Tag Archives: eco-friendly disposable tableware

What Will We Be Eating in 2015? A Culinary Forecast of Food and Restaurant Trends

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Millett

Ancient grains, smoked, pickled and fermented vegetables, insect foods, vegetable yogurt, hybrid liquors,  healthy kids’ meals with adventurous flavors, and face recognition software in restaurants. These are just a few of the culinary themes and food trends that professionals are predicting we will be seeing in 2015.

MENU TRENDS REFLECT LIFESTYLE CHOICES
Every year the National Restaurant Association predicts food and menu trends in their annual What’s Hot Culinary Forecast.  This year, Local Sourcing, Sustainability, and Nutrition are at the top of the trends for 2015 — yet another example of our food choices naturally following our lifestyle choices. The TOP 3 FOODS (of 20) on the list are locally-sourced meats and seafood (1), locally grown produce (2), and environmental sustainability (3).

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Marathons Are Cleaning Up Their Act

If you are a runner, it’s likely that at some point you will make it your goal to run a marathon. No matter where you live, if you are a runner in search of a race, there’s bound to be one nearby (for a complete list, go to http://www.marathonguide.com). From New York City to Las Vegas to Honolulu and Beirut, there are literally hundreds of marathons to choose from every year. And with that, more energy use, litter and waste than you can possibly conceive.

The New York City Marathon, one of the biggest races of all, is coming up on November 2. Now imagine this: 47,000 people running 26.2 miles through the 5 boroughs of NYC, quickly downing Gatorade and strewing cups, banana peels, and energy bar wrappers along the way. According the NYC officials, following the 2011 marathon, more than 95 tons of litter, 6.53 tons of paper, more than 1,500 pounds of metal, glass and plastic, and over 2 MILLION paper cups were left behind from that single event.

file000716828272While 3 or 4 years ago, it was questionable whether marathons can be green at all, marathons today are setting a new standard, adopting greener practices and making great efforts to reduce their environmental impact.

Race organizers are finding earth-friendly ways to execute races from pre-race planning to post-race clean up. This includes working with caterers, vendors, suppliers, sponsors and expo exhibitors who are committed to reducing waste and emissions and who use only recyclable and compostable products.

One organization that is leading the way to encourage more sustainable approaches to marathons is The Council for Responsible Sport.

Founded in 2007, their vision is a “world where responsibly produced sports events are the norm.” Among other services, they have created a certification process whereby marathons adhere to specific guidelines, earn “credits,”  and are publicly acknowledged for their green efforts.

The Austin Marathon has earned the Silver Certification Award 2 years in a row from the CRS – long recognized at one of the “greenest races in North America.”  Known for the steps they take to reduce their environmental footprint and increase the social impact of the race, they even have a farmers market on-site and use recycled toilet paper in the porta potties.

Here are just a few of the many ways that marathons are reducing their environmental footprint:

  • 100% paperless race registration
  • Using solar-powered generators to provide electricity near the start and finish lines
  • Switching to race apparel made from organic cotton, bamboo and other eco-friendly materials
  • Providing recycling bins for cardboard, paper, plastic
  • Using renewable energy sources at health & fitness expos and post-race parties
  • Encouraging runners and spectators to use public transportation and carpools
  • Supplying compostable water cups for runners and compostable coffee cups/lids for volunteers and spectators
  • Using only biodegradable and compostable plates, cups and utensils at pre-and post-marathon meals
  • Create Waste Free Zones at the start and finish where everything must be reusable or recyclable
  • Enlisting clean up crews to divert race-related waste from going to landfills by recycling and composting

As runners, spectators, vendors, sponsors, suppliers, exhibitors and caterers, if we ALL commit to finding environmentally alternatives, responsibly produced marathons CAN and WILL be “the norm.”

sugarcane-cupsTo see our complete collection of compostable cups, plates and utensils, go to http://www.packnwood.com/

Planning an Event? It’s Time to Go Green

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Having a green event is something that anyone can do — all it takes is a little bit of research and some planning. There are lots of “green party guidelines” available online, or you can always choose to hire a green caterer or environmentally committed party planner to help out. Because events tend to consume so many resources and generate quite a lot of waste, “greening” your next event is a great way to lessen the carbon footprint of your next big (or small) bash.

What IS a green event? It’s an event that is organized with the goal of minimizing waste and promoting sustainable actions.  It’s not just about recycling though — it’s about reducing the amount of resources used, encouraging the reuse of resources, and making sure that materials are properly disposed through recycling or composting as much as possible.

Most of the “standard” ways of planning an event usually do have environmentally preferable alternatives. Some examples might include sending paperless invitations, buying seasonal locally grown food and flowers, using natural or reusable decor, minimizing printed materials, and buying event supplies and tableware that are environmentally friendly.

