A group of people with wine in their hands.

What are some of the first things that you associate with the summer? For many people, summer is the best time for throwing parties and spending time with family, friends, and neighbors. From barbeques and pool parties to birthday and graduation bashes, parties are a summer staple, but they often result in quite a bit of garbage. Every choice that we make affects the environment, and there are a number of quick and easy steps that anyone can take to make their summer party more beneficial to the planet.

1. Keep Invitations Virtual

Receiving mail is always fun, but invitations are far more eco-friendly when they are sent via email rather than on paper. There are a number of websites that you can use to create an exciting virtual invitation (Evite and Paperless Post are both great options), and these can be emailed to all of your guests in an instant. Another benefit of virtual invitations is that they are interactive, allowing you to track your RSVPs, contact your guests easily, and provide more information about your party. If you’d rather not send out invitations via email, try Facebook! Creating an event page allows you to reach your guests through social media, and can help spread the word about your party.

2. Reuse Your Decorations

Using items you already own when you’re decorating can lead to a ton of waste reduction. For example, try using the same birthday banner every year, rather than buying a new one each year and then throwing it away. If you do end up buying something that you’re only going to need once, give it away rather than tossing it. If your party extends into the night, use candles for light rather than light bulbs. This aids in both reducing your electricity usage and creating a more intimate and cozy atmosphere.

3. Choose Cloth Over Plastic

To continue the trend of reusing your party supplies, check out your local thrift store for linens that can be washed and used over and over again. Things like tablecloths and napkins are a huge source of waste, and you’ll feel much better about your party if when it ends, it has barely produced any garbage. You could even share these items with friends and family, and encourage the use of washable party linens rather than disposable ones.

4. Avoid Disposable Items

The most clear sources of party-produced waste are the ever-common disposable plates, cups, and cutlery. According to the EPA, more than 780,000 tons of plastic and styrofoam cups are discarded annually, and if people stopped using them for their summer parties, that number would be sure to drop. If you don’t want to take out your entire personal cutlery set every time you throw a party, consider investing in a second set, possibly from a secondhand store. If you use the same set of plates, cups, and utensils every time you throw a party, you will be contributing a lot less waste to the countrywide total. Your guests will also be able to avoid the aggravation of flimsy paper plates and plastic knives.

Make Your Life Greener

There are so many small changes you can make while planning your party that will lead you to the greenest possible result. Although the focus here has been on making your summer celebrations more eco-friendly, pulling green techniques into your everyday life will be even more beneficial to the planet. Cali Carting is a full service solid waste and recycling company located in Kearny, NJ, and we would love to work with you to help you plan and achieve your sustainability goals. We strive to deliver the most environmentally friendly assistance possible. Contact us today to learn more about our services, and for any help you might need with recycling or making your life greener.