Have you ever been to an event where there has been far too much food and drink? So much so, that you have wondered where all the rests will go? I have. And I must say it wasn’t a very nice feeling. To think of all the starvation in the world, and we had mountains upon mountains of spare food, leaving us only hoping that the venue staff were allowed to take some of the spare food home with them. And in addition to this, there’s also the ecological aspect. Food production uses up natural resources that are scarse, and it often causes pollution and CO2 emissions. Therefore we should not produce food that will not be eaten.
It’s time for a change
Luckily, ecological thinking has become a very media sexy topic. It’s “in” to be “green”. That’s great! The more ecologically conscious people we have in our industry, the better the world we leave behind us. Do we really need to have five different types of fish, potatoes prepared in three different ways, and a dozen varieties of dessert?
I will take as an example a venue close to home: Tampere Hall. This congress and concert venue is the first in Finland to have obtained the eminent Nordic Ecolabel. With the label comes responsibilities that cannot be taken lightly. It affects the way and variety of food which is served, for example.
The rules of the Nordic Ecolabel
In order to remain eligible to use the Nordic Ecolabel, the restaurant at Tampere Hall has to follow strict rules and regulations. Rule number one is to avoid unnecessary waste. In practice this means that unnecessary food (ie. food no one is going to eat) should not be made. This is good to keep in mind when eating at Tampere Hall next time.
Also some congress organisers go out of their way to make their event a sustainable one. They set very strict rules about lunches and dinners, and also put a lot of the responsibility onto the delegates. If for example you are unable to attend a dinner you have registered for, you should cancel your attendance, so that the kitchen does not prepare food that you will not be eating.
The next time you attend or organize event, please keep my rumblings in mind. Personally I get more joy out of a buffet with only a small selection of local foods, rather than an abundance of food I know will end up as bio waste (or in the worst case scenario, at the landfill).
If you need tips on how to organize an ecological event, fell free to visit our website for some useful tips!