For St. Patty's day I hope everyone wears green and buys vintage goodies but also things on this. Each of us can take a tiny step towards going greener. Many of attend St. Patty's day fairs, or festivals. Nothing like getting out for the day at the local parade.
An inspiration to me is Big Fat Daddy's (pit beef and barbecue caterer) who sells food to the masses at fairs and festivals from Virginia to Massachusetts. They have a GREEN PLEDGE and I think it's just grand. They are making efforts to go greener in their day to day activities. If you take into consideration they may serve hundreds to thousands of customers, this small effort adds up.
Imagine all the trash you see at festivals. If you have taken hubby and kids to a fair, chances are you purchase food there. Let's say just one of you has a drink, fries and a hot dog. Chances are you have a waxed up, plastic lid, plastic straw, some foil and paper wrappers or plates and serving utensils. Not to mention, you have PC packets of ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise to throw away.
Big Fat Daddy's does not put their ketchup or mustard in packets which cuts down a lot on waste. You squeeze your ketchup or mustard out of a bottle, consuming as much as you'd like. Wayne Schafer says, "The average person will take about 8 PC (individual serving) packets, the wrapping of which are plastic. They are easily left all over seating areas or on the ground. The waste alone is ridiculous. Mayonnaise is a bi harder to deal with as if you don't use the packet it must be kept on ice, so we try not to have mayo--especially on hot days. The packets are approved by the health department but we have seen them get really nasty. If customers want it we can slap it on from the back where it's kept cold in a cambro. "
|Img: Go Green Starfish|
It's small strides towards greener living. They also don't serve drinks in waxed cups, if you order a soda you will get a recyclable bottle or can. This is so you can find the recycling can at the fair or festival and recycle your product. Their lemonade comes in cups that are usually plastic if the fair recycles them in the recycle bin. Schafer says, "We try to serve the lemonade in those cups made of corn, so if you toss them out they will wither away and decompose into nothing anyways, they cost us more but overall we do what we can for the environment." They don't use lids which may bring customer complaints but Schafer says, "On a hot day you are sucking down the lemonade and it's gone quickly. Why would I want to give you plastic lids and straws when it's just more waste. To you it's three minutes of convenience but to the Earth it's a decade of decomp...."
There may still be wrappers but Big Fat Daddy's says they try to use compatible when they can. "We have a fine line between safety and going greener. A lot of hot sandwiches served in paper thing corn paper may burn a customer so we are stuck with foil---we are advising customers to urge the fairs and festivals to recycle foil wrappers too." As it stands right now, some districts do, but some don't.
If a big food vendor can go greener why can't the average consumer? Here are a few ways you can help this year or any year when visiting your St. Patty's day parade or fair:
- At the fair, urge the board to have recyclable containers set up for bottles, cans and the like! Send a message to the local fair board to make sure this is in place.
- Eat at places that have bottles or cans and not waxed cups with straws and lids.
- If you are a beer drinker and attend a St Patty's day parade, urge the fair to have their beer vendors serving in plastic cups that are coded to be recycled by the township, or urge them to use corn cups which can be trash-tossed and biodegradable.
- At home, try to recycle as much as you can! Most counties offer recycling or single stream recycling where you can have one bin in the kitchen for cans, paper, glass bottles and plastics. Not only does this cut down on what you put out at trash night but you are doing something grand for the environment.