This post is about how I managed to achieve a zero waste event. As I see it, a zero waste event should not have anything going to the land fill, municipal dustbin or even end up in our cupboards as a dead investment. If you aspire to have a zero waste event, read on.
We (husband and I) had our annual office puja on the first day of Navaratri. Since both of us are busy with our work all year round and don’t have any significant office events, we decided to have a slightly larger party and invite our family and friends.
We had about 50 people, including our staff, building support staff, friends and family.
Here is what I did.
1. I decided to do away with disposable plates , glasses and spoons. All that waste never gets recycled, even if someone claimed it does, there is no sure shot way of making sure it does.
2. Banana leaves for serving food was my first option. But, it needs to guests to sit down and I dont have that kinda space. Also, I don’t have a set up to compost that big pile. I would have to have the municipal guys pick it and it will end up in a landfill. Bad idea!!
3. So I decided to rent the dinner ware from a tent houses. We paid as little as 3 bucks as rent per plate and a tiny insignificant amount for spoons. They did not have glasses to rent out, and I had to make other arrangements.
4. At first I thought I will invest in a few dozens of glasses, but i wouldn’t be using them for the rest of the year. We are an office so everyone has a bottle for themselves, so we collected, cleaned and filled all bottles, rented a couple of jugs and took all the glasses that were at home. Surprisingly no one seemed to mind drinking from a bottle directly.
5. The caterer brought the food in a large size carriers. We arranged them like a buffet and served people exactly what they wanted and how much they wanted. No “Typical Indian” khathirdaari (read force feeding).
6. One beautiful family member volunteered to distribute the leftover food to laborers at construction sites. She even rushed back home and brought all restaurant takeout boxes she found in sight. All the leftovers were taken care of, no wastage there.
7. We collected all the food waste from all plates into a bag. We washed all the plates in a bucket of soapy water and sent them back to the tent house.
8. We had about 1 to 1.5 kgs of wet waste from the leftovers in the plates which came back home with me and went into my compost bin.
Yooohoooo…. Zero Waste event it was!!!
Something that I am super proud of, and something that gave a huge boost of confidence.