Food & Catering
Food and agriculture have significant impacts on the environment, amounting to around 20 percent of the country’s carbon footprint. Meat and dairy production create higher greenhouse gas emissions and use more water as compared to plant-based diets. An estimated 80 billion pounds—40 percent of all food produced in the United States—is thrown away each year. The method of serving food can also contribute to the waste stream, especially if meals come individually wrapped or involves a lot of unrecyclable packaging. Many activities can not only create opportunities to make meetings and food offerings more sustainable, but they can also help save money on this items.
Policy and Goals:
- Avoid single serve water bottles
As outlined in King County’s 2020 Strategic Climate Action Plan,
- By 2030, zero food waste is disposed of in Cedar Hills landfill
As outlined in King County’s Local Food Initiative,
- Double demand for locally produced, healthy food from $93 million to $186 million and decrease by 25 percent the amount of wholesome food loss within 10 years.
- Serve trays of food, buffet-style meals, or snacks instead of pre-packaged, individual meals.
- Use reusable or compostable dishes and utensils.
- Serve beverages and condiments in pitchers, carafes, or bulk dispensers, avoid individual servings where possible.
- Place compost and recycling bins in a visible and accessible location and post sorting guidance for which bin to use.
- Encourage attendees to bring their own water bottles and coffee cups.
- Order just enough food to avoid waste.
- plant-based foods
- local suppliers
- seasonal ingredients
- compostable utensils and dishes
- Fair Trade coffee
- meat and dairy
- boxed lunches
- single-serve bottled water
- styrofoam or non-recyclable or non-compostable dishes or utensils
End of Life
- donate unused food to a food bank or food pantry
- compost food scraps and spoiled food
An EPA checkmark indicates a certification or standard is recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Meat of the Matter: A Municipal Guide To Climate-Friendly Food Purchasing from the Friends of the Earth
General Services Administration: Health and Sustainability Guidelines for Federal Concessions and Vending Operations
Live Well San Diego: Healthly Food Systems