Five tips for a sustainable bar
Last summer, we started thinking more about our practices and the ways that we, as a company, are having an impact on the environment. We know that there is a great deal of waste generated in the food and beverage industry, and in large events especially.
To help reduce our impact we started with what we know the best – the bar! Here are a few of the things we changed in our own practices, including tips for how you can green up your bar service.
Reusable or compostable
The first step was eliminating or reducing as much single-use plastic as we could from the bar. The best way to do this is to incorporate reusable glassware whenever possible. However, we also recognized that availability for glass was dependent on the venue and sometimes the caterer. Our second-best option was to switch to compostable glasses. Compostable glasses typically break down in 90 days or so, compared to hundreds of years for plastic. No brainer!
Ditch the Straws
According to an article by Kate Bratskeir, in the US alone, over 500 million straws are used every day. Another simple way to reduce waste is to get rid of straws. There are new fantastic stainless steel reusable straws for personal use, but that doesn’t necessarily work in an event setting. In most of our cocktails, we simply use our stir spoon and present a ready to drink cocktail!
Make the Most of Ingredients
Greening the bar means also focusing on what goes in the glass. For cocktails, we often need fresh fruit and herbs. But, a lot of recipes call for only a portion of those ingredients, such as the zest of a lemon or the peel of an orange. This can lead to a lot of unused food waste at the bar. One way we combat this is by advising our clients to select only one or two specialty cocktails, which allows us to minimize the number of ingredients we are working with. Then, we also consider our full menu of drinks and how the ingredients can work together. For instance, if we are using the peel of orange for an old fashioned, we might pair that with a cocktail that uses the juice of the orange like a Campari Cosmo. (note I like this and try to use it in practice)
Eliminating plastic water bottles from the bar is another great way to reduce waste. All you need is a dispensable water container and the same reusable or compostable glasses that you are serving cocktails in. If your caterer doesn’t provide these, we can! This also provides the opportunity for your guests who don’t drink to have a yummy fruit/herb infused beverage. Just ask us if you want some fun recommendations!
Closing the Loop
At the end of the night when it’s time to pick up, the bar is when all of our green practices come together. It’s been great to see so many new venues and catering companies starting to provide composting service. We make sure that all waste is segregated at any venue that offers this service.
These are a few small steps that Party on the Rocks has made so far, and we continue to look for new ways to reduce the resources we use and the waste we generate. We are also thrilled to see the wedding and event industry also moving in this direction. What are your best tips for