How to have a green, trash-free party PART 1

This topic has been on my mind for a bit. How does one invite people over for a casual get-together while still being conscious of what you are consuming/wasting, etc.? You don't want to be the Big Green Monster in the room, and scare off all of your friends with images of sharing a veggie BBQ, on the ground, eating with your hands.

That doesn't have to be the case.
So let's start with the PLASTICWARE { Each year, 40 billion polystyrene utensils are thrown into landfills } The plasticware is a tough one. If you're planning on having a large amount of guests, chances are, you don't have that much silverware. So I have a few solutions you could try in order to avoid purchasing a giant box of plastic pieces that will just be trashed at the end of the celebration.

1. Go to your local thrift store and buy up the random pieces of flatware. You're already out grocery shopping, just add one more stop onto your list of things to do! You can hold on to these for years to come and dig them out whenever you have another party—or re-donate! Yeah, sure you have to wash them at the end of the day, but most of you are probably using dishwashers anyway, right? I don't have one, but a few minutes soaking in the sink is worth it. AND, you can use the eclectic look of mixed silverware to your advantage in decorating. Or, if you want a more cohesive look, maybe think about tying small ribbons around each piece!

2. Ask a few friends if you can borrow their flatware. I guess it depends on how fancy their stuff is and how friendly you really are ;) but if you borrow just a few different sets from different people, you'll know whose is whose at the end of the day.

3. If you ever order food delivery, you might also get packaged sets of plasticware (often with napkins). Start saving them! Then you can use them for times like this.

If you're not feeling those options, another choice would be to purchase new, more durable ware that can be reused time and time again. While this might cost more up-front, you'll save in the long run because you won't have to buy for the next party. The image shown here features cutlery, plates & cups by the company Preserve and they are reusable (dishwasher safe) and recyclable. I think I favor this option over #5 because while #5 is biodegradable, it's a given that you'll be tossing it after 1 use and the energy it takes to create so much new product might outweigh the biodegradable factor. But any of these are favorable to using throw-away plastic.

Look into biodegradable/compostable cutlery. There are many options in this category and they are all very sturdy. Some are made from potato starch and vegetable oil, others from Bamboo and I think some are even made from sugar cane! Pretty cool stuff. You might have to buy bulk, but just hold on to the excess for next time, or give to a friend.


Melissa said...

my one warning for the biodegradable stuff is I'd stay away from it unless you are going to do the composting yourself...there's a lot of evidence to indicate that they won't actually break down in a conventional landfill. good post though!

:: A S K :: said...

Oh definitely ~ Thanks for bringing that up! If it goes into a plastic garbage bag, that completely defeats the purpose. Plus, landfills are not balanced nicely like a compost needs to be in order to properly break things down (but that balance is easy to achieve if you're putting the right stuff in there).