Sustainability is a wide topic. In general terms it is about making our future the cause of our present. But how do we do that? Are we talking here about our environment, our people, our economy? The answer is all of them!
What does Sustainability imply?
Sustainability draws on politics, economics, philosophy. So it has everything to do with how we live our lives, what we eat, what we wear but also how we run our business, how we treat others. It has deep connections with philosophical concepts of fairness and equality and it is deeply related to the impact that our decisions have in our future.
At Alma catering, when we talk about being a sustainable catering in Amsterdam, we talk about striving to contribute to sustainable development.
We deeply care about the planet, that's correct but we also care about our health, our people, and not only our customers (who we love to nourish and delight) but also those that leave far, outside of our borders in other countries and with other realities.
The world summit on Social Development identified three core areas that contribute to the philosophy and social science of sustainable development. The summit also defined sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".
The three core areas in sustainable development are: economic development, social development and environment protection. There are many facets to these areas, and it is important to understand that it is not only the environment what sustainability is about.
Economic development, social development and indeed environmental protection are at the heart of the concept of sustainability.
Economic development is about giving people what they want without compromising quality of life. Social development is about the protection of people´s health from pollution and other harmful activities of business and other organizations. It is also about encouraging people to participate in environmental sustainability, teaching them how to become more sustainable, eco-conscious or environmentally friendly. Warning of the dangers if we don't learn how to live in an equilibrium with others and the planet.
Environmental protection, is about everything we need to do in order to protect our environment, whether that is recycling, reducing or reusing. Reducing pollution, keeping carbon emissions low, it is about using technology to drive a greener future.
The primary goals of sustainability are:
End poverty and hunger
Achieve gender equality
Have better standards of education and healthcare
Sustainable economic growth while promoting jobs and stronger economies
All of the above while tackling the effects of climate change, pollution and other environmental factors that harm people's health, livelihoods and lives.
Sustainability to include health of the land, air and sea.
Having our knowledge base about sustainable development clear let's think about how we all can contribute to it.
How to become more sustainable?
To leave the world a better place than how we found it can be as complex or as simple as each of us want to look at it. We fully believe that every step counts and that it is not a linear process sometimes you can do more, sometimes a bit less but it definitely starts by learning and becoming aware.
There are simple practices that can be undertaken to contribute to a more sustainable world so we wanted to share with you some of the things we do.
Vegan & vegetarian.
Most people are meat-eaters, hopefully with time less and less. We understand that most of us, specially those born some years ago :) and in cultures where the economy is heavily based on agriculture, grew up with an animal-based diet.
We also know there are many negative factors associated with the meat production industry, some environmental, like the pollution through the use of fossil fuels, animal methane and water and land consumption and some related to how these animals are treated.
Our economies have evolved in ways that now we realized need to be changed. But just like any other change, this is a process.
We try our best to design our recipes without animal products and even when we also have some recipes with meat. We believe having a plant-based and vegan diet is possible and it can be delicious.
We also know that as most of the foods we know and like include animal products and it is a journey we need to undertake to learn how to eat differently.
At Alma Catering, we constantly think how to make our dishes very tasty, mostly with veggies, fruits and spices. We focus on taste and nutrition. Plants are very nutritions and variation is the key! Vegan recipes are always in our offering and we try to avoid using meat. When we have to everything is halal and pork is not a part of any of our dishes.
Locally and sustainable sourced catering
One way to contribute to environmental and social development is to buy seasonal, sustainable and locally sourced ingredients. Buying out of season ingredients means that food had to travel miles to get to your table so to reduce the carbon footprint make sure you buy what's in season.
Buying seasonal ingredients also allows us to support local farmers, what additionally contributes to the local community. With time, indoor and urban farming are becoming more and more affordable and accessible, making possible for us to buy local and delicious ingredients.
Note. a good tip is not to buy already cut veggies. They don't taste as good and are usually packed in way too much plastic.
Reusable, Recyclable and Biodegradable tableware in Amsterdam
We know that plastic is one of the biggest environmental issues. So using tableware, glassware and other materials that are either biodegradable, recyclable or reusable is key to contribute to sustainability. At the same time, whenever possible reducing the amount of material used is crucial.
Asking those restaurants we order from to be creative and sustainable when delivering food to our doorstep is a good way to make business more aware of our planet's needs.
Today is possible to buy compostable packaging and make sure that our forests are being taken care of.
Reducing food waste
To minimize waste it is key to make a plan. Plan what we eat and what we buy. Using same ingredients for different dishes will help us use what we buy and reduce waste.
Carbon free deliveries
Another way to be friendly with our environment is to reduce our carbon foot print. Like mentioned, buying locally sourced ingredients is great because you are reducing your carbon footprint.
At Alma we offer carbon free deliveries, we work with horeca couriers with electric bikes and we have our own electric vehicles to cope with the demand.
Inclusivity and diversity
At Alma we believe food connects and unites. At Alma every culture, every gender and every color have a spot. Love is love, and everyone has an opportunity to create and inspire. The spice of live is in diversity, we learn from each other and teach each one an other.
We need to offer opportunities to everyone understanding where they come from the opportunities they have had and the drive and interests the have to get where they want to go.
Let's all believe that a business can thrive while helping one another and taking care of our planet and the planet's future.
What can you do to be more sustainable?
1. Eat less and less animal products
2. Use seasonal and locally sourced veggies and fruits.
3. Less plastic in your life! Reduce, reuse and recycle.
4. Reduce waste. Food-wise, plan your meals, a tip is to use the same ingredients and spice them up differently!
5. Be aware of your confirmation bias. Human beings tent to prefer what they know and like, be aware and consciously give others the opportunity to surprise you and bring value to your life.