Blog Post A: Home and Catering Audit

Attempting to do my part for the planet, this post explores my first and very own home waste audit. Covering the duration of a 24 hour period, this experiment provided me with explicit details in how much waste my household generates and how far a kitchen compost bin assists in reducing this.

Using my given compost bin for the first time on Sunday, I was forced to bin a quarter of a punnet of strawberries that I had discovered were already mouldy. Adding to this were remaining strawberry tops that my family had eaten with pancakes. Further thrown on top were crushed egg shells used to make the pancakes. My tea bag was later discarded along with excess coffee grounds left behind by my parents. Binned in our non-recycables were dairy products such as cream and butter scraps as well as bread crusts and various packaging.

As a family, we finished off a tofu stir fry from the night before for lunch today, later adding half a cup of rice along with leftover corn and tofu. My brother ordered a pizza for himself, however he refuses to eat the crusts. With a handful of crusts remaining in his pizza box, l later discarded them to our non-recyclables, along with plastic take-away containers and the greasy pizza box.

For afternoon tea I snacked on an apple and added the core to the compost bin. My mum also ate a banana and I encouraged her to also throw the skin away for compost. Both my brother and dad had salad sandwiches that besides some excess grated cheese, were for the most-part finished. Remaining cheese waste was thrown into our regular bin.

Our BBQ dinner contained plenty of excess that was easily compostable. Corn cobs and salad as well as carrot and potato peels were among the waste left behind. Thrown into our non-recycable bin was meat waste including bones, fat, gristle, skin and other various scraps. Similar to breakfast, we also discarded packaging from dinner.

home audits

Attending a catered canapé event as part of “Wealth from Waste,” I closely analysed both the inputs and outputs of the organised experience. I narrowed the catering down to four main themes: the space, equipment/staff, guests and food preparations.

The inputs involved in the space included organising the venue hire as well as providing fridges, ovens, a bar and work surfaces. The outputs of this contain the removal of bench and bar space clutter, cleaning the fridges and ovens along with ensuring the venue is returned to its original state.

Equipment and staff stands as an important element to this event. Organisers must ensure they have sufficient service, covering bartenders, waiters and chefs. Decorations, serving dishes, plates and glassware are among the equipment that was necessary for hire. Important outputs are also involved in equipment and staff hire. Services must be paid for, equipment is cleaned and packed away and hired cleaners are responsible for the removal of food waste and the venues cleanliness.

Guests’ input into the event across invitation, promotion and guest lists. Determining specific allergies that must be brought to attention, their output involves the thanking of guests along with gaining their feedback of the event in order to improve and make changes for future experiences.

Food preparation is an essential and central element to both the input and output process of any catered event. Canapés included vegan gardens and rice paper roll finger food. The leftovers of both options were able to be composted at the conclusion of the event. Refrigeration of remaining bottles as well as the washing away of any remaining drink left in glasses would also be required. The input of food towards the event includes its preparation in advance along with a time plan and food safety knowledge. Once organising a set menu, caterers must work out accurate numbers while catering for less than expected to avoid excess waste.

canape audit

References:

Clean Up Event Guide. (2017). 1st ed. [ebook] Sydney: Clean Up the World Pty Limited. Available at: http://www.cleanuptheworld.org/files/cuw10_eventguide_en.pdf [Accessed 5 Apr. 2017].

Conserve Energy Future. (2017). How To Conduct A Household Waste Audit – Conserve Energy Future. [online] Available at: http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/how-to-conduct-a-household-waste-audit.php [Accessed 5 Apr. 2017].

Cortesia Sanctuary, P. (2017). How to Compost Food Scraps. [online] Homecompostingmadeeasy.com. Available at: http://www.homecompostingmadeeasy.com/foodscraps.html [Accessed 5 Apr. 2017].

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