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Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016 12:10 am

A not-so-disposable party

Parties create a lot of memories … and trash. Here are tips to reduce waste.

 

Holidays may be the perfect time for a little indulgence, but that doesn’t mean you have to create a bunch of waste.

Here are tips for making your holiday party a little greener this season:

1. Send electronic cards
Take your holiday cards and party invites into the next level by going digital. Not only can you create a custom card with videos, graphics and gifs, you save a little extra waste at the same time.

2. Provide recycling containers
Encourage party guests to recycle cans, bottles and paper products by providing convenient recycling containers. This also saves you from having to spend time and energy separating materials later.

3. Avoid disposable dishware and utensils
While paper plates and plastic cups make cleanup easier, they’re not great for the environment. Go the classy – and eco-friendly – route with reusable dishes, glasses, utensils and napkins. You can save money by shopping at a local thrift store or even renting a set.

4. Serve finger foods
Or you can get rid of plates and utensils completely by serving a variety of finger foods. Dishes like bruschetta, mini quiches and tartlets are sure to be crowd-pleasers. Just take your favorite holiday dish and miniaturize it – the limit is your imagination!

5. Compost food waste
With so many yummy treats on the table, it’s inevitable that not everyone can join the clean plates club. Ask guests to scrape food scraps into a designated container so that you can compost it instead of sending it to the landfill.

6. Reduce your water usage
Scraping plates can also help minimize your water usage during the holidays, saving you 10 gallons of water, according to the EPA. Another great way to reduce your water bill is washing dishes in the sink filed with soapy water rather than continuously running the tap or loading the dishwasher.

7. Ditch the wrapping paper
Consider more earth-friendly alternatives to wrap your holiday gifts. Reuse newspapers (comics are a colorful choice), posters or old maps. Or you double the giving by creating a gift within a gift by placing presents in decorative tins, flowerpots or baskets.

Another way to reduce waste: give gifts that don’t require any wrapping at all like concert tickets, baked goods or charity donations.

8. Donate leftovers
If you have a lot of leftover pantry items at the end of the party, consider taking them to a local soup kitchen, police station or firehouse to spread the holiday cheer.

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