It's not just the weather and tree leafing and flower blooming that is making us hopeful. It's the anticipation of summer vacation, new babies, weddings, graduations, live music, and parties. Remember those? It's also vaccinations, less mask wearing, health, and returning to a better normal. We all have so much to celebrate!
The way we celebrate is often grounded in tradition. Doing things the same way our parents or other loved ones did roots us and provides comfort. There's also also room for doing things a wee bit different... and by different we mean with more consideration to our health and our environment. None of us is perfect and as we often say, 'There are many shades of green.' Opting for cloth or paper table clothes at the park pavilion is not cancel culture, it's progress culture. It's smart culture.
As you plan your festivities here are a few green things to consider. If you already do these things, awesome. If not, please don't be overwhelmed. Take one green step at a time.
Serve water or tea in pitchers or big jugs of water instead of individual water bottles. You’ll save $, save space in your recycling bin, create less clean-up for yourself, and keep pounds of plastic out of the landfill. Plus, you can take it up a notch by adding lemon or cucumber to your water.
Wrap your gifts with newspaper (comic section for the kids), extra fabric, bandanas, eco-friendly wrapping paper, or reusable bags. Not only will you save new trees from being felled, you’ll be protecting our water systems and reducing landfill waste. Traditional wrapping papers cannot be recycled when it's shiny (coated), contains sparkles, glitter, sequins, foil, artificial texture, sticky gift labels, or plastic. If you opt for single use wrap, look for recycled wrapping paper that is itself recyclable. It’ll likely be better for your health, too.
Resist the lure of balloons. It’s easy to say, just this one time or this one party, but… Balloons, especially if you fill them helium (a non-renewable and precious natural resource), are also harmful for creatures on land and in the sea. Plus, they litter up the landscape and they don’t biodegrade. If you’re using them for directions, try hanging a paper Piñata or putting it on a post. Homemade signs can be eye-catching too!
Avoid any decorations made from plastic, are laminated, or shiny coated. Instead opt for homemade, or recyclable. Attic Journals upcycles board boards into celebration garland, because believe it or not, board books are not recyclable. If you reuse your same decorations year to year, you don’t have to toss them. By all means, keep using them, just don’t invest in more of the same. Invest in reusable and/or give new life to something you already have. Find bunch of fallen leaves in your yard or local park, use a hole punch to make your own confetti. If the leaves are stable, use paint or marker to write your guests' names for table settings or spell out fun phrases on your buffet table.
Serving food? If you can swing it, use reusable plates, cups, cutlery (yep, that means dishwashing). But if it’s not possible, please don’t use coated, plastic, or styrofoam plates. Use compostable plates made from renewable resources like straw or palm leaves and recycled paper. For cutlery, try FSC Certified birch wood utensils. Everyone can put them in the bonfire when you’re done or your compost.
Be sure to have a well-marked recycling bin. And if you compost, a compost bin for scraps. Having multiple, well-marked garbage, recycling, and compost (if you do this) can make your clean up easier. And, if you can find a few cardboard boxes to use as — cans, you can decorate those too! Check out our earth-friendly paint, crayons, and colored pencils.
Serving cake with candles? Switch to paraffin-free candles. The earth and your lungs will thank you for it. Paraffin is a petroleum by product, which is loaded with chemicals and resource-heavy to process. Most are made overseas. Our beeswax candles (numbers and traditional birthday candles) are hand made in the USA, contain no toxins, and are dripless, smoke and soot free. Perfect for people with asthma or other lung issues.
Run away from single-use plastic table clothes. Opt for cloth or paper instead. Looking for convenience, grab a hefty roll of uncoated kraft paper used for shipping at your local office store… it’ll look great AND you can give your guests crayons to use—old and young always enjoy a doodle or a game of hangman.
Every good party has leftovers. And you know how we feel about plastic baggies and cling wrap. You have so many better options to help you pack up and distribute the goods. From plastic-free resealable zip bags meant to be discarded (hopefully composted) to a whole list of reusable silicone and cotton bags and non-breakable containers. Check out all of our food storage options.
Lastly, don’t forget the gift. Why not give your grad or bride or new mom or birthday boy a gift that does less harm and more good? Most of our suppliers give back to their communities in some way. And because we do too, you do double good… and less harm to the environment. Need help picking a gift or gift certificate? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to be your personal shopping assistant. We can wrap and ship, too.
There's so much more we can do without erasing the back yard BBQ or the party at the park. Looking forward to hearing your ideas. Thanks for reading.
P.S. Should of made this post to the 12 Ways....
11. You could use beeswax citronella candles to illuminate and eliminate bugs. 12. Maybe swap your bleached and dyed cupcake paper to Totally Chlorine Free options.
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