April 14, 2010

Ashley's Food Plants Over 13,000 Trees

Ashley’s Food Delivery, the area’s only multi-restaurant delivery service, has planted over 13,000 trees since launching its Plant-A-Tree Program on Earth Day 2009. The program avows that for every order placed, Ashley’s Food will plant a tree with Trees for the Future, a non-profit organization that plants trees around the world. Each tree planted helps remove over 50lbs of harmful carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year.

“The amount of trees we’ve planted over the past year is enough to sequester the annual carbon emissions of approximately 30 typical American cars, year after year,” says co-owner Liz Sniegocki, who heads up the Ashley’s Food Green Commitment. “Our Plant-A-Tree program is one way we’re trying to offset the heavy ecological footprint a food delivery service can leave. We’re striving to tread a little lighter by operating in the most environmentally responsible manner that we can.”

The Ashley’s Food Green Commitment extends beyond the tree-planting program to other areas of concern. Last April, the delivery service initiated an education program focused on improving delivery professionals’ vehicle fuel-economy. “Vehicles emit harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, leading to global climate change,” says Sniegocki. “We work to educate our delivery professionals on ways they can reduce CO2 emissions through proper vehicle maintenance and efficient delivery & driving techniques.” The company holds a quarterly in-house Vehicle Maintenance Week to assist delivery professionals in implementing regular vehicle maintenance schedules.

This year, Ashley’s Food Delivery owners are beginning to address concerns about the long-lasting environmental impact of petroleum-based takeout food packaging. “The manufacturing of conventional to-go packaging uses non-renewable resources & energy and produces harmful byproducts. Then, these non-biodegradable products either end up in landfills or as a threat to wildlife when disposed of improperly,” says Sniegocki. As a first step in tackling this multi-faceted issue, Ashley’s Food is providing partner restaurants with information on the benefits of eco-friendly packaging, as well as resources for compostable products made from renewable resources. “We’re hoping to start a conversation with our partners about switching to green packaging,” says Sniegocki. “Building awareness seems like a good place to start.”

The Ashley’s Food Green Commitment also includes a focus on paperless transactions via the company’s website, which features an electronic menu guide and online ordering, as well as continuous monitoring of internal operating procedures to in an effort to reduce solid waste and conserve water & energy.

About Ashley’s Food Delivery: The area’s only multi-restaurant delivery service, Ashley’s Food Delivery partners with over 35 restaurants in Sarasota and Bradenton to deliver everything from home-cooked, comfort food to elegant, gourmet dining. Ashley’s Food offers residential & corporate meal delivery, drop-off catering services and gift basket delivery. The service is open for lunch delivery Monday through Friday (Sarasota only) and dinner delivery every day. For more information, call 953-FOOD or visit www.AshleysFood.com.