The ingredients in a typical American meal travel anywhere from 1,500 to 2,500 miles (2,414 to 4,023 kilometers) just to reach your plate. When it comes to planning the menu, you can reduce energy consumption and pollution by choosing foods from local vendors or hiring food vendors who use local, in-season products that don't have to travel as far to get there. If possible, serve organic food, which doesn't require the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers that can damage the environment. If you want your food vendors to use reusable materials and energy-efficient appliances, make sure they know ahead of time and ensure it's part of their contract.
Avoid bottled or individually packaged beverages, which can create an enormous amount of unnecessary waste. Instead, encourage attendees to bring their own beverage containers and offer filling stations, or hand out reusable beverage containers, like cups or bottles that attendees can refill.