Major changes to Portland’s commercial compost program – caterers to be affected

Image: Charlie Kloppenburg for Sustainable Business Oregon

In the news: coming March 2015, commercial compost programs in Portland will no longer accept disposable dishware labeled as “compostable”, such as “corn plastic” and the like. From Sustainable Business Oregon:

“Food-selling organizations like the Portland Trail Blazers have their work cut for them following a major change to Portland’s commercial compost program that drops the ability to compost containers and other non-food items.”

So-labeled “compostable” plastic dishware is also not permitted in Portland’s residential program, so in our area, it simply doesn’t make sense to purchase or use those types of foodware for any reason, even an event or wedding. It’s just going to go in the landfill.

Link: Reminders on what is allowed in residential Portland compost

Link: Reminders on what is allowed in commercial Portland compost

Long read: More about the pros and cons of corn-based plastic, or PLA (Smithsonian)

It is a bit of a disappointment to see this feature dropped from Portland’s commercial compost program. Many special event caterers, food trucks at parties, and wedding caterers will be affected as well. However, with all challenges come an opportunity — all of us will be challenged and encouraged to decrease waste and move away from any kind of disposables, compostable or not.

Trying out Postable – online mailing list organizer

Social media is so great. If you follow me on any of the services I use, you know that I’m a lover. I also love the ease of use that goes with connecting over email, FaceTime, and texting…all the wonderful technologies we have.

However. HOWEVER. I miss the fun of getting letters, of finding a gorgeous envelope peeking out from amid the magazines and business mail. I know – we have to conserve resources. And postal mail should be saved for special occasions. Still, I’ve resolved in 2013 to be more personal in my communications, because I realize that is what speaks to me as a user of social media, as a consumer, and as a person. Part of that will be to send more letters.

Strangely enough, it’s hard to keep track of everyone’s address. I remember having a black leather address book, with tiny alphabet tabs down the side, edged in gold. Those days are gone. Excel isn’t really cutting it for me, not with the multiple groups and interests I have as an event planner. So I’m trying out Postable, and I would love for you to connect with me there. Who knows – perhaps you’ll get something fun in the mail from me soon.

Oh, a bonus – Postable is also great for your bride and groom clients to collect addresses in order to send wedding invitations. I imagine it could also be opened on a tablet like iPad and used at an event to facilitate signups or registrations. Enjoy!

{ Be a Better Event Planner } Handling client email

Wrapping up a recent corporate event, I noticed that there were 258 emails in the folder I had set aside for this client. I’m sure there will be a few more when you take into account post-event recaps and invoices. Even with the low, conservative estimate of five minutes spent working on each emailed request or action item, that’s almost 21 hours of event planning work based on emails alone. In reality it’s probably far more.

As an event planner, are you accounting for the work you do over email when you are estimating the job for the client and planning out your workflow? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks to Ramberg Media Images for the graphic.