Say hello to summer and adios to plastic waste!
Memorial Day Weekend marks the beginning of summertime plans and parties. If you’ve ever planned a backyard BBQ in the summertime, you’re probably familiar with how quickly trash can pile up making your social fun-time a sad moment for our planet. By now you might have heard: we are in the midst of a plastics crisis. We are drowning in single-use plastic trash, and it’s harming our health and killing animals at alarming rates. Since parties are a source for much plastic waste, it’s also an opportunity for us to make a few small shifts that mean the world to our planet.
Fortunately, there’s a growing movement of people and businesses that care and are working to solve the single-use plastic crisis. So many of us want to help and join the movement as well, but how? One of the ways we can contribute to cleaning up this plastic mess, is by making changes to some of our plastic purchasing choices, especially as more and more sustainable solutions come to market. But first, here are some quick facts on the need to address plastics as a huge source of party-time concern:
Did you know that 40 percent of plastic that’s produced is for packaging, which is used only once and then thrown away?
Did you also know that less than a fifth of all plastic is actually getting recycled globally?
We love providing our community of world-changers (that’s you) with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions. This includes how to choose alternatives to plastic when planning for a party. So we chose Memorial Day as a time to share some sound advice for hosting your next summertime sustainable shindig.
Here are 5 sustainable party tips for this Memorial Day and beyond
1. The Invitation
Send an invitation, but don’t send waste.
The easiest and most sustainable way to invite your friends and family to your party is with a text, email, or phone call. No cutting down of trees for an invite and sending them along in a polluting postal truck. You can use apps like hobnob to create a text-specific invitation and share it directly to your contacts via text message. It’s easy; it’s quick - and hey, no waste!
But if you must send a paper invite and are looking to step up your eco-friendly game, why not send an invitation on a special card laced with seeds, like these from Botanical Paperworks? When the invitee is done with the invitation, she or he can plant it and watch flowers pop up later. They will remember how fun your party was long after the event itself.
2. The Decorations
Choose decor that’s not destined for the trash
Decorations are one of the biggest single-use plastic offenders at many parties. But often single-use party decorations are cheesy and wasteful. It’s easier and much classier to decorate with items you already have or that you can use after the party.
For example, use compostable decorations from flowers and even greenery from your backyard. Potted plants and succulents make great centerpieces. Living herbs can be very pretty and serve two purposes. Put them in old glasses or coffee mugs you never use for a creative look.
Before plastic table covers became so (wastefully) popular, table cloths made from fabric were the norm. Let’s bring this back! Instead of that cheap plastic wrap often found at your local party store, use a nice piece of fabric. Or check out your local thrift store where you will find plenty to choose from. Dye them, embroider them, or find some other fun Pinterest-worthy DIY project to make them great.
DECORATION WARNING: balloons are a total party-foul because they are a huge killer of ocean wildlife. So if you had plans for a balloon photo backdrop at your party, kill the plan now before it kills some poor bird or turtle. Here are some more sustainable balloon alternatives:
- Non-plastic Kites
- Floating flowers
3. The Menu
Now that your space sets the tone, continue the sustainable theme with the foods you serve
It’s time to plan a menu your guests will rave about. Try to buy your food as local as possible to ensure great flavor and quality while cutting down on waste and emissions. Check your local Farmer’s Market for fruits, vegetables, bread, artisan cheeses, edible flowers, and more. Farmer’s Markets are an excellent place to discover yummy treats that you can incorporate into your menu.
To meat or not to meat? If you’re looking for the most sustainable option, it’s best to choose a menu full of local plant-based dishes. If you choose to serve meat, there are ways to shop more responsibly, here are some ways to help you courtesy of Eat Wild.
Support your local farmer
Choose grass-fed - American Grassfed Association
Purchase larger cuts
Beer me, sustainably. Local breweries can provide growlers of beer (over 21 only, of course), and many shops have wine events where you can try different types— maybe even a local wine that might be new to you and your guests.
Skip the plastic water bottles! Sure for the party but even better, ditch them forever. We know you’re too smart for buying plastic bottled water, but you still want your guests to be hydrated. Which is why you can easily provide party-goers with a reusable alternative they can keep and reuse forever, like party keepsake. A hydration station can be easy to set-up so your guests can fill up as many times as they want. A case of PATHWATER goes a long way toward cutting down on waste. AND there’s a spot the bottle for your guests to write their names so they can tell whose is whose. Order a bottle for every guests you’re expecting and you can have their bottle waiting for them when they arrive with their name on it.
4. The Waste Zone
Here’s the biggest area where you can save the planet -- with your party
Everything is ready to go; you just need plates, cups, napkins, utensils. The ultimate sustainable path for your party supplies is to incorporate 100% reusable items. Depending on the size of your summertime soiree you can source your own cloth napkin, cutlery, and glassware. Or, you can source a company like Sustain LA that caters to zero-waste parties with all of the items you could need, including water refill stations to accompany your PATHWATER bottles.
Many of us are looking for plastic-free alternatives that don’t involve digging through our cabinets and drawers. Check out companies like Let’s Go Green and HAY!straws. There are a growing number of sustainable options out there to make any event easy to keep plastic free.
At the end of the road, put trash on the right path.
Don’t forget all that mess needs to go somewhere. If you have glass bottles or aluminum cans, don’t forget to put them in the recycle bin, and green waste in the compost, and trash bins out and clearly label them. If you do have some waste, don’t be afraid to remind guests that you appreciate them separating their waste, because it’s crucial for recycled items to enter the waste stream as clean and uncontaminated as possible if we hope for them to be recycled.
We care about the plastic crisis and want to clean up the mess that has been made of our oceans. Here’s a way to make a lasting impression on your friends and family so we can turn this plastic crisis around.
Take a moment to sign our petition against single-use plastic bottles and share with your friends & family. Have them sign the petition to get single-use PET plastics OUT OF CALIFORNIA. If we can do it here, we can do it everywhere.
Have a safe and fun day!
Remember to stay hydrated this summer!
#OurPath2050 #refillnotlandfill #newhybrid #singleusesucks