Three-time winner of the EcoLeadership Award given to companies leading the way in greening their workplaces, Main Event Caterers is taking it to the next level by using aquaponic farming technology at their headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

Aquaponic farming is a closed-loop farming system which combines aquaculture – fish farming – and hydroponics – water-based planting – to grow and produce food in the same space. Water circulates through fish tanks, filters, and plant beds, where nutrients and fertilizer benefits fish and plants alike. The method uses less water and produces more food in the same amount of space than traditional farming and is often seen as the future of farming. It’s also much better for the environment, as water gets recycled, fertilizer comes from organic sources, and there is no solid waste disposal needed.

“Less water and fertilizer use, the ability to grow a large volume of crops in a small space, and the value of our clients knowing exactly where their food comes from are just a few of the benefits we’ve experienced,” says Joel Thevoz, CEO of Main Event Caterers.

While some people are opposed to fish farms, in the future it may be the only way we can keep up with demand without decimating the oceans. By combining fish farming with water-based planting, aquaponic farming could be just what we need to still be able to produce the food we need but do so in an environmentally-friendly, symbiotic way. Besides, there’s nothing like knowing your salad and your fish came out of the same tank down the street!

Main Event Caterers uses 100 percent wind and solar electricity, compostable materials, and geothermal heat in its operations and sources its meats and seafoods from natural, sustainable sources. They have even installed a water purification and filtration system that allows them to bottle and sell their own water and eliminate plastic bottles altogether.

[via MarketWatch]

Image Credit: MainEventCaterers/Flickr