With summer right around the corner, many of us have events of all kinds on our minds. After a full year in a pandemic, many states are offering recommendations for gathering safely which means birthdays, holidays, engagements, weddings and more will start to make their way back onto our calendars. For those of us that are making a conscious effort to be more eco-friendly, we know these shindigs typically can create a lot of waste with single-serve cups and utensils, party favors, etc. But events don’t have to be wasteful and you can host them with sustainability in mind. So we’ve put together a list of 5 super simple ways you can green-ify your events!
1. Ditch the Plastic + Styro
An easy switch to make with a huge impact is opting for compostable plates, utensils and cups rather than their traditional plastic, paper or styrofoam counterparts. Compostable alternatives have come a long way in recent years, and now there are even more compostable/recycled materials to choose from such as palm, cactus, and hemp! Bonus: go straw-less at your event or replace them with edible options.
2. Hire Earth-Conscious Vendors
Vendors can make or break an event, and you trust them to help you make the gathering memorable. Vendors can also be chosen with eco-consciousness in mind. Some vendors only use ingredients/products sourced from other local businesses, therefore reducing the overall carbon footprint of your event. Remembering to shop and source from local purveyors is a good rule of thumb to ensure you're doing the most to reduce your impact and support small businesses within you immediate community. .
3. Leaf the Confetti out of it
Many events include some type of tiny pollutant in the forms of confetti, glitter, and other items that are tossed during celebrations but are nearly impossible to clean up, making them very harmful to our ecosystems. Confetti and other such objects can enter waterways and soil, where they remain for tens to hundreds of years. By using eco-safe equivalents such as confetti made from leaves, biodegradable glitter or flower petals, you can rest easy knowing that your throws do no harm!
4. Save a Stamp + a Tree
Invitations are great for showcasing an event’s theme, flare, and the host’s personal style. However, paper is not a sustainable material and sending traditional invites through the mail leads to a higher carbon footprint due to emissions. So, pause on the postage and send a wonderfully personalized e-vite instead! E-vites can also be animated or include videos, allowing for even more personal touches to highlight your gathering's vibe!
5. Plan Ahead
Planning ahead of time allows you to reduce waste, redundancies, and minimize extra costs with your events! Some of the best local vendors get booked weeks to months in advance, so having an idea of what your event needs is an excellent way to avoid incurring extra costs for a last minute booking. Sending out your invitations with plenty of time for responses will also keep waste to a minimum because you know exactly how many of everything to purchase for your guests. Different themed planning guides like these from Party Theme Guide are an easy way to get inspired in advance.
We hope that this list got your wheels turning about how to make all your events, not just St. Patrick’s Day, a little greener!