How to host an eco-friendly Holiday party – Bird + Stone

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How to Host an Eco-Friendly Holiday Party

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1. Local, local, local

We can’t say it enough: buy foods produced locally! Buying local is one of the easiest things you can do to help preserve the environment. Most of the produce you’ll find in stores has been shipped across large distances, relying on polluting forms of transportation and non recyclable packaging materials like single-use plastics. Not only is buying local food better for the environment, it also tastes better! No need to inject the food with preservatives to make it last as its transported long distances. Another added benefit of buying local: seasonal produce is often cheaper than what you can find in the store.

2. Use tap water!

Avoid buying large plastic water bottles. We all love a dashing bottle of sparkling water. But if it’s a plastic bottle, put it right back where you found it! Plastic bottles are one of the top five most common types of litter found on beaches. [1] If your tap water isn5’t safe to drink, invest in a sustainable water filter. Soma water filters are some of our favorites if you’re looking for ideas. Finally, if it’s presentation you’re worried about, deck your water in a beautiful jug. You could even consider adding some fruit in there to make it extra festive!

3. Jazz up your decor.

Say no store-bought decorations this year. Try making your own! We know this can be difficult, especially if you live in a city. Try this: go to a park and collect some pinecones, acorns, or colorful leaves. Stick them in jars around the house, and if you feel up to the task, try making your own wreath! You could also go to your local florist and pick up a bouquet of flowers to have as a centerpiece. If you plan on using candles, use ones made out of soy or vegetable wax, which are clean-burning without harmful emissions.

4. Let yourself be inconvenienced.

We all know that plastic plates are more convenient, yes. But don’t do it. Use real plates and silverware. Avoid anything that is single use. If you really want to use single-use items, consider buying biodegradable plates: you can find a list here. Another pro-tip is to use smaller plates in general. People tend to fill up their plates, and kids in particular run the risk of filling a plate and then pushing around the plate’s contents by playing with it. Smaller plates reduce food waste. And while we’re at it, consider cooking less! Maybe you don’t need the four courses you were planning on cooking, maybe two will work just fine.

5. Come on in!

Think about how your guests normally commute! Are any of them driving from similar areas? If so, suggest they coordinate and carpool together! If it’s warm enough and you don’t live in a big city, you could even suggest they ride a bike. Whatever safe option your guests could take to arrive, pitch that idea to them! Given the party is eco-friendly, chances are they’d be willing to go the extra mile (no pun intended) to make their commute friendly on the environment! 

6. What about when it’s all over?

Don’t have a compost yet? It’s time to start! 24% of the compost that American send to landfills is organic waste. [2] Keeping waste out of landfills not only saves space, it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions tied to methane producing landfill decomposition.


1 comment

  • Amma: December 17, 2019

    Great post idea and some great hints! I’d love for a future addition to include suggestions for more plant-based foods. Meat, dairy, and animal products are pretty horrible for the environment and there’s some great and pretty easy recipes for traditional party food made without animal products. Even making a conscious effort to serve more plant-based foods at parties can make a huge difference. Plus it can be fun!

    As someone who stopped eating animal products 5 months ago, I’ve found some great recipes on “Forks over Knives” both on their website and in their cookbooks (large serving recipes, great for starting out); Bosh food and drink and their cookbook Bish Bash Bosh and more (more recipes for getting that meaty taste without animal meat); the vegan food blog website Ela Vegan (classics and some delicious desserts); the vegan food blogger Max LaManna and his cookbook More Plants Less Waste (all about not letting any part of the food go to waste, and he has some great tips on composting).

    Of course veganism is a complete privilege. If you can, maybe try it out just for one party, one get together, or one meal with your family. Or maybe just substitute one dish with a plant-based alternative. Just some ideas :) Happy Holidays.

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