Celebrations are moving outside for the summer. Green your next outdoor gathering with these tips, courtesy of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP):
• Rent reusable tablecloths, tables and other event supplies to reduce your impact.
• Use reusable plates, cups, and cutlery if possible—or look for disposable plates or napkins made from recycled content. Avoid polystyrene foam products. “Compost-able” dinnerware is only “greener” if you compost it!
• Serve locally-grown foods whenever possible. This reduces the carbon output of transporting goods to supermarket shelves.
• Serve finger foods to minimize the use of plates and utensils.
• Serve drinks from pitchers or bottles, rather than buying individual drinks.
• Provide separate, clearly marked containers for trash and recycling.
• Do not release helium balloons into the air. This protects wildlife, particularly marine animals living inland and in coastal areas.
• Choose edible or plantable items as centerpieces or favors. These are less likely to end up in the trash. Buy local plants from farmers markets or stands, or, source from a pick-your-own location near home.
Enjoy your next party—the environmentally-friendly way—with these tips. The Earth will thank you!
By John Voket