Wedding and Event Planning company, Main Event Caterers, announced today they were the first such company in the Washington DC area to use aquaponic farming. This move underscores the company’s efforts in sustainable business operations, by ensuring more of the food the company serves at catered events is locally grown, and organic.
Aquaponics is part of the growing urban farming movement, and involves a closed-loop system of aquaculture (fish farming in tanks) and hydroponics (soil-less growing of plants in water tanks). The fish and plants grow together in the same water, with fish ensuring the water is, um, nutrient rich. The plants play a role of absorbing the nutrients, and purifying the water the fish are living in. This creates a mutually supportive environment between the fish and plants, allowing both to thrive.
“Less water and fertilizer use, the ability to grow a large volume of crops in a small space, and the value of our clients knowing exactly where their food comes from are just a few of the benefits we’ve experienced,” says Joel Thevoz, CEO of Main Event Caterers.
Aquaponics significantly reduces water use for growing both plants and farmed fish. Plants grown this way may grow faster, or produce healthier fruits and vegetables. There is no need to dispose of fish waste because, well, it serves as the food for the plants. However aquaponics systems do require a greenhouse and significant electricity consumption.
As a wedding and event caterer, Main Event Caterers serves a lot of food. Indeed the background of the company’s website shows names of all kinds of food. The company already uses natural and sustainable sources of meats and seafood, and by growing food in their own aquaponics facility the company is taking it to the next level.
The company also purchases renewable energy credits to cover all electricity consumption, operate a zero carbon vehicle fleet through purchasing credits from Terrapass, strives to recycle everything used at events the company caters, and educates clients, staff and suppliers on the importance of these efforts. While some of these claims are close to greenwashing, it is the sign of a company honestly pursuing sustainability goals while still taking care of business.
“Our commitment to sustainable initiatives runs deep,” said Nancy Goodman, Co-Founder of Main Event Caterers. “Everything we do within our daily operations is motivated by our dedication to protect and preserve the environment while providing an entirely green experience to our clients.”
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