Are you entertaining in your home for the holidays this season? It can be a stressful prospect, and if you’re the type of person that looks to reduce waste and implement environmentally-conscious changes—like making your wardrobe more sustainable—you might be concerned about the environmental footprint of your holiday party.
If this sounds like you, then you’ve come to the right place! Fortunately, being an eco-conscious host doesn’t mean having to sacrifice fun. You can take many simple steps to make your holiday party more sustainable without compromising on the festivities. Read on to learn more about how you can host an eco-conscious holiday party this season.
Organic and locally sourced ingredients are always your best option for holiday party food. Not only will you be supporting local businesses and reducing your carbon footprint, but the food quality is sure to be higher too. Try shopping at a farmer’s market for fruit and vegetables grown nearby, or purchase organic meat and dairy products. If you’re looking to save time, many stores now offer pre-made dishes made with organic ingredients.
The downside to organic and locally sourced food is its cost. Unfortunately, organic food is considerably more expensive, but the good news is that the following tips will lower the expenses for your holiday party. These savings can help to offset the higher prices associated with locally sourced, organic food!
When hosting a holiday party, it’s tempting to buy disposable plates and cutlery so you don’t have to worry about cleaning up after your guests. However, these items are usually made with plastic and other materials that can take years to decompose. To be more eco-friendly, opt for reusable dishware and silverware instead. This may require a bit more effort on your part, but it will be worth it in the end.
Planning ahead can help to combat the inconvenience of reusable dishware. For example, wine glass charms serve as identifiers, helping your guests keep track of their wine glasses and reducing unnecessary dishes at the end of the day. You should always ask certain questions when buying a waterfront property, but the ability to throw the dirty dishes from your holiday party in the water doesn’t have to be one of them!
When it comes to decorations, look no further than your backyard. Natural materials like branches, leaves, and berries are a great way to add a festive touch without harming the environment. Not only will these decorations look beautiful on your table or mantelpiece, but they’ll also be biodegradable when you take them down after the party. You can also get creative with recycled materials like newspaper, cardboard, or fabric scraps that you have lying around the house.
One of the ancillary advantages of using natural materials for your holiday party decor is that they need to be taken down in a relatively short amount of time, as they will decay if left in your home. This may seem inconvenient, but if you’re the type of host that finds December decorations hanging as Valentine’s Day approaches, this could be useful.
It may seem like a given that barely warrants mention, but it’s important to recycle or compost the waste from your party immediately. If possible, recycle items like glass bottles, aluminum cans, or compost food scraps and paper plates. Not only will this help reduce your event’s carbon footprint, but it will also set a good example for your guests on how to be more eco-friendly in their own lives.
Recycling glass, plastic, and aluminum are important but not very time-sensitive. Regarding composting food waste, on the other hand, time is of the essence. Waiting a day or two to deal with your food waste can mean trashing all of it, as it will begin to rot rather than decompose in a productive way.
Don’t forget to encourage guests to carpool or use public transportation when attending the party. This will help reduce vehicle emissions and make it easier for everyone to get where they need to go.
A tremendous advantage of having your guests carpool or use public transportation is the reduced risk of drinking and driving. At the end of the day, the safety of your guests is just as important as your party’s sustainability!
As a special thank-you to your guests, consider giving out eco-friendly gifts at the night’s end. Reusable water bottles or cloth shopping bags are always a great choice, as are beeswax wraps that can be used in place of plastic wrap in the kitchen. These small items will show your guests that you care about the environment and their presence at your party!
With just a few simple changes, you can easily make your holiday party more eco-conscious. From organic food and natural decorations to carpooling and reusable gifts, there are plenty of ways to ensure that your event is as kind to the environment as it is festive and fun. So get creative, have fun, and enjoy throwing an eco-friendly holiday party this season!