Reduce waste and show your love for the planet this holiday season by throwing an eco-friendly holiday party! Here are a few tips…
The holidays are here! Whether you love them or dread them, there is no getting around the fact that there is a lot to do this time of year. If you happen to be hosting a holiday party, you’ll have even more to deal with, but in all the hustle and bustle, don’t forget to consider your party’s impact on the planet.
Parties and special occasions can result in a lot of waste in a very short period of time. That’s why you may want to consider throwing an eco-friendly holiday party – whether your guests are kids or adults.
Here are a few helpful tips for hosting an eco-friendly holiday party:
1. Use E-vites
Depending on the type of occasion, you can send out invitations by Facebook, email, or text. If you need to use paper, consider using unbleached paper that can be recycled, or postconsumer recycled paper (old paper that has been recycled into paper). Let guests know ahead of time that it will be an eco-friendly party.
2. Use reusable cutlery, plates, bowls, glasses, and cloth napkins
However, if the thought of having all these dishes to wash later is just too much, then you can also use items that are fully recyclable or are made from 100% recycled products.
3. Mark the cups
Have a nontoxic permanent marker available so that everyone can write his/her name on recyclable cups and prevent the need for using more than one cup throughout the party.
4. Have recycling, composting, and garbage bins readily available
Encourage recycling and composting by making it easy to access the various containers. For those who are less knowledgeable on the subject of what can be recycled and composted, make sure to provide some signage on the containers.
5. Reduce gift wrap waste
Use recyclable, plain paper or cut brown paper bags to create flat paper. Have your children decorate the paper to make it more attractive. You can also use fabric. If you are hosting a bridal shower, ask everyone to wrap the gifts in tea towels or bath towels. Use scrub buds or scouring pads as the bows on the gifts.
6. Use local organic foods for the party
Foods grown locally mean less fuel was used for transport to market, and are often more likely to be from farms using sustainable farming practices, so they will contain more vitamin and mineral content compared to those that have traveled longer distances and been raised with lots of chemical inputs.
7. Use cleaner energy to cook the food
Wood and charcoal (both manufactured briquettes and lump charcoal made from charred wood) put more soot and chemicals into the air than using natural gas or propane.
8. Consider more finger foods
Finger foods can reduce the need for cutlery and even plates if reusable napkins are used instead. Guests are also less likely to overfill their plates, and then have less need to dispose of what they have not eaten. (It can also help keep your guests from overeating, which so many of us tend to do during the holidays!)
Living an eco-friendly lifestyle doesn’t have to cramp your style. Enjoy your holidays – and your holiday parties – without feeling guilty. Just keep these tips in mind, and do your best to give the planet a little love this season too!