“In the past decade, we’ve witnessed a stunning transition as corporate social responsibility evolved from a nice-to-have silo to a fundamental strategic priority for businesses large and small. “ – Forbes, 2017. At Charleston Wine + Food (CHSWFF), we believe that this trend stemmed from good people hoping to leave a positive, lasting impact on future generations. Some companies use their influence to support specific foundations, or advocate volunteer time to help those in need. Others enable positive change through food, combating poverty on a local/regional level. For other groups, climate change and sustainability have become an increasingly important initiative.
Companies and people alike are taking steps to reduce the amount of waste they produce and change the impact they have on the planet. In an attempt to join the global movement of going green, CHSWFF is taking a step back and looking at how we can provide a more eco friendly experience.
Event Director, Ali Bechtel, recently took time to talk to me about how CHSWFF is working to be more eco friendly during the 2018 festival, and it seems like we have found several ways to make our festival more environmentally friendly. We’ve developed a great relationship with VerTerra, a company that specializes in sustainable dinnerware, to supply compostable serving dishes and utensils. In the Culinary Village we also have “weigh stations,” or strategically positioned areas for all guests to throw out trash, recycling and compost in separate bins. Throughout the festival local, regional, national and international chefs are encouraged to use reusable or compostable materials and have compost bins at their workstations as well.
“Ultimately, CHSWFF hopes to inspire those at the festival and other festivals to have a great time, enjoying fantastic drinks, phenomenal food and all the while, become more eco friendly,” says Bechtel. “We’ve been inspired by progressive and sustainably-minded cities like Vancouver and Denver, and plan to work with the city + county of Charleston to create a sustainable festival guide for similar events of our scope to plan responsibly. This guide will likely include a list of local resources, insight into intuitive directional signage and how to communicate your efforts at scale.
For those who have tickets to our Culinary Village, this year we ask that while you enjoy all that the Village has to offer, and look out for our stations and the signs so you can toss your waste appropriately. If you have any questions our team members at the Village are more than willing to help!
Through working with the city, county and all those who make our festival possible (chefs, staff, attendees, etc), CHSWFF is looking to pave a more sustainable path for future festivals and leave our mark by not only connecting others, and sharing stories between sips of wine and bites of heart-filled cuisine, but through inspiring those around us to continue making a difference whenever we can.