By now you know that serving food in bulk saves money and the environment.  Caterers we work with estimate the savings to be between 50% and 60% for serving bulk condiments instead of individually packaged. 

What happens if you need to serve box lunches?  Sometimes it is just a necessity, but there are always options.  Start by coming up with a creative way to replace the container.  One event employed sponsored carpenters aprons for a container. Another had all the items out on a banquet table with bags available if needed, but most people just grabbed a sandwich and an apple and off they went.

Try to steer away from as much individual packaging as possible. Set out the sandwiches on a buffet and have participants select their sandwich, put mustard, mayo, etc. on them before wrapping them up.  The bonus for guests, is they get to have only their favorite condiments.   Cookies and whole fruit don’t require packaging and also don’t require utensils.

You get the idea, now meet with the chef and get creative.  Ask the caterer to pass along some of the savings by lowering the cost of the meal.

Excerpt from Saving Green by Going Green