Most people agree that it’s important to reduce your carbon footprint when possible. Most people also think that it requires drastic lifestyle changes to do less environmental harm. Wrong. If you’re wondering how you can make your catering company green, all you have to do is consider the following seven simple changes.

Minimal Packaging

Of course, some packaging will be necessary for the food. Just use reusable containers when you can. To reduce packaging, you can reduce the number of bottled drinks. Plastic, disposable water bottles aren’t a green option. Provide beverages in reusable glasses instead. Beware of condiments. Try to avoid catering individually packaged options. Instead, bring large bottles of ketchup or communal salt and pepper shakers. This will reduce waste from wrappers.

Sustainable Food Choices

If your catering company will be preparing vegetables for an event, consider using produce that is in-season. When farmers grow vegetables in an inappropriate season, they need more resources to sustain the growth. Locally grown foods are beneficial because they eliminate some of the greenhouse gas emissions from food transportation.

Reusable Resources

Reusable dishes and utensils rather than disposable ones will reduce waste dramatically. Though cleaning reusable resources requires energy, it’s a greener approach than throwing away large amounts of paper and plastic. Also provide reusable napkins and tablecloths. When you distribute paper alternatives, you’ll need new ones for each event you cater to. In time, this buildup of waste will be detrimental to the environment.

Reduce Paper

Besides avoiding paper napkins and tablecloths, you can avoid printing unnecessary papers. For example, every guest doesn’t need a printed menu. If you want guests to be aware of their culinary selections, you can rely on digital options. Consider getting a list of guests’ email addresses and sending out the menu. Otherwise, you can consider creating a special web page for the event with your menu on it. People can access these alternatives from their smartphones on the day of the event.

Count Guests

When you have an accurate guest count, you can better predict the amount of food that will be necessary for the event. When you only have an approximate number, it’s more likely that food will be wasted. If you do have an excessive amount of leftover food, consider donating the food to charities so it is not merely thrown away.

Conserve Energy

As a caterer, it’s no surprise that you’ll need access to electricity and water. You can reduce your environmental harm if you turn off appliances, lights, and water when it’s not necessary that they’re on. At the end of the event, make sure that all the resources you used are off and unplugged. If you leave the venue without turning them off, it might be a while before another staff member notices.

Clearly Labeled Recycle Bins

You can ask the venue where you will be catering to provide labeled recycle bins. You can also consider having your company provide them. Guests will be more likely to do their part in being environmentally friendly when they have these obvious resources than if waste containers are scarce and unlabeled.