The new year is just days away and already people are figuring out what they are going to wear, where they are going to party, and who they will celebrate with at midnight.
However, if you’re the one throwing the party, things might be a little more hectic, trying desperately to figure out if you bought enough food, if you have enough cups, and chairs, and bunting, and streamers, and whether the music playlist is any good, and so on, and so forth.
Even with all of that on your mind, we are going to give you something extra to think about…
Is your New Year’s Eve party going to be eco-friendly?
Sustainability and environmental protection have truly become mainstream in 2018, thanks in part to the efforts of an elite list of campaigners, such as Leo DiCaprio and David Attenborough. Credit must also be given to the thousands of campaigners, activists, NGOs and governments around the world who have brought the sustainability agenda to the forefront of global discussion. So, how can you make sure that your New Year’s Eve party would get their thumbs of approval?
Here are our best ideas…
- Make your own bunting from fabric, ensuring that it is long-lasting and reusable (here’s a guide)
- Make your own confetti from scrap paper
- Buy high-quality fairy lights that will last for years to come
- Avoid glossy banners (as they are commonly non-recyclable)
- Avoid glitter as much as you can (here’s why)
- Avoid balloons (bad for wildlife and non-recyclable)
Fashion and outfits
- Wear something you already own in order to avoid fast-fashion
- Give your guests a theme for their outfits
- Fancy dress may seem like a fun idea, but it creates a huge amount of waste. Don’t buy something that you know you will throw away after wearing once
- Don’t buy glitter or sequin outfits, as they are bad for the natural environment
- Shop locally. Find suppliers in your area for the things that you need, such as a greengrocer, farm shop, or family-owned butcher. This food tastes better, is fresh, and is better for the environment
- Ask your friends to make a dish each and bring it with them – this creates a more diverse spread and reduces your waste burden (as guests can take their dishes back with them). To make this even more efficient, divide your guests into categories of what they can bring, such as dips, mains, desserts, cheeses, salads etc, to avoid an oversupply of certain food items
- It may seem easy and convenient to buy a frozen assortment box of 72 different party foods, but these party packs actually create a lot of packaging waste for a low-quality result
- Buying foreign-imported champagne for the New Year’s toast. Instead, do some research on locally made fizzy alcohols and see if you can support local business and be eco-friendly at the same time
Cutlery, crockery, equipment
- Straw-free festivities! Let the new year ring out to the sound of clinking glasses that are free from plastic straws. 2018 started the movement to end plastic straws, let’s make even bigger eco-friendly leaps in 2019! (Find paper, bamboo, or metal alternatives online)
- Ask your friends to bring glasses or cups, instead of purchasing plastic cups and flutes that will only be used for one evening
- Candles set the mood well and will help you save money on electricity
- Paper plates, plastic cutlery, and an abundance of paper napkins; these things are avoidable and more sustainable alternatives exist. If you don’t have enough plates or cutlery, ask your friends for help
Other things to think about
- Have a look online for where the best firework shows are. If convenient to walk, take your guests somewhere they can see a good show, instead of hosting your own firework show and creating a lot of air pollution and hazardous waste
- Find out who the designated drivers or non-drinkers are, and ask if they’d be happy to carpool and pick people up on the way. Remind people that your New Year’s Eve party is eco-friendly and ask them to take public transport otherwise – this also stops your street from being crammed with cars
- Do your invitations online, most preferably through social media where you have a direct channel to your friends. This saves on paper, envelopes, stamps, and the carbon emissions involved in the delivery
Have we missed anything?
We’d love to update this guide for next year. Please email your submissions to [email protected]