4 Ways to Take a Bite out of Food Waste
Written by Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort
Every plate that’s scraped equals money in the trash and a heavier carbon footprint. Food waste is a subconscious act, but the effects are detrimental to the vulnerable Caribbean.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 28% of food loss occurs at the consumer level, which equates to food waste. Hotels and restaurants throughout the Caribbean can begin curbing this immediately. Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort of Aruba, named by Green Globe as the “World’s Most Sustainable Hotel/Resort,” shares these easy-to-implement, low-cost solutions that can instantly reduce F&B expenses, energy consumption, vendor needs, labor hours and resulting pollution.
- Reduce Food Portions. Huge portion sizes can lead to tremendous waste as many guests are unable to consume everything. It also means higher operating expenses and takes up valuable landfill space. Monitor unconsumed food and alter portions accordingly. In early 2016, Bucuti & Tara revised its portion sizes after tracking that an average of 30% of food was discarded. Consumers now appreciate more manageable servings and the resort has even seen an increase in appetizer and dessert sales providing a more complete dining experience. Additionally, with decreased portion sizes, the resort immediately lightened its carbon footprint.
- Be a Good Neighbor. As of January 2017, according to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, 34 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean still suffer from hunger. Help make the difference by providing meals and donating unused food items to local food banks and shelters. Bucuti & Tara further curbs food waste by sending it to local Aruban farmers for their animals, which helps reduce pollution while also saving farmers the expense of sourcing feed.
- Solve Community Issues. The invasive Lionfish is destroying the delicate coral reefs throughout the Caribbean. Aruba’s hoteliers and restaurateurs teamed up with an island fishery to help eradicate the destructive species, by featuring the tasty fish on menus. Bucuti & Tara offers Lionfish ceviche that’s popular with guests.
- Source Locally. Celebrating differences is what keeps the Caribbean special. Studies show that Millennials make vacation choices based on where the experience is most authentic, including dining. Instead of elaborate buffets showcasing favorites from home, consider more specialized à la carte offerings. Sourcing locally also builds community, decreases import taxes and lessens environmental impact.
One small step is all it takes to begin making a huge difference. Save money, protect the environment and provide a satisfying sustainable tourism experience while reducing food waste.