Green is the new black!
Catering is a business that requires a high amount of energy usage and produces a large amount of waste. If you’re in the catering industry, you should know that going eco-friendly is the best way to stay relevant in the business. So, choose the path that protects the environment and helps to preserve it.
Read on for our best eco-friendly catering tips.
Why choose green catering?
There are several reasons why event organisers today might choose a caterer who practices environmentally friendly catering. What are some of these reasons? Are they worth it?
You may already have some loyal customers, but an eco-friendly catering business can improve your sales. Doing right by the enrivonment opens your business up to a whole new world of customers, meaning an increase in sales.
According to a survey, most consumers consider a company’s ethics before they purchase their products or services. Therefore, making a responsible choice for the business can play an important role in drawing in more consumers, better sales and more advertising.
If your business advocates eco-friendly processes, you’ll have a natural edge over competitors. Communicating to the public that you are indeed serious about environmental issues shows consumers that this is about more than just the money for you and your company.
Showing you care often pulls in the people who care too. Perhaps you could even start a movement in your workplace or wider industry and nudge people in the right direction to making environmentally responsible choices for the future. Acting with a hint of good will in your company is sure to make customers happy, even if they have to pay a little more for the service.
Health should be one of the major concerns of food service and production businesses. Going green decreases health complications; it’s a known fact that most products we consume today go through a lot of processing.
On the other hand, eco-friendly products and organic foods help to ease toxicity inside our bodies and help the environment as well.
Protecting the environment
Aside from the improved profits you can expect and the good reputation, the main benefit of going green is that you have helped the environment by making wise choices. One simple act of caring for the environment can make a huge difference ten years from now. Start now and many businesses may just follow your good example.
You’ve managed your reputation well, you’ve helped the environment and you received a healthy profit.
Tips for eco-friendly events
Use local food sources
Food is one major focus and contributor when it comes to environmental advocacy. It is the best medium in which to practice sustainability. Stick to a menu plan that will make use of locally grown products for ingredients. Organic ingredients from your local or nearby community may help reduce gas emissions from transportation, contain little to no chemicals (pesticides) and it’s a lot better for your client’s health.
Planning ahead of the event will help you point out the ingredients that will be in season for your chosen event dates.
Use local and seasonal flowers
Flowers are big part of events like weddings and birthday parties. But even corporate events may be needing flowers for table arrangements and honorary bouquets for guests. Imported flowers are usually grown with chemical fertilisers and are preserved with more chemicals so they last when being transported. Aside from the fact that they are harmful to the environment, they also won’t look as fresh during the event.
Local and seasonal flowers that are grown organically will help reduce your carbon footprint. And since they are fresh, they can be replanted after the event.
Re-purpose decorations from last event
If you are mindful of environmental protection, you’ve probably started this practice at past events. Instead of buying new decorations for your next event, save the ones from the last event you held and re-purpose them for your next event. Or, instead of splurging on decorations you’ll just take down and stash in a box when the event is done, you can consider renting decorations.
Recycle and compost event material
In case the use of paper is unavoidable, the best way to give back to the environment is to compost these materials. If the event organiser is already an eco-friendly advocate, they might have their own way of re-purposing the materials. Non-biodegradables can be recycled where appropriate and biodegradables can be taken to local composting sites.
Donate to charity instead of giving party favours
Every event usually gives out favours and souvenirs; a big part of the budget is usually spent on this! However, instead of giving out these favours which are most often non-biodegradable, why not donate the money that would be spent on those things to a charity? This reduces waste and allows you to spend money on something a little more meaningful. Let your guests know how much you have donated; they’ll be happy to hear the money went to a good cause.
Serve organic wine
Organic wine like rice wine can be a unique and new experience for guests. If it’s available in your area, serve it and delight your guests.
Print one seating chart instead of using paper place cards
Place cards use lots of papers. And if your organiser isn’t into recycling, these will go straight into the trash can. Plus, printing on these cards will use energy too. Instead of individual place cards, create one reasonably sized seating chart your guests can use to find their seat.
Use biodegradable tableware
Most events might use china tableware. This china requires high temperatures, energy costs and chemicals to create. One recommendation from green advocates is to use biodegradable tableware like bamboo plates and utensils. They’re unique, attractive and biodegradable!
Send e-cards for invitations
E-card invitations are the new “in” thing of today’s event organising. So instead of sending out invites on the usual paper cards, try to send them electronically via e-mails and social media. These can resemble an actual printed card with images or try to be a little creative and send out invites in different mediums, like videos.
This helps you save some resources; less paper and less money required!
If the use of disposables for food is unavoidable, choose products that are biodegradable. If your caterer is environmentally conscious, you won’t even need to tell them about this. However, if you’re the one who will be providing disposables, read the labels.
Donate left-over food to local food pantries
Food requires energy to prepare. Wasting it seems an insult to the earth and to those who go hungry in the streets. Some caterers already have tie ups with local food pantries and soup kitchens so that they may donate event leftovers that are still good to eat. If caterers do not offer this service, you might like to contact some soup kitchens yourself.
If you’ve got leftover food that has gone stale or can’t be eaten, mix it in the compost pit. Some corporate event organisers will collect still good to eat food and have it served in the office for lunch the next day. This way, no food is wasted.
Minimise artificial lighting
Lighting usually eats up energy and produces harmful emissions to the environment. To minimise this, choose a venue that lets in natural light and has big windows. Or, hold the event outside during the day.
Choose caterers that advocate eco-friendly services
Caterers can be eco-friendly at your request. However, try to find caterers who are already eco-friendly and conscious of helping the environment.
Taking these simple steps now will help save the environment later.