The ultimate goal would be to have a waste free 4th of July celebration, however that may be an overwhelming idea for many. Let’s start by exploring some ways you can reduce for this year’s party.
- Napkins – They can be of the nice purchased cloth variety or as simple as a festive red or blue bandanna. At the end of the party simply wash and you are all set for the next event! Paper napkins can be composted.
- Plates – Inexpensive plastic or glass plates can be purchased in bulk at the Dollar Store. Many times they are available in a variety of colors and patterns to suit the summer season. Paper plates that are not coated can be composted – sturdy ones can be purchased at Costco or Smart and Final.
- Cups – Who said a cup had to be manufactured to be used as a cup? Mason jars are a festive alternative for summer entertaining and can be washed and reused for canning or food storage. Colored plastic or glass reusable cups are available at the local Dollar store. Solo cups have been a party favorite for years and are now recyclable which is a plus. If you purchase plastic cups make sure you check for the recycle symbol and get them in the bin during your party. Wax coated paper plates and cups may compost eventually, but it would take a significant amount of time, so you may want to refrain from those.
- Food – Food waste of the vegetable and bread variety can be composted – just provide a bin for your guests to scrape their plates into. Meat and dairy can be put into a Bokashi bin and eventually composted through that process if you are set up for it. A 5 gallon bucket is a great food scraping receptacle for a party – just a little education is required for your guests.
- Silverware – Inexpensive reusable silverware is also available at the Dollar store and doesn’t take much room to store between events. Plastic utensils can be washed and reused over and over again and yes they are dishwasher safe!
Trying only one or two of these waste reducing strategies at your next gathering, you will be making a difference.
Have a fun and safe 4th of July holiday!