The 51st annual Earth Day celebration takes place this Thursday, and many noncommercial operators are hosting fun events for their guests. Here are six ways that dining teams are promoting planet-friendly efforts this week.
1. Tree-inspired dishes
Metz Culinary Management will be offering guests at its healthcare, higher education and other accounts tree-inspired recipes in honor of Earth Day. Diners will be able to enjoy a variety of dishes made with produce that grows on trees, such as banana-stuffed French toast, lemon-ginger poached salmon, sour orange mojo braised brisket and more.
2. Earth Day bingo
Students at Minneapolis Public Schools will get to celebrate at home this year with Earth Day bingo. The district’s culinary and wellness service team will be posting a bingo card on its website and social media channels for students to print at home. The bingo cards feature 24 different sustainability activities that students can do with their families.
3. Plant-forward recipes
The Seminole Dining team at Florida State University in Tallahassee has been honoring Earth Day all month with various activities for students. The team, which is managed by Aramark, kicked off the month with a “Don’t Be a Fool’s Day” celebration that highlighted Seminole Dining’s sustainability initiatives. The first 100 students to sign an Earth Month pledge board also received sustainability kits.
Later in the month, the team set up a lemonade stand at the school’s organic garden and also partnered with acai company Sambazon to host a build-your-own acai bowl event. The celebrations will wrap up this week with a plant-forward menu being served at the school’s Suwannee Room all week long.
4. Earth Day activity kits
Students at Norwood Public Schools in Norwood, Mass., have been learning about ways to reduce food waste at home throughout the school year. The nutrition team, managed by Chartwells K-12, is celebrating Earth Day by hosting a sustainability week held over students’ spring break. Students will receive activity kits to take home with them, which include information on the food that ends up in landfills and how they can make their own compost box and plant vegetables at home.
5. A locally sourced farmers market
The dining team at Elon University in Elon, N.C., will be celebrating Earth Day with an outdoor farmers market for students and faculty. The market will include over 10 booths with locally sourced products from farmers and vendors such as gelato and kombucha.
6. Seed packets and 'dirt cups'
The foodservice team at Canonsburg Hospital in Canonsburg, Pa., managed by Cura Hospitality, is handing out packages of seeds to customers this week. The team is also promoting its composting efforts throughout its cafe and is offering a “dirt” pudding cup for dessert.