Activities which can enrich the life of any older adult
by Sally Perkins
Partying Like the Planet Matters
Socializing is part of our nature as humans, but so is wastefulness and disregard for the planet. We will continue to get together in groups of common interest, but we do not need to continue to make the planet pay for it. Having a party never needs to cost the planet its health. It is inexpensive and simple to throw waste-free parties with only small changes to what is normally expected from social gatherings. Everything from planning a fantastic wedding party to small garden gatherings can be successfully eco-friendly by following a few simple tips.
How to Start
Begin with the invitations by ditching the paper. Use virtual invites over Facebook or other, more formal, invitation sites. Tracking RSVP’s is easier, communications are quicker, and updating information is fast, all without extra paper. Choose natural decorations, such as flowers in season, greenery for an outdoor party, or reusable candles. Fabric banners can be used over again, or loaned out to other parties for less waste. Consider using fabric napkins over paper, and ditch the paper plates for reusable alternatives. According to the EPA, 730 thousand tons of fake dinner products, such as plates and cups, are thrown out annually. Using as many reusable products as possible must be a top priority in the fight against the death of our planet.
If the Party Isn’t Yours
What do you do if the party isn’t yours? When you’re going to someone else’s party, make eco-friendly choices. Choose party preparations and personal care products, such as make up made with organic ingredients that will help you look great while preserving the environment. Choose jewelry and clothing made of natural products. You’ll feel better about yourself, because you know you’re doing your part.
If you’re not sure that your hosts will supply reusable products, bring your own. A small camping kit, which includes a reusable plate, fork, knife, spoon and cup, will come in handy for any gathering. Bring along more than one fabric napkin as well as a reusable, fabric bag for dirty dishes. When you get home, wash everything so it will be ready for your next social invite.
The cleanup of a reusable party may not be as fast as a disposable party, but it is far more satisfying. Simply pick up the reusable table service and run it through the dishwasher. Pack it away for the next party, or to loan to friends and family for their social gatherings. Run linens through the washer. Save banners and any other reusable decorations in airtight storage containers. While you won’t be able to simply tie off a bag for the curb, you will feel great knowing that you have contributed far less to the local landfill.
Gatherings are part of our social nature as humans. Luckily, adding to our already crowded landfills does not need to be part of these events.