The Heli-Ski Blog

CMH Heli-Skiing Staff look to Reduce Food Waste

Posted by Jane Carswell on Nov 4, 2010 10:08:00 AM

by Becky Champion, CMH Reservations Agent and Second Nature Committee Member.

CMH Heli-Skier enjoying the powder at CMH GalenaAt CMH’s year end celebration last May I had the pleasure of handing out the 2009/2010 Second Nature Award for Environmental Initiative.  This year for the first time the award was given to 3 people.  Three staff from CMH Galena came up with an idea and put it into practice for their heliskiing season. 

Iain Mudd, Monika Nowatschin and Carrie Dooh came up with a simple idea around sandwiches and waste. 

The nomination for their idea was submitted by former Lodge Manager Heidi Fuller, in it she wrote, I would estimate that we were throwing out an average of 8-10 lbs of lunch food a day. So taking an average for calculation sake: 9lb/day x 6 days a week x 14 weeks = 756 lbs of food. That same amount is being purchased, flown in and dumped - all accruing cost. Not only that but the time involved in someone preparing that food, so labour cost as well.

During the Saturday night introductions we would mention what we are doing at Galena to reduce our impact on the environment (hydro plant, lights off, recycling...). The Kitchen Assistant would tie into that and emphasize that this system of signing up for their choice of sandwich makes sure they get what they want. We would place the sign up sheets with the massage sign up and the Kitchen Assistant would be available to answer any questions.

So the guests would be given the choice of what sandwich they would like and then the Kitchen Assistant would prepare their lunches accordingly.  Even if they only wanted a half or 3 whole sandwiches.  Guests would get excited when, at the lunch stop, their personalized lunches were waiting for them and they didn’t have to rush to get the best sandwich (which by the way is the Turkey and Havarti with Cranberry sauce). 

The other sign up they did was with the snow safety guides and pilots. They listed their preferences and things they will not eat so that their lunches were made up of items they would eat and enjoy.  (Mostly cookies!)

The only time sandwiches returned to the lodge was if a guest had come in for lunch. Sandwiches were rarely thrown out and even if they came back the staff could still snack on them for lunch or that midnight craving. 

The potential for reduction of waste in this scenario is incredible!  If every lodge had the same program running we would be able to cut back on thousands of pounds of wasted food every season.  Less cost for food, transporting it to and from the lodge and for the Kitchen Assistant to make it. 

On your heli-skiing trip this winter watch for this new program at the CMH lodges.  It is being presented to all lodges this fall and hopefully you’ll find it a success as well.

In the words of Dave Butler, CMH's Director of Sustainability, "The team at Galena really showed the spirit of CMH with this.  It was a simple yet powerful idea that made an immediate and significant difference.  This kind of personal and team initiative is exactly what we are trying to encourage with this annual award."

Congratulations Carrie, Ian and Monika on this well-deserved award. 

What ideas could you put forth for us at CMH to reduce waste? We value your feedback and look forward to seeing your ideas in the comments section here.

Photo: Savour the powder - no need to rush to the lunch spot! By Topher Donahue

Topics: Galena Lodge, Staff Profiles, CMH Chefs