I know that it is only February, but graduation parties are only a few months away. I myself will be having a graduation party for my youngest. As good parents, we want to give our children the best of everything, right? Even fun, brightly decorated parties. They worked hard, they deserve it. Before I go further this rant, I will be the first to admit that with my older children, I had parties and pulled out the stops. I decorated with balloons, plastic confetti, plastic utensils, paper plates. The works! I wanted to enjoy their party, celebrate their accomplishments and make my life easier. But, in the last couple years, I have become so much more aware of the environmental impact of these disposable items. Parties can be fun without the plastic waste. Here are some ideas:
- Skip the balloons. They are fun, colorful, beautiful and loved by many. I love balloons. I always have. Sitting on the end of a buffet, they can make the party seem so much better. But, they are terrible for the environment. They do not decompose, animals eat them and they get stuck in everything from trees to utility lines. Instead of balloons, how about a bouquet of flowers at the end of that buffet instead. My daughter’s school colors are red and white, so that leaves us with a lot of options. Stick with local flowers and that is even better.
- Use the paper plates! The water waste to clean a sink full of regular plates is likely just as detrimental as the paper plates. But, spend the extra dollars and purchase environmentally friendly plates that are compostable. A quick google search will give you endless options.
- The precut and arranged fruit and vegetable plates from your local grocery store are so tempting. But, they are sold in huge containers of plastic that will no doubt end up in a landfill. Instead, create your plates with serving dishes you have at home and cut your own produce.
- Choose alternatives to single use plastic water bottles. Fill a 3 gallon water dispenser with water (you can add citrus to make it pretty) and have paper cups available. Or, but cans of water. The aluminum is still better than plastic.
- Instead of purchasing confetti to decorate, use a hole punch and create your own out of leaves that you find on the ground or construction paper. This another free option and 100% eco friendly.
- Use your everyday utensils instead of plastic utensils. It will take extra time to clean them, but think about how much more eco friendly that choice will be. Also, you already own a drawer full of utensils, so you will also save money.
These are just a few of the ideas I have as I already start planning my daughter’s graduation party this summer. What other ideas are floating around out there to make graduation party season both fun and eco friendly?