A new year is on the horizon and men and women across the globe are readying their New Year’s resolutions. In recent years, more and more men and women have resolved to adopt a more eco-friendly lifestyle in the year ahead.
But you don’t have to wait until the new calendar year to go green. In fact, New Year’s revelers can turn their New Year’s Eve party into an eco-friendly affair in a variety of ways.
- Forgo paper products. New Year’s Eve festivities typically feature lots of food and beverages, and hosts can use this to get a head start on their resolutions. Instead of serving food on paper plates and beverages in disposable paper, plastic or foam cups, use reusable glassware or even plastic cups and plates that can be washed and reused. In addition, replace paper napkins with cloth napkins that can be used more than once.
When forgoing paper products, don’t forget to abandon traditional invitations for e-vites. Invite guests via e-mail or through social networking sites instead of sending out traditional paper invitations that needlessly use paper and need to be transported.
- Embrace eco-friendly beverages. Adult beverages are a big part of many New Year’s Eve parties, and even these beverages can be eco-friendly. The growing popularity of craft breweries, or microbreweries, has made it easy for party hosts to serve eco-friendly drinks. Purchase your party’s beer supply from a local microbrewery to cut down on the beer’s carbon footprint. Buying locally reduces reliance on transportation to get items from the manufacturer into your refrigerator, which in turn reduces fuel consumption and pollution.
But beer isn’t the only way to make your beverage menu more eco-friendly. Hosts can replace traditional vodka with organic vodka and traditional wine with biodynamic wine. When the time comes to toast the past year and ring in the new one, do so with champagne or sparkling wine made from organic grapes.
- Encourage guests to recycle throughout the night. When guests arrive, explain to them that the night will be an eco-friendly affair. Set up a separate trash receptacle for recyclable items, including bottles and cans. Think of ways to use discarded wine and champagne bottles as decorative items, be it for table settings or vases to hold fresh flowers. And when recycling, don’t overlook the smaller items. Corks from wine bottles can be recycled and reused for a variety of products, including flooring tiles, building insulation and sports equipment.
- Donate food at the end of the night. Hosts often have food leftover at the end of the night. Rather than discarding all those leftovers, donate them to a local food bank or homeless shelter. Make these arrangements in advance so the following morning you can donate the leftovers before they spoil. New Year’s Eve is one of the most festive nights of the year. And with a few simple steps, hosts can make their gathering as eco-friendly as it is enjoyable.