Celebrations are a joyous time in our lives. These various occasions calls for quite a bit of preparation and planning. The following are simple steps for you to keep your celebrations eco-friendly all year long. This also saves money as you plan your upcoming home entertainment events as well.
1) Buy and use decorations that can be relevant for various occasions
For example, I have three table clothes (in red, golden yellow and blue) that can be used for various celebrations (Valentine's Day, Christmas, Birthday parties, Fourth of July, etc.). By keeping to a versatile color scheme, you save on money and time (don't have to shop for new decorations each time you have a planned party).
2) Use the chinaware not paper plates
For some reason, some people equate casual parties with paper plates usage. Break this trend and use your dinnerware. The amount of time it takes you to toss the bags of garbage filled with paper plates, you would have already loaded your dishwasher with the dinnerware. Also, when paper plates are available, individuals tend to use new ones for second servings and generate even more waste. For some reason, individuals are able to better keep track of actual dinnerware.
3) Have a dozen permanent markers available for marking up the plastic disposable cups so individuals are less likely to use new ones. For your more sophisticated parties, consider using actual glasses.
4) Lower your thermostat
When there are more people at a home or single location, the crowd generates heat so you can lower your thermostat and people will not notice the five degree difference but you will notice it in your utility bill.
5) Use actual household plants for centerpieces instead of fresh cut flowers or consider displaying various bowls of fruit.
6) Designate a recycle garbage can and label it accordingly. Instead of having possible recyclable bottles and other recyclable items tossed out, a simple designated recycle garbage can will enable guests to clean up and recycle responsibly.
7) Forget about giving away party favors and if you really feel compelled to give party favors, make them eco-friendly.
I've attended a fair number of kids' birthday parties and don't really want another bag filled with dollar bought plastic toys that break easily and are basically glorified landfill items. So, avoid giving away party favors and if you really feel compelled to give something away consider giving away one or more of these eco-friendly items: mini-bag of seeds, recycled crayons, homemade mini-journals, BPA free water bottles, recyclable lunch bags, recyclable shopping bags/totes and cloth made coin pouches.
Eco-friendly items to always keep in the trunk of your car
How many times have you drove up to the supermarket parking lot and remembered that you “forgot” to bring your recycled shopping bags? The following is a list of “must pack” items that you should always keep in your trunk of your car before you leave your driveway.
1) Recycled Shopping Bags – great for supermarket shopping and clothing shopping as well. Refuse to take that GAP, OLD NAVY , ANN TAYLOR LOFT or other brand name shopping bag, instead use your own.
2) Empty and Cleaned Pyrex Storage Containers – bring these containers with you the next time you go to a restaurant and refuse to take the non-eco-friendly plastic doggie bag/container home. Instead, use your own container.
3) Filled Water Bottles – Stop making impulsive drink purchases by having a filled water bottle in your car before you start your trip. You will save money and the environment.
4) Clothing Hangers – Always have some clothing hangers ready in your car trunk so you can bring them to your dry cleaners and have your newly dry cleaned clothes hanging from your own hangers (don’t take those metal hangers with you).
5) Loose Change/Coins Container – Always have a loose change/coins container in your car and make sure you use them for small purchases. The average American loses over $50 a year in loose change by misplacement or dropping the change in transit to their destination.
6) Notepad/Pen – Use the notepad/pen to track purchases (e.g. gas and other small purchases). You can avoid printing unnecessary receipts and de clutter your car. The next time you are given an option, decline having a gasoline receipt and jolt down the amount you paid in your notepad instead.
7) Colored Pencils/Notepad – Have a set of colored pencils and notepad handy for each of your children stored in the car, encourage them to entertain themselves by drawing pictures or planning the next family trip. This enables you to avoid “throwaway” toys and impulsive purchases at supermarkets or grocery lines.
8) Extra change of clothes and jacket - For seasoned parents, this suggestion is a no-brainer. Kids make a mess and tend to get their clothes dirty so have a spare set of clothes for each child so you don't have to worry about impulsive clothing purchases if the weather suddenly changes on you.