Picnics, Tailgates and Parties, oh my!

If you are a sports fan, you are probably excited for fall.   College football fever is at an all-time high in Nebraska, fantasy draft parties are taking place, and baseball fans can smell October.  If you aren’t a sports fan, I’m willing to bet you have a Labor Day party, family picnic, or a Halloween/fall party to host or attend.

All of those parties means lots of people, food, and waste.

So what can you do to reduce that impact and save you money?  LiveGreen has easy tips for you in this 2-part article, no lifestyle change required.

Let’s start with party prep.

Use reusable tableware, utensils, and serving dishes.  Yes, they are a little more expensive, but they’ll pay for themselves after a few parties. Don’t forget your friends!  They’ll likely let you borrow serving dishes or other necessities.  Most will be dishwasher safe, making cleanup easy.  If reusable tableware isn’t an option, buy recyclable items made with recycled material.  Strive for plastics labeled #1 & #2, as they are more easily recycled.

If you are using materials that are recyclable, make sure they get recycled!  Have easily accessible bins, label them to make it easy for guests, and always have trash and recycle bins next to each other.  Consider using “Energy Bags” for soft plastics.  If you are in a park or at a tailgate, take those recyclables home, and whatever you do, don’t litter.

To decorate, use things you already have—memorabilia, blankets, even old apparel.  Go back to those friends and borrow this from them too.  You can do the same for their next party and everybody wins.  If you must buy new, look for things that will last a long time so you don’t have to purchase them again and look for items made of recyclable material.  Have old apparel you don’t wear but can’t give up?  Use them to make reusable napkins, tablecloths, or other decorations.

Whenever possible, buy in bulk.  Larger quantities of the items you know you will need will ultimately save you money and reduce the amount of waste created.  One family size bag of chips is less packaging than 2 small ones and a case of pop is less packaging than two 12-packs.  Items like this store all season long and save you trips to the store.  Remember to take reusable bags whenever you shop.

 

Next week: food!

 

photo credit: wikimediacommons

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