When entertaining, use your reusable plates, cups, silverware, and cloth napkins – avoid single use plastic disposables. Avoid the wasteful practice of using something “one-time” and throwing it away. It may mean a bit more clean-up at the end of the evening, but your garbage bin won’t be overflowing with single use tableware. Keeping it real is also a great way to elevate your party.
If you don’t have enough glassware or plates, encourage everyone to bring their own. Your guests won’t forget which glass is theirs and your clean-up will be reduced.
As often as possible, reuse or source materials already on hand for gifts purchased during the holiday season. Reuse cardboard boxes for storage or moving, and reuse gift bags and wrapping paper. You can also wrap your gifts with materials you have on hand, reusable cloth fabric, leftover paper from the previous year, newspaper or magazines, and even reusable baskets or jars. The gift itself is truly what matters, and if you are creative with your reuse wrapping, your resourcefulness and consideration for the environment will be appreciated and remembered. You might even inspire a new gift giving tradition among your loved ones.
Keep it Simple with Food
You don't need to go overboard with food when entertaining, keep it simple. Buy groceries with a specific number of servings in mind to eliminate the waste of over purchasing. After the party, clean out your fridge by creating something delicious with your leftovers.
Whenever possible, shop for groceries from a farmers market
Shop for groceries from farmers markets and/or from grocery store bulk containers. This will reduce the amount of packaging you acquire. Use reusable cloth bags for your groceries and produce. The key here is to come prepared to the grocery story with your reusable bags, so you consciously avoid using the store provided plastic or paper bag options.
Remember to dispose of any unused or uneaten food in your green organics cart versus your garbage bin!
When decorating this holiday season think about using items around you, leaves, branches, and nuts as centerpieces. Crafting homemade decorations can be a fun activity for the family and will create lasting memories!
Reuse and upcycle your old decorations rather than buying new.
Send e-cards versus traditional single-use disposable paper cards
Turn off your lights and use a timer to minimize energy consumption
Give gifts that help others to reduce their waste – reusable bags, cloth napkins, steel water bottles, gift experiences instead of items, etc.