Photo: Lady pushing a shopping cart in the supermarket

by Sabra Leomo, RD

The holidays are just around the corner and parties are on everyone’s mind. During this season of celebration the amount of waste generated from festivities can really add up. Incorporate a few of these sustainable tips when you plan your next holiday gathering.

  1. Buy exactly what you need - Go to the store with a plan and a list. If a recipe calls for 3 carrots then buy 3 carrots vs a bag of carrots. No one wants to run out of food at a party but making too much can lead to food waste. There are even online party food calculators that will take the guess work out of how much food to prepare for your next party.
  2. Use re-useable dishware and utensils - Hear me out on this one, I know that no one really enjoys washing dishes. However, disposable cups, plates and utensils generate a large amount of waste. Most people tend to go through multiple plates and cups during a party, and the amount of waste generated is huge. To make dishwashing easier, fill a large tub full of warm soapy water for guests to place dishes in. Bring some of your favorite people to talk to in the kitchen while the dishes get washed.
  3.  Be resourceful with decorations - We are fortunate to be surrounded by beautiful greenery and flowers year round that can be incorporated into festive decorations. Another option is to decorate with pumpkins and squash that can serve double-duty as décor and can be eaten later. Use strands of LED lights to set a festive mood while using less energy than traditional lights.
  4. Pack leftovers in containers that guests bring to cut down on the waste from plastic bags and single use containers.

As you prepare for your festive gatherings during this holiday season, reduce your waste and save some money by using these sustainable party-planning tips.