It’s no secret that climate change and other environmental issues are some of the greatest challenges we currently face. It’s heartbreaking seeing the effects of our negative practices on the world and its wildlife. That’s why it’s so encouraging to see how for many of us, sustainability is becoming a way of life. In ways big and small, I always try to keep the impact I have on the environment at the forefront of my mind. For example, I’ve made a number of changes at home, like moving to eco-friendly cleaning products, using less plastic, and buying organic beauty products. I also recently ditched the diesel and am now the proud owner of a new hybrid car! As a small business owner, I also take my responsibility seriously in leading positive change. The food industry, especially, is in a position to have a significant effect on the environment. That’s why it’s been so important to me to make sustainability part of my wedding catering business.
If you’re in the midst of planning a special event, you may be wondering how to keep your carbon footprint small. Or perhaps you’re planning a ‘green wedding’, with a major focus on sustainability? One of the best ways to do this is to work with suppliers who share your values and have made sustainability part of their business. I wanted to share a few of the ways that I have done (and continue to do!) this with The Curated Kitchen.
Since food is the most important part of wedding catering, the obvious place to start is how I choose my suppliers. This applies not only to elements like fruit and vegetables that I always include on my feasting tables, but to ingredients too. All the extras like relishes and dips I serve are homemade, so it’s important to me to know where every ingredient comes from, and to make green procurement decisions.
Locally sourced produce
The best place to start is by sourcing produce locally (and seasonally!). It’s a simple concept: food that doesn’t have to travel a long distance to get to your event has a smaller carbon footprint. Wherever possible, I source produce for my curated grazing tables from local producers, like the delicious Sussex brie and Surrey honeycomb combination that always goes down a treat with guests! It also means a lot to me to contribute to the local community.
Another procurement choice I make is to source from organic producers wherever feasible. While ‘organic’ and ‘sustainable’ are both buzzwords, they don’t mean the same thing. However, organic farming contributes to sustainability because it rebuilds soil health, creates greater biodiversity, releases fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and doesn’t rely on non-renewable fertilizers and pesticides. The best part is that you can really taste the difference!
Freshly picked ingredients
Yet another way I try to make my ingredients as environmentally-friendly as possible is by growing some of them myself, and foraging for others. I’m not the most green-fingered, unfortunately, but my veggie garden is a work in progress! I also love adding homegrown edible flowers to my grazing tables.
Reducing food waste is the other essential piece of the puzzle for me. That’s why at home and in the business I have made a concerted effort to reduce the amount of waste that we produce. I do this through practices like carefully tracking my inventory, repurposing overripe produce into sauces and preserves, and carefully composting and recycling. If you’re planning an eco-friendly wedding, then just choosing grazing tables can help lessen food waste, as guests are given the opportunity to serve themselves only as much as they want. Food left on plates often ends up in landfill, and can generate methane as it decomposes, so these smaller portions really do make a difference!
While I’ve made steps to increase sustainability in my wedding catering business, I believe this is an ongoing process. I’m always looking for more opportunities to adopt new eco-friendly practices. If you have any suggestions to share, I would love to hear from you!
If you’re looking for a green wedding caterer in Surrey and surrounding areas, who shares your commitment to being kind to the environment, do get in touch! I also have vegetarian and vegan options available.
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