Hosting an eco-friendly family gathering is a great way to bring your loved ones together while minimizing your impact on the environment. The truth is, it doesn't have to be overwhelming or a ton of work! By making a few simple swaps or implementing even just a couple of these tips, your gathering can be both sustainable and enjoyable.
Here are 8 eco-friendly tips:
- Decorate with natural materials
- Use reusable or compostable tableware
- Serve locally sourced, organic, seasonal food
- Offer vegetarian or vegan options
- Reduce food waste
- Provide recycling and composting bins
- Avoid single-use plastics
- Open the convo
1. Decorate with natural materials
Instead of buying plastic or other synthetic decorations, consider using natural materials like flowers, leaves, and branches to create a festive atmosphere. You can also use recycled paper or materials to make banners or reusable bunting.
2. Use reusable or compostable tableware
When it comes to tableware, avoid using disposable items like plastic plates, cups, and utensils. Instead, opt for reusable tableware like ceramic plates and glass cups. If you must use disposable items, choose compostable tableware made from materials like bamboo or sugarcane.
3. Serve locally sourced, organic, seasonal food
Serving locally sourced food is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. When you buy food that is grown locally, it doesn't have to travel as far to get to you, which means less transportation emissions. Look for locally grown fruits and vegetables, and choose meats from local farms that practice sustainable farming methods. Choosing organic and seasonal produce has an additional benefit of minimizing the environmental impact of pesticides and other chemicals.
4. Offer vegetarian or vegan options
Offering vegetarian or vegan options is another way to reduce the carbon footprint of your gathering. Meat production is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, so serving plant-based alternatives can help to reduce this.
5. Reduce food waste
Food waste is another major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions as well. To reduce food waste, plan your menu carefully and only buy what you need. Encourage guests to take home leftovers, and compost any food scraps.
Tip: Use Goldilocks Beeswax Wraps to wrap any leftover food to either store in your fridge or send home with your guests! Beeswax wraps will keep your food fresher, for longer, and help avoid food waste.
6. Provide recycling and composting bins
Make it easy for guests to recycle and compost by providing clearly labeled bins. Encourage them to properly recycle bottles, cans, and other materials, and compost food scraps and other organic waste.
7. Avoid single-use plastics
Single-use plastics are a major contributor to plastic pollution, so avoid using them as much as possible. For example, instead of using plastic straws, you can choose reusable stainless steel or bamboo; instead of disposable plastic water bottles you can use reusable bottles or cups. One easy way to do this is to provide a drink “station,” with pitchers or jugs and reusable cups that guests can keep with them and refill throughout the day.
8. Open the convo
Having conversations with family can be tough, especially when it comes to sensitive subjects - we totally get it. Although climate change is a prevalent subject, it has certainly been turned into a political topic by mainstream media. Know that by doing your best to host an eco-friendly gathering you are already leading by example, and likely having a bigger impact than you can immediately see. One of the things we love about Goldilocks Beeswax Wraps is that they often act as a catalyst for conversation (and ultimately change in habits). People who may not generally be interested in eco-friendly living may be intrigued by the beautiful patterns and ask questions. If your guests seem interested, you can also share some small changes you've made in your daily life to reduce your own environmental impact.
In conclusion, hosting an eco-friendly family gathering is a great way to bring your loved ones together while minimizing your impact on the environment. Implementing even a couple of these simple tips can really help make your gathering more sustainable. Remember, a low-waste lifestyle is about progress, not perfection.