New Year’s Eve is traditionally a festive holiday, a way to celebrate the previous 365 days, and the time to ring in a new year. Having a party on December 31st is great, but have you ever thought about the amount of waste that can go along with it? Disposable plates, balloons, and lots of plastic (horns, confetti, and tablecloths, just to name a few). Have you wonder about what changes could be made? Is it possible to have a fun celebration but still be friendly to the Earth? Certainly! There are several ways to adapt a traditional party to a “green” party. Here are some tips for an eco-friendly New Year’s Eve!
Ditch the paper, envelopes, and stamps, and switch to electronic invitations. Electronic invitations are quick and easy! You just send the invitation via email (simple enough!) An alternative to electronic invitations is to create a Facebook event. If most of my guests are on Facebook, I prefer this route. It’s a super slick way to invite guests (no need for emails; just select names from your Facebook friends list), and type in the party details. Guests can also communicate with each other, and with you via the comment section. No writing hand cramps involved!
Yes, it’s certainly easier to head to your local party store for fun decorations, but it’s not nearly as eco-friendly. Many party decorations, supplies, and favors are made of plastic, or non-recyclable materials. Also, most are made with virgin materials, not post-consumer-recycled-content. According to Recycle Nation, virgin “materials are sourced directly from nature in their raw form.” Instead of using brand new materials, try upcycling, recycling, or purchasing decorations second-hand.
Opt for Candlelight
Turn off the twinkling lights and disco balls and instead light the room with eco-friendly soy candles. It’s more romantic and more environmentally friendly. Just remember, not all candles are created equally when it comes to being good for the planet.
Pick Earth-Friendly Snacks and Appetizers
Whether you’re eating out or serving others, you can make more responsible decisions about what you eat. It’s okay to enjoy a steak on New Year’s Eve, but try to select meat that you know the source of. Avoid pre-packaged individual appetizers if you’re serving at home. And, of course, remember that there’s no more earth-friendly and healthy New Year’s Eve snack than seasonal, local produce.
Don’t Buy “One-Use” Outfits
If you’re headed out on New Year’s Eve, don’t spend a ton of money (and resources) purchasing an outfit that you’re going to only wear once. Consider hitting a thrift or consignment store, borrowing from a friend or doing a “New to You” party or renting high end clothing and accessories for the night. You can make the night special without having spent a fortune and having wasteful items left over afterwards.