Do your weekend plans include hosting a Super Bowl party or celebrating Valentine's Day? Us too! But, did you know that entertaining and feeding more people than we're accustomed to can also lead to creating more waste? To help you keep recycling and waste reduction top of mind when prepping food for groups, hosting a party, or giving gifts, the team at SWACO has compiled our list of favorite tips and tricks for minimizing waste.
Choose Sustainability and You'll Always Be on the Winning Team.
#1: Use Reusable — When it comes to party supplies, use reusable plates and silverware. This will prevent your trash from filling up with all of those single-use plastic plates and silverware.
#2: Have a Plan for Food — Everyone loves a game-time snack but don't just plan a fun party menu, have a thoughtful plan for leftovers too. When shopping for ingredients, have a list handy so that you only buy the quantities of items needed for the number of guests you’re feeding; and remember to eat your leftovers. Send guests home with leftovers for tomorrow's lunch or get creative and reinvent leftover chicken wings into a new dish.
#3: Recycle, Recycle, Recycle — Did you know that paper, aluminum and some plastic cups are now accepted for recycling? To help your guests, set out a clearly-marked recycling bin (and consider printing and hanging this signage) so guests know where to put those empty cups, bottles and cans.
Love Your Mate and the Planet Too.
#1: Gifts that Keep On Giving – There are many locally-owned, sustainably living shops that sell candles, soaps, household plants and accessories that will be sure to please your valentine. Giving experiences is also a great alternative to consider such as a museum membership (think Ohio History Connection with more than 50 sites throughout the state to explore, or Columbus Museum of Art) or tickets to a live performance (see CAPA’s site for upcoming shows).
#2: Dine Out Wisely – When dining out, sharing a meal with your partner or friends is a great way to avoid leftovers that might wind up in the garbage. Consider bringing reusable containers from home to avoid single-use plastic and Styrofoam carryout containers.
#3: Compost Flowers – Receiving or giving flowers on Valentine’s Day can be inevitable, but don’t forget about these options for keeping them out of the landfill: Add them to your compost bins, a garden, or even make potpourri.