Mind the planet when hosting your summer soiree. Summer is here! It’s time for pool parties, end-of-school festivities, Canada Day barbeques, and backyard celebrations of summer.
Summer parties don’t have to mean excess waste anymore. Simple actions of care reduce party footprints while celebrating sustainably.
Follow these 10 tips for a green summer soiree
- Reusable Decor
Balloons cause irreparable damage to environment and animals. Replace balloons with fabric buntings, streamers and ribbons. Use them over and over again. Put decorative cloths, lanterns and flowers on table. Kiddie parties become hilarious with everyone blowing bubbles, making pinwheels and pom-poms. Put pet birds or animals on lawns to surprise neighbors.
- Put local food on the menu
Meals make up the fun parts of frequent picnics and barbeques in backyard parties. Menus must use local ingredients. Fresh, seasonal vegetables and locally raised meat are plentiful in Peterborough. Farmers’ market is held each Wednesday and Saturday. Using locally grown food keeps carbon footprints smaller at your party.
- Cut out disposable cutlery and dishes
Don’t give in to temptation of using disposables for larger parties. Paper plates and plastic cutlery add up in garbage. Invest in reusable dishes to take outside. Rent cutlery, dishes, and linens from a party rental company.
- Give the gift of green
Parties often mean exchanging gifts. Buy local from artisans and crafters. Contribute to community while ensuring green environment friendly gifts. Reusable gift wraps like fabric bags or totes add green value. Nix the kids’ loot bag altogether. Choose to distribute less costly take-homes, such as hand-made birdhouses, friendship bracelets or books.
- Have your recycling area organized ahead of time
Irrespective of numbers of guests on your list, recycling afterwards is no fun. In Peterborough, you can have two streams of recycling ready and labeled, prior to guests arriving. Paper waste goes in one bin and containers such as glass bottles, pop cans, and food cartons go into another making cleaning up afterwards simple and quick.
- Keep up the composting
It will reduce food waste in garbage, especially in parties where a lot of food in meals and snacks is involved. Good compost raw materials are rinds, peels, cores and skins from veggies and fruit. These are always in larger quantities but are easy to compost.
- Pack up your leftovers
15% of garbage from households is wasted food. Almost 50 per cent of total food produce waste happens at household level. Keep reusable food containers handy at parties for packing leftovers. Make single-serving sizes for future lunches you can store and grab from freezer and heat up in office. Guests appreciate take-home packed leftovers they can enjoy later, especially if they like food at your parties.
- Make the switch to decorative LED and solar lights
Evening parties light up dreary lives. They use a lot of electricity. Switch to decorative LED and solar lights. Save on money, save on electricity! Watch for the EnergyStar label.
- Send out eco-friendly or e-invitations
The more the merrier! The more the easier to send out emails and social media invitations without incurring any costs! Cut down on paper, save trees. If you do have to use them, prefer recycled paper. Make your own invitations.
- Deal with bugs, naturally
Don’t let insects bug your guests. Choose breezy spots with good air circulation. Use Natural oil, citronella candles and coils. Have mosquito-repelling plants in your garden. Lemon balm, catnip, basil, lavender, sage, and rosemary keep bugs away. Prevent standing water in backyards at all times.
Greening your summer parties will increase joy of feasting, fun and sun this season. Make summer parties better for guests.