Trinity Lutheran Church Lutefisk Dinner

Event Overview
Location (City/Venue)
Long Lake Trinity Lutheran Church
Number of Attendees
Date of Event
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Organization Hosting Event
Trinity Lutheran Church
Brief Background on Event
We serve about 500 lutefisk lovers at this event. We just built a new Great Hall but have not finished the kitchen with a dishwasher so had to use disposable serving ware. Out goal was to make all trash on table compostable and we used real silverware because that was manageable to wash.
Food Practices
Required safe food handling practices
Used good menu planning and portion control to reduce waste
Implemented a food waste recovery initiative (food to hogs, composting, etc.)
Tried to get local and organic but no organic lutefisk and certainly not local. We bought bulk food when possible. This saved on waste.
Waste & Recycling
Waste Management Methods Used
Organics Management (food/paper waste composting, food to hogs, food donation, etc.)
Additional Info
We had 21 large bages of waste. Only 1 bag was trash, the rest was compostable. We had some jars and cardboard that was recycled. This was amazing: 1 bag of trash for the entire event!
Waste Reduction
Waste Reduction Methods Used
Use of reusable plates, silverware, and linene

Washing silverware is not a big deal. We used glass/ceramic cups/glasses until they ran out and we couldn't keep up , then switched to compostable cups. Note: the corn based cups didn't work with warm rommegrot -they melted. We switched to a paper cup.

Resource and Energy Use
Energy Reduction Methods Used
Use of energy efficient lighting
Volume of waste diverted from trash through recycling/organics collection
20 giant bags composted and 1 bag of trash versus 21 bags of trash.
Cost savings experienced from implementing green initiatives
It cost a little more to buy disposables in corn but not much more.
Please describe any other known environmental benefits from sustainability initiatives at your event
We placed centerpiece cards on the table educating people why we were using corn based plates/bowls/cups. They seemed to be very OK with us going green for this event. Certainly real plates, etc. would have been nicer but not practical for our venue. I think a lot of people were impressed that if an event that large could go green, they could do it in their daily lives.
What has been your biggest success in terms of green initiatives at your event?
The great thing is that our church has adopted many green ways since instituting these changes in one event. We now do organics recycling all the time, have reduced the purchase of bottled beverages, recycling bins are everywhere. A key message for church goers is that we are all called to be stewards of the earth so this is enough reason to be green.
What has been your biggest challenge in terms of green initiatives at your event?
Getting the adults to sort their organics. Kids get it readily because they do it at school. The adults seem to have a harder time learning.
How were the green initiatives received by event attendees and/or vendors?
Really well.
Will you plan to implement green initiatives again?