Sustainability Tip: Hotels can combat the food waste problem and save money with these tips |

Sustainability Tip: Hotels can combat the food waste problem and save money with these tips

By Kate Manzer
Special to the Daily
Researchers estimate that 30-40% of the global food supply is wasted each year.
Special to the Daily

Did you know that for every $1 spent on reducing food waste, hotels can save between $5 and $10, according to the World Resources Institute? The same WRI study also found that on average, hotels achieve a 21% reduction in food waste by weight in just one year when they prioritize waste diversion.

While this is an initiative many hotels have adopted, applying this implementation framework to events within hotels is an opportunity and strategy many more are looking at as their next step. 

Here in Eagle County, we’re working to take advantage of what the hotel and accommodation industry has identified as an opportunity to reduce 40% of the tourism industry’s GHG emissions. This initiative is in each hotel’s direct control. Hotel participation in waste diversion efforts would help our county reach our Climate Action Plan goal to divert 30% of our waste from the landfill by 2030. It would also contribute to our local economy by donating food to our community food bank, The Community Market, and utilize composting services offered by Vail Honeywagon. The results could be spectacular: we could attract 70% of global travelers who are more likely to book accommodations if it were eco-friendly.

Need more convincing? This video explains how hotels can successfully combat the global food waste problem.

Tips for Hotels to Divert Waste 

  • Donate Surplus Food. Hotels, as well as the restaurants and businesses that may be located within them are able to donate surplus food, as specified under the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act. Check out a helpful infographic about how it works here.
  • Compost Food Waste. We are one of the luckiest counties in the state because we have our very own compost facility in Wolcott. Composting with Vail Honeywagon is one of the easiest options to divert our waste from the landfill.
  • If switching your waste utility to Honeywagon is not an option for you or your business, many other waste utilities offer compost options for Eagle County businesses, including Waste Management, EverGreen Zero Waste, and Alpine Waste. If you have more questions, reach out. My contact information is below.
  • Join the Actively Green Webinar. While our Actively Green Waste Diversion Workshop for Hotel Events, Conferences & Weddings has been postponed due to COVID-19, the Actively Green Team is in the process of preparing a recorded webinar. This webinar is expected to be available by May 15. You can access this webinar and more information on our Actively Green Trainings page at For more fun, take our Hotel Kitchen Quiz to find out how to improve your food waste here.

Kate Manzer is the sustainability programs coordinator for Actively Green at Walking Mountains Science Center. Cotact her at

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