New Year’s Eve is a holiday full of fun, glitz and glam, but can also be full of plastic-waste. Ring in the New Year and new decade in plastic-free style. Whether you’re going out or staying in we have some tips to make your celebration as low waste as possible.
For The Low Waste Party-Goer
If you’re planning to spend New Year’s Eve out and about, there are a few things you can do to keep your celebration low waste. Small decisions about your outfit and drink choice can help to keep waste down this New Year’s Eve.
Low Waste NYE Outfit
Before the celebrations start, think about your outfit. Looking for a sparkly new outfit can be fun, but it can also be wasteful. Not only are you unlikely to re-wear your New Year’s Eve outfit often, but the sparkles we love can be very harmful to the environment. Glitter and sequins are usually made from plastic. Sequins are too small to be recycled, and glitter usually ends up in landfills or in the ocean. Unfortunately, it’s not just the glitter from your clothes that can cause a problem. Glitter in cosmetics and skincare products washes off your skin and down the drain and eventually ends up in the ocean with other microplastic pieces, so be weary of your makeup choices too!
This year, rather than purchasing a new outfit covered in plastic, look for a more sustainable outfit option. Finding thrifted New Year’s outfits can be fun, sustainable and affordable! If you’ve checked out all your local thrift shops to no avail, consider hosting a clothing swap with friends and family to borrow an outfit for the evening. Finally, for a little extra effort, accessorize what you already have and turn your normal closet into the perfect outfit.
Say No To Straws
Once you’re all dressed up and ready to go, chances are you heading out on the town. It can be hard to stay plastic-free when you’re out, but there are a few things you can do to avoid creating additional waste. The first is to refuse the plastic straw. Most bars and restaurants serve drinks with a plastic cocktail straw, so make sure to let your server know that don’t need it. Another thing you can do is choose drinks that are on tap. This can help cut out any additional waste that might come along with your beverage. If your drink of choice isn’t available on tap, try to choose a drink that is served in a glass bottle that can be easily recycled.
Confetti Clean Up
Finally, when you are heading home for the night, do you part to keep the streets plastic-free. Towns and cities around the world host New Year’s Eve celebrations that produce a lot of plastic waste. In Times Square alone, 50 tons of trash are produced on New Year’s Eve. Much of that comes from plastic confetti that litters the streets. Do your part and pick up any lingering litter on your way home. It may seem small, but it’s one less piece of plastic that will end up in the ocean.
Staying In, In (Plastic-Free) Style
If you plan to stay in during the holiday festivities, you will likely have an easier time keeping waste to a minimum. However, you can still usher in the New Year in style with these plastic-free or low waste decorating tips!
Plastic-Free NYE Decorations
New Year’s Eve comes with plenty of plastic decorations. Everything from hats, horns, banners and plastic champagne flutes find their way into the trash. This year, start the New Year without a trashcan full of plastic.
Choose paper decorations instead of the plastic version. You can make your own banners with paper or cardboard and use twine to string shapes and letters together to make a New Year’s banner. You can make paper lanterns from leftover holiday wrapping paper, getting an extra use out of your holiday wrapping! If you still want to have a little sparkle at your New Year’s party, buy fairy lights instead of glitter. Fairy lights look great and you can reuse them for your next New Year’s party.
Plastic-Free Food And Beverage
You can save money and plastic by using cups, glasses and dishes that you already have at home instead of buying disposable dishes. If you are worried about having enough to go around, ask your guests to bring their own!
Finally, a New Year’s celebration isn’t complete without a little bubbly. When choosing your sparkling wine, champagne or sparkling apple cider, be sure to choose some that comes in a glass bottle with a natural cork. Recycle your glass bottles at the end of the night or save them and reuse them as decoration for your next party!
With a little creativity and planning, you can ring in the New Year plastic-free!