Last week, our President Dave Evans had an opportunity to speak alongside Suzanne Morrell, Founder STM|enterprises, Creating Events and D.C. Event Food Waste Coalition, Samantha Kenny, Associate Specialist, Food Waste, at the World Wildlife Fund-US and Kate Urbank, FDC Site Director with Food Rescue US on the topic of food waste at an ILEA Lunch & Learn event. The sold out luncheon not only brought together industry professionals for an enjoyable afternoon, but also an educational one.
Here’s what we learned…
Food is almost always the main attraction at any event, but did you know that what goes uneaten is the single largest contributor to the trash system? And when it decomposes in landfills it creates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Yikes! The good news, however, is that Washington D.C. has a goal of diverting 80% of solid waste from the landfills. Additionally, there are measures you can take to support that process:
:: Be Proactive. When planning an event, ask your event manager or wedding planner to help with researching organizations in the community that will pick up leftover food. Oftentimes the idea of donating food from an event is an afterthought, which results in it being tossed. Plan ahead and make arrangements in advance. Organizations such as Food Rescue and Nourish Now are two that we recommend. :: Be Mindful. The average person consumes 1 pound of food at each meal yet hotels and large events are setting out food, especially on buffets, that feeds the average person 3 pounds of it. In an effort to avoid ordering too much, seek less variety of food and higher quality when creating your menu.
:: Be Supportive. Planners and venues should be active in the contract discussion about food quantity and resources available to clients. Together we can help care for our environment and raise awareness at the same.
Interested in learning more about food waste and what is specifically being done about it? Visit the
Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA) for related news, updates and resources.