How to throw an environmentally-friendly holiday party
The holiday season is a time to unwind, celebrate and reflect on the year that has passed. We are all enjoying time away from work, and we find ourselves with many more opportunities to spend time with our loved ones.
Of course, it would come as no surprise to most of us that the majority of our entertaining and social events will happen during the December and January period. This means that our household consumption and waste will increase as well.
We’ve already discussed the importance of home maintenance during the warmer months, including checking your air conditioner, pool filter and leak-proofing your home. But did you know that there are several steps you can take to ensure you are looking after our environment as you entertain this year? (And they don’t involve you having a dinner party in the dark without air conditioning on a 40 degree day).
It’s easy enough to make a few switches to your settings, food and decor to ensure it’s a party you feel good about having! Read on for some of our favourite (and simple) ideas.
1. Location, Location, Location.
Entertaining at home impacts your carbon footprint more than you’d realise. Having people over will generally mean you are using more water, power and gas than you would on any given day – not to mention the wastage and rubbish as a result of food and drinks you are serving. If you’re planning on having family and friends over for a barbecue, why not relocate to the beach instead? There are communal barbecue facilities for you to use (many of which are designed to conserve resources), the cool breeze and ocean act as natural air conditioners and there’s no need to rely on power for lighting because the sun will be out all day!
2. Ask your guests to help you reduce wastage.
This one is fairly simple. Challenge your guests to a no waste party – use glass containers, metal straws and biodegradable cutlery (your usual dining cutlery is fine, of course, but if you are entertaining somewhere other than home then try to steer clear of single use plastic cutlery). Try not to bring snacks in plastic packaging – ask everyone to make something from scratch and bring that along instead.
3. Environmentally friendly decor and gift wrap.
Did you know that you can buy or make your own biodegradable confetti out of dried up leaves? There are plenty of instructions to DIY online, or you can simply purchase some for fairly cheap! When you are wrapping gifts, try to use butcher’s paper, newspaper or cloth as these are all biodegradable options.
There you have it! Of course, there is so much more you can do, but this is a great starting point. Plus, you’ll feel good knowing that you can spend time doing what you love with the people that are important to you without it being detrimental to the environment.