Food Choices and Food Serving Items

Food is a major part of most events. How you plan to source food, serve food and manage food waste can be key to greening your event footprint. Select action tasks your event will take related to food, food service items, and food waste components of your event. 
              

 

 

Goal: Make Sustainable Food Choices

              
                 
 Use Local and Sustainably Certified Food        
If hiring a caterer, use local caterers and ask them to work with your green event guidelines. If not hiring a caterer, use local foods. Set a goal: at least 5% of food should be locally produced.      Use organically produced food and beverages. Products should be certified as meeting regional or USDA organic standards, to the greatest extent possible.      Look for low food miles; the lower the distance the food has to travel the better. Set a goal: at lest 10% of the food should be locally produced. 
                 
 Composting and Recycling            
        Provide for composting of scraps and leftovers.      If leftover food or beverages are expected, make contact with a nonprofit organization to arrange for food donation after the event. 
                 
 Promote Your Green Efforts                
Educate and engage vendors and event workers to fully support:      Educate and engage attendees and event workers to fully support:   
 
  Report data collected showing results of greening efforts to EPA (see Sample Metrics for ideas on what data could be collected at your event). 

Goal: Choose Sustainable Food Service Items

                 
Use Reusable Items to Serve Food 
Do not use single serve drink containers, or disposable lids and straws; serve beverages from pitchers or spigot coolers.      Set a goal that 50% or more of the items used for serving food are reusable (plates, trays, platters, utensils, serving containers, etc.).     Set a goal that 75% or more of the items used for serving food are reusable (plates, trays, platters, utensils, serving containers, etc.).
 
 Use Reusable Items to Consume Food 
        Set a goal that 50% or more of the items used to eat food are reusable (plates, bowls, cups, utensils).      Set a goal that 75% or more of the items used to eat food are reusable (plates, bowls, cups, utensils). 
                 
Use Reusable Non-food Related Items        
Use table coverings, aprons, and napkins that have a recycled content.*  
 
  If composting is available, use all compostable table coverings, aprons, and napkins.*  
 
  Use washable and reusable table coverings, aprons, and napkins.*
                 
Reduce Waste in Box Lunches            
No Styrofoam is used.   
 
  Request recyclable or compostable boxes and individual portion containers.   
 
  Use box-less lunches with little or no individual portion packaging. 
                 
Reduce Waste in Pre-Packaged Food Items     
No Styrofoam is used.   
 
  Purchase products with the least amount of packaging possible. Instead of individual servings, buy in bulk and serve in compostable containers.  
 
  Choose products and packaging that can be recycled or composted through commercial services in your area. If disposable items are essential, try to ensure they contain a high content of recycled or plant-based material if composting is available. 
                 
Reduce Waste from Event Food Service    
Avoid single serve packaging for food condiments (e.g., milk, cream, sweeteners, butter, ketchup, vinegar, mustard, jams, salt, pepper, breakfast cereals, cream cheese, etc.).  
 
  Specify Waste Reduction Services in your catering contract (see Model Bid Specs for more information).   
 
  Everything is reusablerecyclable or compostable
                 
Promote Your Green Efforts      
Educate and engage vendors and event workers to fully support:   
 
  Educate and engage attendees about:   
 
  Educate and engage the community: 

 

 

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