Did you know that an average Singaporean produces nearly 1 kg of domestic waste per day? Astonishing isn't it? The amount of waste disposed here has increased five-fold over the past 38 years, from 0.5 million tonnes in 1970 to 2.6 million tonnes in 2008. Where will all this rubbish go in land-scarce Singapore?
Let's do our part and aim for "zero waste" when we next cater. Never heard of the term? It means eliminating or reducing all the waste we produce by composting and recycling. Here are some ideas for your next green catering event.
Who To Choose As of March 2013, there are no local caterers that specialise in eco-friendly catering. (Update: May 2016 and still nothing) A good number of caterers are open to such requests though. So do not be shy, just ask! Experienced caterers can advice on how to make your event even more environmentally-friendly. If you like a broader selection, try checking with restaurants on catering possibilities.
Menu Order food and drinks in bulk rather than individually wrapped items. Less packaging means less goes to a landfill. Try choosing a caterer located close to the event to minimise resources needed for transport. To further reduce your food-related carbon footprint, abstain red meat and woo your guests with a green menu of poultry, seafood and vegetables.
Set-Up When sending out invites, go paperless. Decorate naturally with plants, local flowers or edible centerpieces (e.g. fruits). Instead of paper or plastic table cloths, either go without or opt for actual cloth. Choose reusable food service items. Add a touch of earth-friendly elegance by using real dishes and silverware instead of disposables. If you must use disposables, choose recycled/biodegradable dishes and flatware. Corn-based utensils will take only 30 to 40 days to compost (plastic takes 20-30 years). There are also biodegradable tableware made of potato or sugarcane!
Clean-Up Provide labeled recycling bins for separation of waste: cans/bottles/plastics, compost, landfill etc. Rinse items before recycling to help out the Public Waste Collectors. If there are any leftovers, consider donating the food to a local charity.
Do share this article and help increase awareness! Hopefully more people will insist on greener options, making "zero waste" catering a norm.
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