Greener Summer Parties, including July 4th
Celebrate holidays, birthdays and other special events with greener parties. Start by sending invitations via email. If you mail invitations, create them from old cards and postcards you bought and never got around to sending out. Below are some other things you can do to reduce your impact on the environment.
- Decorations – Use items you already have, like white holiday lights, flowers, herbs, and grasses from your garden, canning jars, empty bottles, etc. Fill a jar with water and fresh herbs that guests can snip off to add to their meal. Go to Pinterest for other table decoration ideas. Save the decorations for the next party.
- Grilling – Use a gas grill instead of charcoal. Studies show that liquefied petroleum gas is more efficient than charcoal in its production and in cooking. If you like the charcoal taste, choose coal made from invasive tree species or from sustainably managed forest trees.
- Food – Create a menu around foods that are in season and readily available. Here is a seasonal list of fruits and vegetables – https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/seasonal-produce-guide.
- Dinnerware – If possible use reusable plates, bowls and utensils. If that isn’t a viable option, use compostable ware. It’s usually made from corn or bamboo.
- Eliminate single-use plastic – Serve water in large containers and provide reusable glasses. If you have collected a lot of water bottles, a party is a great way to share them with your guests.
- Reduce paper – Use cloth napkins and tablecloths. Keep a bag of rags around to cleanup spills.
- Lighting – For evening parties, use solar lights.
- Recycling Center – Set up a recycling center with the containers clearly labeled, so your guests can easily dispose of reusable items, recyclables, and compostable items.
- Reduce pests – One of the best ways to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your party is to remove or drain sources of standing water that could serve as a breeding ground. This includes birdbaths, pools, ponds, and plant saucers.
- Reusable containers – Store leftovers in reusable containers.