Planning large-scale public events require a wide range of skills, and optimizing even small details like the type of disposable dishes can have a big impact on the event's bottom line. If you're in charge of picking the cutlery, dishes, and other disposable items at this year's festival or local food celebration, it's time for you to consider compostable and biodegradable products.
Embracing the environmentally friendly options for serving food to event visitors offers numerous benefits to the organizers, and we offer them all here at Finest City Paper.
1. Helping the Environment
First, switching away from virgin paper, Styrofoam, and disposable plastic products have a major positive impact on the environment. Single-use plastics alone contribute six million tons of waste to the country's landfills each year. This doesn't take into account other disposable cutlery and dish materials, which are not as widely tracked and measured.
Biodegradable products can be diverted from the landfill to break down in composting facilities and put back to good use again as soil enrichment where it's needed the most. Each pound of waste diverted from the landfill allows existing facilities to stay open longer, preserving more wilderness as well.
2. Advertising a Green Image
Not only does switching to compostable dishes help the environment, but it also helps you advertise your event as an eco-friendly one. You can draw in an entirely new market of attendees and vendors by giving your event a green spin in your marketing materials. Of course, you need to commit to valuable environmental initiatives before making these marketing claims.
Switching to biodegradable dishes and cutlery is one of the most valuable changes you can make while also being one of the most affordable changes.
3. Saving on Trash Costs
Any change to your event that results in a lower amount of trash being hauled away at the end will save you money on dumpster rental costs. Diverting both food waste and the dishes being used to serve the foods will maximize your savings on trash costs. Of course, you'll need an alternative place to send the compostable waste in order to save this way.
Don't assume that you'll be able to send the compostable materials to your municipal facilities without prior approval. Some areas only accept food waste to these facilities, while others will only take biodegradable dishes if you put them in separate containers.
4. Supporting Local Groups
In most cases, the best way to handle compostable material is to find a local group, or multiple groups, willing to pick up the materials at the end of your event. This saves money on trash hauling costs and ensures the dishes and food scraps are actually going to a good use and composting properly.
Contact community gardens, schools with gardens, food banks that work with local growers, and organic agriculture groups in your area. You'll likely need multiple organizations to handle all of your food waste and compostable dishes, especially if you're running a large event or multiple events per year.
5. Encouraging Awareness
Finally, choosing compostable and biodegradable materials for your event also encourages your visitors to think about what they can do for the environment. Requesting that guests sort their trash at the appropriate containers sends a strong message that can result in major changes that cascade outward from among attendees.
Don't underestimate the value of making these kinds of changes at events that aren't usually focused on causes like the environment. Even music festivals, art events, and food celebrations benefit from engaging the guest population in more discussions about their contribution to the world. Improving the cutlery and dishes used for serving food is a great first step for getting more engagement at your events.