Sustainable Weddings and Events – Food and Drink
If food and drink waste was a country, it would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter. As food waste breaks down it releases methane gas, which is 21 times as potent GHG to CO2. Wasting food isn’t only bad for the planet, it’s also a waste of money, energy and resources.
If you can, source all your wedding food from local sustainable sources, this will mean it’s in season, travelled less distance and better for our health. Often local food is packaged with less plastic, so, less waste! It’s even possible for some caterers to make your wedding food from fruit and veg rejects. If it’s appropriate, consider having a fully vegetarian or vegan menu for smaller eco-footprint buffet.
To reduce food waste, serve appropriately sized portions, this will also save money as you won’t be overbuying food. Collect any food waste separate to any other waste produced, if you, or someone you know has a compost heap, add it to there after the event. Alternatively, send it to be anaerobically digested. The methane released from its decomposition will be collected and used to make electricity. 1 tonne of food waste produces enough electricity to power a smartphone for 79 hours!
Ask your venue what they do with their food waste, make it integral that the leftover food is managed sustainably. You can also ask about their other recycling streams. If customers begin to question their waste outcomes, it may make them reconsider where their waste goes, especially if they aren’t already recycling.
Instead of serving drinks in single-use plastic cups, use glass or reusable containers which can be washed at the venue. Ensure all glass bottles and aluminium cans are recycled appropriately, this is made easier by having clearly labelled recycling bins. Is there a way you can reduce your drinks packaging and costs by buying beer in barrels from a local brewery?
It is also now possible to buy spirits made from “waste”. Since 2016, Hyke Gin have been repurposing and reimagining surplus grapes that would otherwise go to waste. Toast Ale is a B corporation brewery, they make their drinks from wasted bread! They use a slice of bread for every beer brewed and give all profits go to food waste charity “Feedback”.
A cheap alternate is a “bring your own bar”- fashion a makeshift bar from old furniture, get people to bring a bottle of their favourite drink and discourage plastic containers.