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In Your Business

Reduce Your Waste… In Your Business…

1. Concerned about donating food? The Good Samaritan Food Donation Act covers businesses from liability when donating to a nonprofit. Feed families, not dumpsters by donating today.

2. Start a bargain bin for soon-to-expire or cosmetically imperfect goods.

3. Create baked goods or preserves from used bruised fruits or vegetables. That bruised banana will taste delicious in a banana bread to share with coworkers! Amazing companies, like Rubies in the Rubble, put cosmetically imperfect food to use in yummy jams, chutneys, and sauces.

4. Compost food scraps or donate them to local farmers to feed animals.

5. Monitor your waste with Lean Path, an automated tracking system that has helped their customers save money and cut up to 80 percent of their food waste.

6. Run Zero Waste Events. The checklist below from Sustainable Event Management: A Practical Guide by Meegan Jones has some great tips for avoiding or reducing food waste at your event.

Food service:

  • Serve less food. At conferences do people really want to be stuffed full?!
  • Avoid over catering. Accurately estimate the volume of food required considering the number of attendees, the event type and timing of activities or breaks.
  • Accurately brief caterers & food stalls. Communicate honestly the likely event attendance to caterers and food vendors.
  • Don’t overbook. Ensure you don’t book too many food stallholders considering the likely event attendance.
  • Attendee uptake. Understand if attendees may bring their own food and adjust communications and logistics accordingly. Ensure an even spread of types of food options that are likely to appeal to your attendees, so that no individual food stallholders are less attended that others, leading to food waste.
  • Pricing. Ensure pricing of food does not lead to lower sales volumes than anticipated.
  • Communicate. Inform attendees what food will be available and at what price. Ask for dietary requirements in advance to reduce wastage and satisfy attendees.
  • Food Salvage Planning. Have a food salvage/re-distribution program in place. Request caterers do not uncover/open/serve all food at once, so that if over supply has occurred, the perishable food has been handled correctly for donation to food salvage programmes.

Food Serviceware:

  • Reusables. Use washable & reusable crockery and cutlery rather than single-use disposables.
  • Reduce packaging. If it must be served in disposables, go for less-waste options such as a serviette rather than paper plate for ‘finger foods’. Serve pizzas on trays not in pizza boxes, don’t put lids on cups and take-outs if they will be consumed immediately.
  • Avoid landfilling of disposable serviceware. Use disposables that can be recycled or composted.
  • Bulk it up. Use bulk dispensing for condiments, rather than single serve sachets or sauces poured into little containers. Encourage caterers and food vendors to purchase their ingredients in bulk. Using large 2 litre cans rather than lots of small cans for example.
  • Take back the tap. Provide tap water and water refill stations, not bottled water.
  • Reduce boxes. Encourage caterers and food vendors to receive their fresh produce in re-usable boxes, rather than single use disposables such as foam boxes. There are many services available that have take-back/exchange for delivery boxes
  • Cleaning. Use washable cleaning cloths rather than paper towel disposables


Share your tips and learn more on Food Shift’s facebook page.

Read other tips about reducing food waste at home, at the market, in your school, eating out,  and why all of this matters.