Green Your Holiday Table
Holiday parties can easily end up leaving a carbon footprint. Between paper cups, napkins, plates and cutlery, there can be a lot left over that ends up in the trash when it shouldn't. We've got some tips that will make your shindig both fun and sustainable when it comes to the party supplies.
Tip: Use compostable or reusable partyware.
First of all, if you're throwing an office party take stock of all the supplies you may already have. If you have party supplies left over from the last event, utilize that or bring in things from around your own home. It's also important to note that if you are going to buy supplies, make sure you have more than just a trash can for the night's discards. Set up recycle and compost bins around the party aside those trash bins and you'll be one step closer to an eco-friendly gathering.
Instead of going out an buying a bunch of disposable cups, pool together amongst your co-workers and gather up those mugs you have lying around the office. Maybe they won't fit in with the rest of your deco, but if you're embracing the green theme these mismatched mugs can add a little shabby-chic to the party. And if you just can't get behind that mismatched look, gather up as many mason jars as you can (ask coworkers to donate what they have and gather up as many as you can from your own home) and tie festive colored ribbons around the middle of the glass. Simple, classic, and it reusable.
So much of the party waste stems from napkins that barely get used then tossed in the trash. You can cut down the waste by bringing in reusable napkins. Don't have enough? Try gathering up those old handkerchiefs. Use them plain with some creative napkin holders, or use stencils and paint to add a simple, festive monogram it. If you don't have time to create something, check out these reusable paper towels by Bambooee. Made of organic bamboo material, these towels are machine washable and one roll of these towels replaces 60 rolls of your average paper towels.
Again, if you're willing to embrace the mismatched theme, tell your co-workers to bring in plates that loosely match your chosen color palette for the evening. You may end up with striped, polka-dotted or plaid prints, but it'll add character to your deco. If that look isn't for you, buy compostable materials for your evening. Bamboo, sugarcane, even tapioca plates can make for compostable alternatives for your party table.
If you're planning on having more than finger foods at your party, either bring in some silverware from home or invest in some eco-friendly cutlery for the night. Whether you go with wood, bamboo, or even palm husks, make sure to pick something that will land in the compost bin instead of the trash can at the end of the night.
--Top photo courtesy of iStock/Karimala