When Nourish first started, I hadn’t seen much of the inside of a commercial kitchen. I’d spent the five previous years working as a Personal Chef for families all over Mecklenburg County, buying produce in family-meal sizes, with the occasional party-sized carload. During the exponential growth we experienced the year we launched, something kept nagging at the back of my mind: “ Wow, that is a LOT of trash!” Grocery store bags, plastic packages from anything store-bought, piles of #10 cans, and gorgeous, organic vegetable scraps going into a dumpster seemed like such a waste.
So we started whittling away at the pile, and are now incredibly proud to say we produce less refuse than 90% of kitchens nationwide (scaled to volume). We compost everything. Cardboard boxes, paper cartons, paper towels, and of course, two hundred pounds (or more!) of veggie scraps every week, donating them to a local farm that turns around and makes them into loamy soil to grow more veggies.
Anything we can’t compost, we recycle: returned containers, jars, hundreds of #10 cans, plastic clamshells, light bulbs, office paper (printed front and back, of course), printer cartridges, and more. Our recycling bin is twice as big as our garbage dumpster, and for good reason - not much ends up in there. And we don’t stop at our kitchen - events that we sponsor or host are low or no waste, and we work with people at Wipe Out Waste and Crown Town Compost to ensure the waste stream is handled with respect.
Our delivery system is optimized for low fuel use, and older bags are donated to Friendship Trays, so they have a second life. Customers are encouraged to return any of our BPA-free containers they’d like to, and we put those to use storing non-food items or donate them, recycling them only if we have a surplus (hasn’t happened yet!).
One of the best things about sourcing a majority of our produce from local farms is that those are innately packaging-efficient systems. Large, branded boxes are expensive, and many of our local deliveries come in reusable bins that the farmers take back with them. Keeping costs low is great, and so is not using up valuable paper resources for a quick solution to product storage. Win win!
So thank you for helping us create fabulously wholesome, delicious food while keeping our environmental impact as low as possible. Let’s keep this planet as healthy as we do our bodies!