Everyone loves free meeting leftovers.

Eco-friendly ways to cut back on catering waste

Catering is the perfect way to spice up a team event or mid-day meeting. However, it's easy for catering to be inadvertently wasteful. Here are a few ways you can reduce your lunch's impact on the environment:

Share the leftovers
Sometimes you might overestimate how much food a group needs. While that is, in many ways, better than underestimating, it does mean you can end up with a fair bit of food left over. If that's the case, don't throw it out – instead, set it in your office kitchen or break room. Spread the news – either by email or word of mouth – that there is some free food available. It won't be there for long! 

Skip the utensils
Disposable utensils are a huge source of waste. If you can, skip the utensils. You'll only be able to do this if you have washable cutlery in your office. If that's the case, try to find a small group of volunteers willing to handle cleanup after the meeting or event. If you don't have your own forks and knives on hand, try to get finger-friendly food. This way, you might not need to stock utensils at all! 

"No one wants someone else's half-eaten entree."

Go for a platter
Finally, a quick and easy way to cut down on waste is to go for a platter rather than ordering individual dishes. When you have everyone order individual meals, you're bound to end up with food waste. When people finish a meal for one, they just toss the leftovers – after all, no one wants someone else's half-eaten entree. If you have a large dish of food for everyone to pick from, people can eat based on their appetite. Once everyone's done, you can put the leftovers away for another day or set them out for someone else. 

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