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Party Responsibly: Tips for Celebrating Sustainably

According to the Clean Air Council, every day 43,000 tons of foods are thrown out in the United States, and each year Americans toss out enough paper and plastic cups, forks and spoons to circle the equator 300 times. That's the bad news. The good news is that with a bit of creativity and a little know-how, you can throw a fun, festive affair without it taking a major toll on the environment.

For the month of December, thoughts of holiday parties and new year events are on the minds of most people. It is a time to share the warmth we feel toward others and to celebrate with people whose company we enjoy. When planning a party at work or at home, remember to be kind to the environment. With some planning, you can make it a waste-free event, where very little gets thrown away.

For work celebrations, ask coworkers to bring a fork, spoon, cup and plate from home. That way, everything can be washed and used again! Decorate your party headquarters with plants and when printing colorful decorations, be sure to print on the back side of paper (reuse copy paper). Be creative! If purchasing napkins or paper towels, make sure they are made from recycled content. Many stores carry paper products made from recycled content. Just look for the “green” option. Do not use balloons to decorate. Balloons are not environmentally friendly and can end up harming animals when found in the outdoors. And most importantly, remember to recycle as much as possible. Place those soda cans, glass jars and plastic bottles in recycle bins.

Other green party tips include: