Food Waste Event Planning: Don't forget the leftover food!

Published on July 16th, 2014 | by Becky Striepe

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Event Planning: Don’t forget the leftover food!

by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

Event Planning: Don't forget the leftover food!

Whether we’re talking event planning for a wedding or party or a large conference, there’s a huge opportunity to reduce food waste!

Been to a wedding this summer? A family reunion? These events feature food… often lots of it. In fact, often more food than the attendees can possibly eat in one sitting. What happens to that leftover food after the last guest leaves? Does it go in the fridge… or the trash?

Abundance is a good thing… until it becomes wasteful.

And, as we’ve pointed out many, many times in the past, our abundance of food in this country leads to a lot of waste. 40% of the food we produce gets wasted along the way from farm to table. While most of us feel confident to handle the leftovers from a single family meal, the leftover food from event planning can feel overwhelming… and the trash can or dumpster may seem like the quickest way to relieve that anxiety.

User Jelena Woehr at GOOD threw out this concept as an opportunity for all of us to “do GOOD.” She shared her own effort to cut the waste from an event she attended by making a casserole from savory leftovers, and sharing boxes of donuts with her apartment building (which went over really well).

How can we make better use of the leftovers that inevitably come with a celebration? Jeff McIntire-Strasburg at Sustainablog has some great ideas! Head over there to nab Jeff’s event planning suggestions!

Image Credit: Buffet photo via Shutterstock





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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • jelenawoehr

    Oh hi! This came up in my Google Alerts for my name. What a cool surprise to see Eat Drink Better spreading this idea! Half the food grown in the United States is never consumed. If we can end or greatly reduce food waste, we could also end hunger.

    • http://glueandglitter.com/main Becky Striepe

      We are so happy to spread the word! We talk a lot in this space about food waste on a personal and industrial level, but we often overlook this sort of mid-level food waste. There’s so much potential here!

  • Jane Ruggiero

    I just wanted to say I like the article on leftovers, I use all my leftovers in some fashion or another.

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