From CA’s Experts: Tips for Sustainable Celebrations
June is a time to celebrate! Whether it’s graduation, weddings or the start of summer, CA’s sustainability experts want to make sure our community’s celebrations are both meaningful and environmentally conscious.
To help protect the planet during your next party, check out these simple tips.
Go for a paperless invite.
Sending an “e-vite” or creating a Facebook group is a great way to begin on an eco-friendly note.
Hold the event outside.
Gathering outdoors helps reduce electricity usage. If indoors, opt for buildings with LED lighting. LED bulbs are the most efficient lighting source, using 75% less energy compared to incandescent bulbs (As an ENERGY STAR partner since 2012, we’re happy to share that all of CA’s facilities use LED lighting).
Use reusable decorations.
Reusable items cut down on the need to buy another product, reducing the amount of waste generated.
- Fun reusable ideas: Mason jars, tea lights, flower petals as confetti, homemade garlands, cloth table cloths (instead of plastic), decorations found in nature.
- If you’re buying flowers, opt for a vendor that that grows locally and organically.
- Borrow or rent necessities from friends or neighbors when you can.
- If you prefer to use disposables, aim for compostable or biodegradable options.
Donate, recycle or compost.
Divert as much of the waste as possible to lessen your carbon footprint.
- Use clear marked bins (bottles, food scraps, plastics, etc.) to make it easy for guests to help you clean up.
- Remember, it’s reduce, reuse then recycle, in that order!
- Reduce the amount you are consuming.
- Reuse anything that is still of value in its current state. This includes donating any items that can go to another person who may need it!
- Recycle what you can so that the material can be recycled into another product. Not sure if it’s recyclable? When in doubt, throw it out (in the trash) to contamination issues at the recycling facilities.
Buy local, in-season foods.
Eating locally reduces the amount the greenhouse gas emissions emitted from transportation. Along those same lines, foods that are not in season are often grown in areas that likely have a lot of sunshine and better growing conditions year round. These items would likely need to be transported from areas that are far from here.
Include more veggies.
Eating less meat and more vegetables is not only better for your health but also the environment. The more plant-based your menu is, the more sustainable it is.
Use reusable dishware.
Reusable dishware avoids the amount of single use items bought and reduces waste.
- A week before the party, start saving and cleaning any glass jars you use (pasta sauce, salsa, etc.) for cups.
Have a “leftovers” plan.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more food reaches landfills than any other type of municipal solid waste. That’s why it’s so impactful to have a plan to divvy up leftovers at your next gathering.
- Have bags ready to send guests home with food, or ask them to bring their own food containers.
- So that refrigerated items don’t spoil and go to waste, put food out gradually instead of all at once.
We can’t wait to see how you’re keeping your festivities eco-friendly this summer! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and tag us in your photos and videos. You might just see them shared with our thousands of CA followers, inspiring even more efforts across our community.