were used. Don't go paper, go Green Box. The Green Box supports University efforts to be a sustainable campus. As opposed to using and throwing away traditional to go boxes, the Pepperdine community now has the opportunity to use a reusable to go box.

The Green Box is a sustainable alternative to the paper to-go containers. Instead of the disposable, paper containers, the Green Box is made of sturdy, reusable plastic. To use a Green Box, find one in the Cafeteria or request one, then pay for your box at the register. Once you've used the box, return it to the receptacle located next to the tray carousel in the Cafeteria or at the Howard A. White Center. The receptacle will, in turn, give you a token, which you can use to get your next Green Box.

All of our Green Boxes are cleaned and sanitized in our commercial dishwashing system. You will receive a clean Green Box every time you dine with us. Please keep in mind that we are not responsible for lost or misplaced tokens. It is very important that you keep track of your token. If you do lose your token after returning your Green Box, you will need to purchase another Green Box.


In August 2016, Pepperdine transitioned to a new waste and recycling system on the Malibu campus. Since 2000 we have utilized a recycling program where all materials are disposed of in one bin and sorted and separated off-site. Our vendor is no longer willing to service the Malibu region, so we are moving to a new vendor and a new type of recycling program. The new program requires each member of our community to separate recyclable items from materials headed for the landfill. To learn more please visit:

Food Recovery Network

Pepperdine Dining Services has partnered with the Food Recovery Network Club to reduce food waste and provide nourishment to people in need. Food that would otherwise be discarded in our cafes and from catering events is recovered and distributed to partner organizations in the Malibu and West Hollywood areas.

Xpress Nap

Xprss Nap dispensers are another solution to reducing energy and waste. They use 30% less paper than traditional napkin dispensing mechanisms. The great thing about these dispensers is that they help the environment while helping to keep costs down. The napkins are made of 100% recycled paper and the dispenser will encourage customers to take (and waste) less napkins. Energy is saved because less power is used to recycle paper products than to create them from virgin material.


"As part of its commitment to increase the sustainability of its operations, Dining Services uses Ecolab’s Apex™ dishwashing system. Apex combines technology and products designed to save water and energy, minimize the impact of products on the environment, and has a built-in method of measuring results. Apex uses a unique combination of detergents, rinse additives, equipment and consultative services to address the operational challenges in food-service operations.

All locations will benefit from using less water, energy and labor, thus minimizing their operations' overall environmental impact. In addition, the Apex system further supports Dining Services' sustainability initiatives with non-caustic chemistry and 95% less packaging material than current methods. Apex products come in a compact solid form that significantly reduces transportation shipments compared to bulkier liquid detergents."

Local Suppliers

Pepperdine Dining Services has committed to buying from local suppliers first whenever possible. With so many suppliers within our geographical area, we are proud to provide you, our guest, with the freshest local produce possible.

Locally Sourced Seafood

Pepperdine Dining Services is committed to sourcing food from local farmers and suppliers first, and seafood is no exception. Almost all of our seafood is sourced locally from Santa Monica Seafood. Not only is their seafood exceptionally fresh, but Santa Monica Seafood is also committed to responsibly souring their seafood. Santa Monica Seafood was the first seafood distributor to enter into a formal partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium to apply rankings to their inventory. This is just one example of how we procure local, responsibly sourced food on campus.


While trays are offered in Waves Café, we encourage our guests to dine trayless. Trayless dining has many benefits. First, it reduces electricity, water and chemical use because there are far fewer dishes and trays to wash, saving thousands of gallons of water every day and generating hundreds of dollars in detergent and electricity savings. Second, less detergents, solid waste and grease goes down the drain that improves our local community’s water supply. Also, it encourages less food waste by taking less food that could otherwise be disgarded.