Holiday Party PlanningWe’re in the midst of another holiday season. It’s a lovely time focused on family, friends, and traditions. But, if you’re like us, it can also feel like a very trashy time of year between the parties, packaging, and all the giving and getting that goes on.

If you are hosting a party in the coming weeks, planning ahead can do wonders to limit the amount of waste that ends up in the trash. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

  1. Plan your Menu. Your menu will not only set the mood for the party, but it will also determine what kinds of serviceware you will need and also what kind of recycling bins you should plan to have.
  2. Precycle. Precycling is the process of making purchases based on what you will be able to recycle when the party is over. Plan to purchase items packaged in aluminum and steel cans, plastic food containers (no Styrofoam), glass jars and bottles or cardboard boxes. These can all be recycled in Hendricks County. Better yet, purchase bulk items that you can place in a bag you bring from home.
  3. Set up recycling bins next to all trash cans and mark them clearly. You want your guests to have fun, so don’t make them hunt down the right place for recyclables.  Recycling bins can be a simple box, a trash can marked with the recycling symbol, or a fancy recycling bin.
  4. Send the food leftovers home with your guests, donate extras to a local shelter, and compost what you can.
  5. Take the recyclables to the recycling center or put them in your curbside receptacle as soon as possible. Nobody wants uninvited guests (like insects) in the bin.

If you want to take your eco-friendly party planning to the next level, consider the following:

  • Promote a “reuse” lifestyle–send your guests home with personalized reusable cups, mugs, or water bottles.
  • Avoid single-use plastic or paper tablecloths and cover tables with quilts, sheets, or burlap for a cozy, country feel
  • Serve salads in bread bowls, fruit salad in melon rinds, and sorbet in lemon rinds
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