T'is the season! Getting together with family and friends is part of what makes the holidays so special, and it's also a time when we see a huge amount of consumption, and tonnes and tonnes of waste from extra food, wrapping and convenience/disposable items. Hosting a party is the perfect opportunity to incorporate some green hacks, get creative and throw a shindig people will remember and one you can feel great about.
I've pulled together a list of items and actions to make your gathering more earth friendly, without any sacrifice. Don't worry if you can't do everything on the list below, but do commit to at least one item that excites you and get ready to feel great about your contribution. Plus, how much more fun and stylish are cloth napkins than paper?! Your guests will remember the effort and leave thinking about their contribution as well - a memorable party for the books!
rent from your local party supply store (glassware + utensils)
have guests bring their own of whatever you're short on - make sure to give them plenty of notice, and a reminder the day before wouldn't hurt either.
supply mason jars that guests can take home instead of red solo cups
say no to paper napkins - use cloth ones like these neutral linen ones
have your compost and recycling bins accessible to your guests. Save yourself time separating, rinsing and managing - people are happy to do it themselves, just make sure they have clear instructions. This is a good excuse to freshen up your bins or spring for some new ones.
sign up for a Zero Waste Box program with Terra Cycle - you can choose type of difficult waste you would like to recycle (like batteries, baby gear, paint etc...)
include "plastic free" on your invitation - challenge your guests to not wrap their potluck contributions in plastic cellophane or bring disposable containers. There are lots of great options like beeswax wrap, casserole dishes with lids or even my favourite, the classic "upside down plate overtop of bowl".
make it a wrapping paper free affair - challenge guests to "the best looking newspaper wrapped gift" or most creative packaging...
ask for no "things" - experiential or consumable gifts only. This ensures nobody receives that not-so-pretty knick-knack they never asked for and will likely get rid of, and is almost a guarantee of hostess wine/spirits instead ;)
There are a million different ways we can all make a difference and contribute to a more thoughtful Holiday. For some more tips on making your holidays more thoughtful, check out this guide from Zero Waste Canada and don't forget to let me know which ones you try and how it goes + any tips I didn't mention!