The Fourth of July is always a popular weekend for families to start up the grill, host a party and shoot off fireworks. But have you ever considered the impact your festivities may have on the environment? There is a multitude of ways you can make your party more eco-friendly this year.
Cutlery: Instead of buying plastic cups, forks, and plates, use reusable silverware from your own kitchen cabinet. This will greatly reduce the amount of garbage produced from hosting the party. If you don’t have enough pieces, brands like Vegware carry party packages of silverware made from recycled material. Their products can be composted at home along with food scraps and organic waste. Check out this quick guide to food waste composting at home.
Serving dishes: Ask guests to bring serving dishes in a washable container that can be taken home after use. Make sure to refrigerate any leftovers to save them for a future meal!
Decoration: Another big source of waste at parties is decorations, such as balloons. Try using natural decorations instead of synthetic ones. You can purchase red, white, and blue flowers to place around the party space, and then save them for planting once the party is over. Purchasing washable table cloths is also a less wasteful alternative to buying plastic coverings, because the cloth can be used for any special event throughout the year. We also have a green guide for planning a birthday bash.
Grilling: If you’re hosting a cookout style party, grilling with propane is the best option. Propane uses less carbon dioxide than charcoal does when heating food.
Fireworks: Though festive, fireworks may contain hazardous chemicals, pollute the soil and air and result in litter. Purchasing sparklers for every party guest is a safer, cheaper alternative. If you have a camera handy, you can even “draw” patterns with your sparklers that will show up on film as a fun activity for the kids.
Along with all of these tips, you can place your Rumpke recycling bin in an easily accessible area to encourage every guest to recycle. Be sure to check the list to see what items are accepted for recycling.
Everyone have a safe and happy holiday weekend!
About the author: Sarah Mattina is the summer 2014 Corporate Communications Intern at Rumpke.