Today is Earth Day. And on Earth Day we take time to reflect on our green efforts both personally and as a business, while trying to evaluate ways we can improve for the year ahead. So we naturally felt a bit inspired to share with you some of our big sustainability accomplishments this past year…
After a yearlong process, this past winter we were so happy to finally be given our certification by the City of Denver as a Certifiably Green Business. Although we’ve prided ourselves on being an environmentally-conscious company since 1970 – composting at events, partnering with We Don’t Waste, providing recyclable and compostable tableware options for our clients, etc. – we were so thrilled to take our business to the next level and make it official.
This certification process was lead by Occasions C.O.O Kevin Birka, who slowly but surely was able to check off many very specific requirements from the City of Denver, including: switching our standard office paper to paper made from recycled goods, installing new, low-flow toilets and faucets, installing LED lights throughout the entire building, and training our staff and team on public transportation and carpooling options to easily get to both events and the Occasions headquarters. Although at times the process seemed tedious, Kevin states, “it is simply a continuation of our already-established, ongoing culture of low-impact, eco-friendly practices… we are lucky that the City of Denver has goals that align with ours and are able to provide further education to organizations like ours.”
Kevin admits we probably could not have done all the checklist requirements within a year, without the help of team members Ari Barger and Cassy Cadwallader, though. Cassy Cadwallader, for example, joined our team as event staff in April 2017 and has quickly moved her way up to now being one of our most-requested event captains. As a current student studying Geography and Sustainability at Metropolitan State University, Cassy has a passion for reducing global food scarcity and increasing sustainability efforts, “all my international travels throughout school have made me realize food scarcity and sustainability issues. I quickly decided I wanted to learn how food moves throughout the world, and how to be more efficient with it, so that lead me to pursue my current degree. I wanted to focus on what I’m passionate about.”
Now in her junior year at MSU, Cassy has partnered with Occasions not only as an event staff, but also as an intern. For the past four months, she has helped us source more environmentally-friendly resources and trained and educated staff on waste management options on-site at events (what goes in the compost bins, what goes in the recycle bins, and what is left for the trash bins, etc.). She says her background and future career goals have landed her a home at Occasions, “I’ve worked in restaurants my whole life and this is the only company that’s had this mentality. This mentality of caring about the environment and having consciousness around consumption.”
And with those words our hearts are beyond full. We truly know our company would be nothing without team members like these ones, and we are so happy that their hard work can be seen.
Last month, for example, proved to be one of our most green, with 90.4% of all of our waste being diverted from the landfills, to recycled materials and compo (see attached report).
Stay tuned to see how we can beat these records in the next months and beyond. Excited for the even greener future ahead.