10 Simple Ways to Go Green at a House Party

Event Type Overview

Number of Attendees: 10-100

Types of Parties:  Graduation parties, birthday parties, baby showers

Types of Activities:  Food, games and other activities

Ways to Go Green

  • Provide recycling containers for cans, bottles, and other recyclables that may be produced at your party. 
  • Put out containers for food waste recycling.  Compost any food waste from your party in your backyard compost bin. If you do not have a bin, consider asking a friend or neighbor with a bin if they would be willing to compost food waste from your party.  If you think you might have leftover food, contact local shelters or food kitchens to learn about food donation opportunities.
  • Provide reusable plates, cups, silverware and linens.  If you do not have enough reusable items, consider asking to borrow some from a friend or renting items.
  • Provide information on bike and transit routes to your home, or encourage your guests to carpool when possible.  Consider offering to shuttle guests from transit stops to your home.
  • Consider distributing invitations electronically to reduce paper waste.  If you prefer paper invitations, purchase invitations made from a minimum of 30% post-consumer content recycled paper.
  • If you are making your own food, consider using local food, such as from a farmer's market or your own backyard garden.  Many local farmers can provide local food items in the wintertime.  If food for your event is being catered, talk to your catering company about how they can incorporate local food into the menu.
  • Provide condiments in bulk instead of individually wrapped servings.  For example, provide a sugar bowl instead of individually wrapped packets.
  • Use decorations that can be reused in future years or consider borrowing decorations from a friend that has thrown a similar party.  Consider using alternatives to balloons, such as fresh-cut  flowers from your garden, or look for biodegradable balloons. 
  • If you are providing party favors consider providing sustainable favors, such as a potted plant, or gifts made from recycled or reused materials.  If gift giving is involved, encourage attendees to give an "experience", such as concert tickets, instead of "stuff".
  • Encourage reuse by setting up a "collection corner" at your party for unwanted items to be swapped or donated.  Tie it into the theme of your party (e.g. for a movie night, collect unwanted DVDs).