We all love a good party. With holidays and vacations coming up, parties are one area where it can be especially tricky to make eco-conscious decisions. But you know you can always count on us to give you some easy eco-tips to clean up your life.
So whether you’re a guest at a party where single use plastics are the only option, or planning a party for family and friends, preparing ahead can help avoid creating unnecessary waste. And that’s something we can all stand behind.
When attending parties or gatherings, make it a point to BYO (bring your own) reusables. Stock up on bamboo utensils like this Patagonia to-go ware, a super easy way to dodge any plastic-fork situation. Reusable stainless steel bottles and pints are also great options to store and sip all your beverages.
And while planning parties can be daunting, and adding the layer of sustainability can make it even more challenging, our tips below will help spark your creativity, provide alternatives to creating less waste at your next gathering, and get your summer started on the right foot.
Not all companies who make reusable products do it ethically and sustainably. Do a little research beforehand and invest in building a collection of goods that reflect your personal style, will last for a long time, and can be used and reused for different occasions. Buying high quality goods can be an investment, so choose one product to focus on whether it’s reusable cups, straws or plates and just start there.
If you’re on the go and aren't able to bring reusables, try choosing disposables that are made of recycled materials, paper or other natural fibers. Although, be mindful that not all paper cups can be recycled because of the plastic lining on the inside. If you need straws, swap plastic for an alternative. There are so many varieties now from standard paper straws (in fun patterns to fit any theme), to bamboo and even hay straws. Pick products that are truly eco-conscious, not just green washed.
Shopping local can help the environment in so many ways. By supporting the people who live and work in your community, you’re creating more jobs and revenue in your area that ultimately contribute to an economically sustainable future. Buying local is also less taxing to the environment since products don’t have to travel as far to make it to your home. Often times, shopping at local farmers markets is fresher and more cost effective than than what you’d buy in the grocery store! To top it all off, buying local can help you cut down on packaging since there are more fresh options.
We all love a festivity, and adding fun decor can transform your environment and bring it all together. A lot of decorations are made of plastic or other materials that can’t be recycled. If you’re throwing a party, try your best to stay away from balloons and opt for decor that can be used again such as string lights (solar), or paper banners and streamers. Crafting your own decorations from recycled paper or creating garland from ribbon can be a great way to add personal touch and create decor that lasts (but not a thousand years in a landfill).
By clearly marking recycling bins, showing what’s recyclable (versus landfill), you can guide your friends and family to properly dispose of any waste...bonus points if you compost!
There’s no doubt that the lack of traditional party decor and no single-use plastics will spark a conversation. Use the opportunity to spread awareness about alternative ways to throw a great party while being more mindful and sustainable. The first step to helping the environment is to become aware of your own habits, and working to choose better options over time. As wavemakers and water lovers, we want to be able to enjoy the sun, sand and cleaner oceans for years to come.