Eco-Friendly Parties

Tips for Throwing an Eco-Friendly Party

When throwing a party, you plan for everything, decorations, menu, invitations, and theme. What about after the party? How do you deal with a refrigerator packed with leftovers and overflowing garbage and recycling bins? By taking the opportunity to plan for what happens afterward, you can reduce waste as well as save money and
be eco-friendly.

Food Waste
About 40% of the food we produce in the United States is thrown away. Now, imagine that refrigerator full of leftovers. How much of that will spoil and go to the landfill before it can be eaten? A great way to avoid waste is to plan your menu so that you don’t overbuy. Tools, like the Guest-Imator at Save The Food, will help you figure out how much food you will need, thus reducing waste. 

Disposables
Disposable utensils, plates, and cups can be a lot easier to deal with when planning for a house full of guests. Afterward, the sight of a pile of bulging garbage bags can make you question whether it was worth it. Consider reusable items or those made from fully recyclable or compostable materials. Yes, you may have a sink full of dishes, but, once clean, they will be ready for your next celebration.

Recycling
Having a dedicated receptacle for your recyclables will make it easier to dispose of bottles and cans.  Instead of having to dig through other garbage when the guests have gone, your recyclables will be already separated and ready to be rinsed then dropped off for cash or at one of Shasta County’s transfer stations.

These are just the beginning of what you can do to throw an eco-friendly party. Other things to think about are, purchasing local foods (less distance means fewer emissions), sending digital invitations, and giving experiences instead of things. Anytime you reduce consumption, you are saving valuable resources and conserving energy, lessening our impact on the environment, and saving money. All of these are great reasons to celebrate.

Alternatives to Balloons
When deciding how to decorate for your next party, consider the impact of latex balloons on the environment, especially wildlife. Animals, believing balloon fragments are food, can ingest the colorful shards, causing starvation. Also, the animals may become entangled in the ribbons and strings trailing from the balloons, leading to injury and death.

Choosing not to decorate with balloons doesn’t mean the party is over. Consider reusable flags and streamers, lights, pinwheels, or flowers (easily compostable) to create striking visuals for your festivities without the risks associated with balloons.

What if you want to do a large balloon release?
What alternatives are there that will draw attention to an event or cause? How about thousands of bubbles being blown into the air at once, or a rainbow of kites rising overhead, or even better, a day of planting trees? Instead of the memory of a single balloon-filled moment, trees can serve as daily reminders for years to come.