Party Planning for the Holidays

Posted on November 8, 2019

It's November, which means that holiday parties are just around the corner. You may have even begun planning them already! But whatever phase of planning your in, we have some ideas for you on how to plan this holiday season with sustainability in mind!


1) Conceptualize. Party planning begins way back in the concept phase. Make yourself a list of things you need to have at the party, things you want to have, and things you don't want to have. Once you have this list in front of you, you can see where your priorities lie and start shifting things around. This lets you make a master "to do" list quite easily. It's right in this phase where you can start the groundwork of making your part sustainable.


2) Research. Now that you have your master "to do" list, you can look at how each step can be handled in the most sustainable way. If you have food on your list, you can start to ask: what kind of food, where do I get it, what do I do with the leftovers and the waste? Not everything on your list will be easy to make more sustainable and that's okay! Sustainability takes some trial-and-error, so do your best this time and remember the lessons for next time!


3) Take Some Time. Now that you have a plan of what you want, and how to make it more sustainable, it's time to gather everything you need together. It's important at this point to take some time, because quick sustainability solutions tend to be expensive sustainability solutions. For example, if you're looking for compostable cups at the last minute, you'll find it expensive or difficult to acquire them. Instead, find the easy stuff first and set up your plan to look for the harder to find stuff, and make sure you have lots of time before the event. For some specific sustainability tips for holiday parties, check out our 2016 blog about Greening your Holiday Party!


4) Educate your Guests. Alright, you've organized your party, you have the date, your guest arrive... the party planning isn't over, though! This might sound a little silly, but educating your guests on sustainability can be both fun and will save you a lot of headaches! It might even inspire them for their own parties! What do we mean by educating your guests? Have you ever had a party only to find your kitchen compost bin full of garbage? Or your trash can with recycling in it? That's because people don't know where to put things! Everyone's home and office are different. So, when you greet your guests, give them a mini tour. It will only take a few minutes and you can point out where different attractions/amenities to the party are–food, dance floor, drinks, sitting areas, Christmas tree, bathroom, or anything else–plus where the recycling, composting, and trash are–and what goes where. If you have compostable plates, you can point that out. If you're using metal utensils, you can point out where people can put them when they're dirty. Now that your guests are educated, they can relax and enjoy the party and so can you!


5) Cleanup. After the party is over, your sustainability efforts continue! Cleaning up is an important part to being sustainable: sorting your waste, finding homes for unused or extra party supplies, and reorganizing the party space. This is also a great time to check in with guests. How did they enjoy the party? Did they have any issues with finding anything? Any issues figuring out what to do with waste? You could do this as a survey if you're really keen, or just ask on their way out the door! This will give you valuable feedback for your next party.


Being sustainable is a process that we all share, and don't worry if things don't go perfectly! We're all learning how to be better global citizens. Share your own tips for waste free holidays with us on our social media accounts TwitterFacebook, and Instagram!