Valérie Dufort-Roy | Klish Way
Last summer, I had the pleasure of attending an elegant beach party. Amidst the fun conversations and some yummy crab cakes, it was curious to observe two humongous trash cans drew puzzling stares from the distinguished guests. One was labelled “trash” and the other “recycle.” Easy, familiar choices, right? Well, after a few minutes of observing the puzzled partygoers, I could tell that we were in a true labelling haze. Plates, with or without food, and plastic cups were being tossed in either trash or recycle. The bamboo utensils, a nice eco-friendly touch from the hosts, were also going both ways. In reality, the effort to divert recyclables away from landfills was lost somewhere between the excited conversations about summer plans and mesmerizing views of our ocean.
Just in time for the winter holidays, I have a few zero-waste recommendations to make, in order to divert trash away from landfills, reduce the purchase of single-use items, and add a touch of green to your parties. Here are some easy ways to transform a trash generating event into a clean, guilt-free party!
Disposable plates: Trade the flimsy paper-plates for reusable unbreakable plates. For about $60, one can easily locate 25 unbreakable matching plates that are slim and easy to store in between parties.
Plastic cups: Trade the usual plastic cups with dishwasher-friendly reusable cups. Even better, actual stackable glasses or jars cost about $1 a piece.
Plastic forks: Trade the environmentally-unfriendly plastic forks with actual metal forks. They can be found at big box stores for about $30 for 70 metal pieces. Alternatively, thrift stores also carry loads of second hand flatware. Mismatched silverware masquerade as fun conversation pieces!
Paper Napkins: Trade the venerable paper napkins for refined cotton or less-stainable polyester napkins. Buy them in bulk, DIY sew them yourself, or find them in garage sales… and eliminate the paper from your parties.
Decorating: Trade the one-time party supplies for nature fresh flowers from our farmers’ market, lilies from your garden, succulent arrangements - the choices are endless.
As for eliminating any confusion among party guests, direct their green intent by labeling your waste bins as “For Compost,” “For Dishwasher,” and “For Laundry.”
Reusing items you already have at hand saves money in the long run and keeps our city and planet clean and green. Happy Holidays!