With the holiday season winding down, you might begin thinking of how you’ll be celebrating New Year’s Eve. Are you the one hosting? Or are you a guest? Maybe your New Year’s resolution is to create less trash? If you’re looking for some plastic-free ways to ring in the New Year keep on reading for some inspiration below.
It might seem obvious, but if you want to be plastic-free try using reusables. Metal, glass or ceramic are great healthy choices for materials. That also means utensils, cups, plates and servingware will be reusable too (though this isn’t in the plastic-free category, why not include reusable cloth napkins too?)
With dishwashers being so efficient nowadays, it is much better for the environment to load your reusables into that and have everything wash all at once. No dishwasher? Recruit some of your closest party guests and ask them to help washed and dry if doing dishes is what makes you gravitate to using disposables instead. Many hands make light work!
No, I don’t mean to shop at Costco or BJ’s Wholesale. I’m referring to the bulk section at your local food store. Some locations will have a larger section than others, as some will have healthier options than others. Roasted nuts, granola and popcorn are great finger foods, which help to avoid guests using utensils. Reusable metal toothpicks are also great to have on hand.
Sliced veggies from the produce section and veggies like olives from the salad bar are also great finger foods. Bruschetta is a great plastic-free appetizer to make, fresh bread in your own bag, tomatoes, garlic and basil can easily be found package free.
You can get many pre-made deli foods into your own container if you aren’t much of a cook or food preparer. That also goes for pre-made desserts too! Fruit and sweet treats from the self-serve bakery are great options if you don’t opt to bake something yourself.
Drinks are made simple by creating infused waters with herbs or fruits in your own reusable glass bottle or pitcher. If you happen to have or can borrow a Sodastream machine, you can then create bubbly water too. If you have a local brewery, you can opt for a growler that can be refilled endlessly. Wines in glass bottles are also great, but don’t forget to recycle your corks!
So many items can be plastic-free if you’re just willing to ask for it that way and avoid the ones that aren’t.
Yes, presentation can be very impacting. Especially when done with environmental consideration it can be helpful too. If you feel very strongly about displaying decorations for your party consider reusable or homemade ones that can easily be recyclabled.
Crepe paper streamers are a good choice, however they are usually packaged in plastic. Search on sites like Etsy for some decorations but first inquire if the seller is willing to ship plastic-free. You could also make your own decorations, which is probably the most sustainable way of all.
Whatever you create or purchase, consider reusing it next year so that it helps to stay out of the landfill. Remember you should reduce, reuse and then recycle, in that order. Before you consider recycling, offer your décor to someone else. There’s always someone else out there that would love to have free decorations.
I hope your celebration is a sustainable one and always remember you can always work towards your sustainable goals for the future, it doesn’t all happen at once.