The Great, Green Outdoors

Posted on June 01, 2016
River

Summer means warmer weather, more time spent out of the house and finding ways to recycle while away from home. It also means a variety of outdoor events including sporting events, trips, festivals, parties, weddings, and more. Whether you are hosting or attending an event, there are many ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Easy Steps

Before you leave the house, do a little planning ahead. Purchase snacks in bulk rather than individually wrapped products, and bring refillable water bottles. And while you’re out, be on the lookout for recycling bins. If there aren’t any available, pack out your recyclables so you can put them in your recycling bin at home.

Sustainable Party Planning

If you’re organizing an event, be sure to make it a green event. Purchase recyclable and compostable supplies, use sustainable vendors, and provide collection bins throughout the event for recycling, garbage and organics for composting if a program is available. If you need bins, contact your county or use the Recycling Association of Minnesota’s Borrow-a-Bin program. Encourage your guests to recycle and avoid paper waste with reusable dishes, cups, silverware, decorations and signs. Use Master Recyclers to help with your events and reduce waste. You can even look into becoming a Master Recycler in Hennepin, Dakota, or Anoka counties.

See the Results!

No matter the size of your event, there are ways to ensure that it stays environmentally friendly. Success stories include everything from city-wide gatherings to an in-home baby shower. With a little bit of planning, people have been able to divert nearly all of the waste from the garbage to recycling and composting. There are many creative ways to limit waste and ensure that your guests have a great time during your summer party.

Going Green on the Big Day

Weddings can create a lot of waste, but they don’t have to if you follow some steps suggested on Green Weddings. This includes reducing waste from invitations, choosing vintage and sustainable clothes, and using seasonal and organic flowers. You also can use electronic save the dates and register with a service like SoKind and Honeyfund to have guests purchase experiential gifts instead of wrapped ones. Choose vendors that use sustainable methods including composting food waste, using reusable or recyclable containers, reusable centerpieces and local flowers. There are eco-friendly solutions for just about every part of wedding planning, so be creative!

Recycle for the Home Team

Another big attraction in the summer months is sporting events. Whether you are heading to a professional game, or to the park for the local league, look for ways to recycle. The National Sports Center (NSC) in Blaine is the world’s largest amateur sports facility with over 50 grass soccer fields, an 18-hole golf course, hockey arenas and more. It uses Master Recyclers and has an expansive sustainability program. The NSC aims to provide recycling options at every point by pairing every garbage can with a recycling bin. When the facility hosted over 1,000 soccer teams for the Schwan’s USA Cup, teams were provided laminated cards explaining which items belonged in which bin. Nearly one-third of the waste generated during the 10-day tournament was recycled. 

Take Recycling into Your Own Hands

Seek out recycling options everywhere you go and don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t see anything. Know whether or not your items are recyclable by knowing what to throw and plan ahead before heading out to the great, green outdoors this summer.