Here’s something to think about: according to the Green Restaurant Association more than 113 BILLION disposable cups, 29 BILLION disposable plates and 39 BILLION disposable utensils are used in the U.S. each year. Wow.

Using compostable tableware and serving utensils are one of the easiest solutions to going green at your next event. Choices go from simple everyday designs to more stylish options for higher end occasions.

At PacknWood, our extensive range of party and catering supplies make planning your green event much easier. Our catering trays have recycled plastic lids that easily transform the trays into take-out boxes for party leftovers, and our Stylish Sugarcane collection is biodegradable and can be thrown right into the compost heap. And our cornstarch-based disposable utensils are designed to decompose soon after use in a compost bin.

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Here’s another tip: if you choose compostable-ware,  it’s especially important to let people know WHAT IS WHAT, and WHERE TO PUT IT. People are used to throwing items that look like plastic (such as utensils) into recycling bins but compostables cannot be re-processed with regular plastic– they must go in the compost bin. Clearly label the recycling, composting and trash bins to let people know exactly where everything goes.

 

We would love to see pics of your next green event!

NYC Bans Foam Takeout Containers

On June 27th, we talked in our article New York Foam Ban Coming Soon about how NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been taking initiatives to try and make New York City more environmentally friendly by following California action and ban Styrofoam and foam food takeout containers.

Polystyrene foam – referred to as Styrofoam – is a cheap, light and strong material mostly used for takeout food containers. It is however extremely bad for the environment as it not recyclable, mostly ends up in landfills and lives for over 500 years. This is why about a hundred cities – including San Francisco, Seattle and Portland – have already banned foam food containers. In its last legislative session the New York Council also unanimously voted the ban of Styrofoam containers, making NYC the largest city in America to implement such a ban.

This ban is however a compromise for now and will only take effect next year. Why? Opponents of the ban, mostly container manufacturers, say that such a ban will hurt small business who rely on foam for its low cost and won’t be able to afford more Eco-friendly solutions. Dart Container Corporation, one of the largest makers of foam products, spent almost $1 million with the American Chemistry Council to try to block legislation and stop the ban. They managed to get a deadline – January 1rst, 2015 – to prove to the sanitation commissioner that foam can be collected and recycled in an economical way – something that has not been successfully done by any municipality so far. If they can’t prove it by this deadline, the law will take effect in July 2015.

More and more cities are taking the Eco-friendly direction when it comes to food containers and your city might be the next one to implement the ban. Chicago for instance is already also proposing a ban on the containers.

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If your business uses foam products it is time to go ahead of the ban and move on to more Eco-friendly products. If you are nervous that your cost are going to increase dramatically, don’t worry. There are plenty of affordable Eco-friendly options that you can take a look at. Not only your customers will love your new Green image, but your image will also get better, allowing you to slightly increase your prices and cover the pricing difference.

One of the most economical Eco-friendly option you can go for is of course sugarcane.

Light, resistant and cheap, sugarcane product also have a very upscale image and are 100% compostable.

Take a look at our sugarcane products at www.packnwood.com and take your first step towards sustainability! 

Eco-Friendly Superbowl Party Tips

You know it, the Super Bowl is coming up. Everyone is talking about it and it is the perfect opportunity for you to host a great party and have your favorite people coming over for the day. If you are planning on hosting a party, here are a couple of tips about how to do it successfully.

football-3-585061-mFirst of all, forget the “football fans only” party. The Super Bowl is pretty much an excuse to get together, have a few drinks and enjoy each other, it is not only about football. Don’t forget about those friends who know nothing about football but will make the party more fun! Invite your family, your friends, and your colleagues… anyone you feel like hanging out with!

Once you are done with the invites, it is time for you to get your place ready and set everything up. Clean a little, set up several screens if you can – especially if you are having a lot of people over – set up your furniture and make sure everyone will be able to sit down and see the screens… You can also decorate your place with teams’ colors to set the mood. You are almost ready!

Besides the actual game, the most important thing is… YES, the food and the drinks! You don’t want a bunch of hungry football fans on a Super Bowl Sunday, so you have to make sure you have plenty of snacks and drinks – alcoholic and non-alcoholic – to please all of your guests. Wings, onion rings, nachos, sliders… Possibilities are endless and your only job is to make sure you serve everything in appropriate tableware. Because it is already a lot of work to have people over, you want to make it as easy as possible to clean everything up after the party. That is where disposable plates and dishes come in handy.

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But before going for disposables, you have to think about the environment and make sure you pick Eco-friendly ones. Biodegradable, compostable or at least recyclable, you thankfully have plenty of great options to make your life easier while still respecting the environment. Go for sugarcane plates, palm leaf dishes or bamboo cutlery and stay green even when enjoying football.

One last thing, think about recycling and set up different trash cans to incite your guests to be careful and mindful about it. It’ll also make the cleanup easier when the party is over!

Check out all of our Eco-friendly products at www.packnwood.com