Reminders are everywhere these days to do our part to protect the environment. And as a meeting planner, there are easy steps you can take to deliver an eco-friendly event, from selecting a venue that doesn't require lots of guest travel to using water pitchers instead of single-serve water bottles.
Your event’s menu impacts your carbon footprint, so picking caterers who limit waste and source food locally is essential. Food trucks are an ideal catering alternative to hotels and special event venues because they're mobile and can go most anywhere your guests are. And many of Simply Food Truck’s partners are doing their part – big and small- to protect our planet.
Below are a few examples of some of the fantastic work our food truck partners do to help meeting planners lower their foodprint (click here to learn about foodprint) and deliver a sustainable event.
Meatballerz Green Practices begin with their Packaging
Owners Cara and Cathy Delalla are passionate about the environment and serving eco-friendly eats. Meatballerz has a store-front location and mobile truck serving its multi-generational Italian recipes.
We spoke with Cara, who has a wealth of sustainable knowledge and has spent years educating herself on ways to be eco-friendly. Her passion was ignited when volunteering at her local community center, and since its doors opened, Meatballerz has focused on its carbon footprint. Nearly 90% of their business is "to-go" so how they package their food is critical. For Cara and Cathy, their green practices begin with their packaging.
They use eco-craft and safe-to-the-landfill materials, which means all truck and to-go orders are served in materials made from paper pulp and Gen2 recyclable materials. Every sandwich ordered is wrapped in paper, while dine-in customers are served on reusable materials. You won't find any foil in their trucks, only parchment paper. And when it comes to recycling at their store, which doesn't have weekly service, Cara bundles up all the recyclable waste and drives it home so she can recycle it herself. That's dedication!
A less is more approach applies to the way they order ingredients. They don't do large bulk orders but instead purchase items on an as-needed basis to minimize the amount of unused food resulting in waste. And when preparing any of their delectable recipes, be sure to arrive early or risk missing out. Their sustainable philosophy is to run out of food instead of having leftovers and throwing things away.
Local Green Serving not just Health - but Hope
Zak and Robyn Wallace are the eco-focused entrepreneurs behind Local Green Atlanta. While Local Green's founder, Zak Wallace, is a legend in the Atlanta music scene, he grew up in a food desert, where he experienced an environment plagued with empty calories, high fats, and sky-high sodium levels. As a result, Wallace saw first-hand the effects of food insecurity and how poor eating habits frustrated the health and well-being of his community.
In 2017, he sought to make a difference. Starting with a Local Green Atlanta food truck, Wallace wanted to spread awareness for tasty, fulfilling plant-based cuisine in Atlanta communities. Now, his Vine City restaurant, Local Green Atlanta, continues to spread that message, serving not just health—but hope.
We asked Robyn if sustainability has always been part of Local Green's business model.
"Sustainability is embedded into our brand. We have always used recyclable materials in our packaging, napkins, and straws. One of our goals is to reduce waste by establishing compost containers at the restaurant so that local urban farms can use them for their soil. We also train our staff to utilize all products on our menu."
"There is a cross utilization of items to reduce waste. For instance, the salmon trimmings from our Sterling Salmon Slider are used in our most popular item, the Rappers Delight Salmon Philly. Our brand is big on cross utilization, minimal waste, reducing meat consumption, and focusing on whole minimally processed food to promote a climate-friendly food system."
Sunshine Alchemy is Minimizing their Carbon Footprint in Anyway
Jasmine Beck is the passionate Spiritist responsible for this conscious cocktails and creations truck. Shunning commercially produced, sugar-intensive beverages, Sunshine Alchemy offers plant-based seasonal and thematic drinks and eats using only responsibly sourced and local-when-possible ingredients.
Jasmine shared the steps Sunshine Alchemy takes to minimize its foodprint when serving guests at local festivals, events, and fairs.
"We only use sustainable food containers, cardboard, compostable straws, and compostable forks. Although it is more expensive, I believe the negative impact on the environment, in the long run, will be much more costly if we do not commit to these types of sustainable products in food service."
“We are doing whatever we can to limit our carbon footprint and contribute to the green movement!! Zero waste is an achievable goal in the near future. We also compost all of our food waste that we can. It's a passion as well as a responsibility. Every little bit counts!"
These are just a few examples of our many incredible catering partners offering guests creative and fresh menus that are environmentally conscious. Hosting a green meeting is more than recycling leftover materials in your meeting room. It's selecting eco-friendly catering partners who source food locally, minimize their foodprint, and prepare and serve meals in recyclable materials.