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Don’t get ‘trashed’ at parties – Here are a few tips to make sure your party doesn’t generate a ton of trash

Written by Donna Stuckert. Posted in Featured

Published on May 24, 2017 with No Comments

It’s graduation season, and with the warm weather upon us, there will be lots of other excuses to host gatherings.

Parties are notorious for creating a lot of waste; however, here are a few tips to make sure your party doesn’t generate a ton of trash.

1.  Invitations.

First of all, send your party invitations via e-mail or social media. Paper invitations ultimately end up in the recycle or trash bin, so why spend the money to create them? You’ll save money on postage as well.

2.  Buy only what you need.

Sometimes it’s hard to judge how much food or party utensils you’ll need. Reducing the amount you purchase or consume obviously saves money and waste. In addition, realize that reducing the amount you purchase adds to the reduction in the demand for the product. If we all reduce the amount we purchase, manufacturers will make less and reduce their impact on our natural resources.

3.  Borrow, rent or buy used

Instead of buying tables, chairs and other party necessities, see if you can borrow them from someone or rent them from a local party supplier.  If you have to purchase items, check your local thrift stores first. Once again, purchasing new items increases demand for manufacturers to make more, thereby impacting our natural resources.

4.  Reusable vs. disposable.

The smaller your party is, the easier it is to reduce waste. Can you provide reusable napkins, plates and utensils? Reusable items are always preferable. If you are throwing a larger party, however, it might not be convenient to use cloth napkins, dishware and silverware.

Paper plates and napkins are not recyclable due to food residue and grease. Paper cups are not recyclable because they are covered with either wax or plastic that makes them waterproof. Many plastic cups, like the Solo brand or foam cups used to hold hot liquids, are not recyclable curbside either.  Solo cups are #6 plastic, or polystyrene, which is, in essence, Styrofoam. Styrofoam is a brand name created by Dow Chemical that many people use to refer to polystyrene.

Plasticware is also normally made out of polystyrene and not recyclable.

There is no market in the area for the polystyrene we consume in Northwest Indiana. No market simply means that there is no company that is willing to buy it and recycle it into another product that it can sell for a profit.  Therefore, polystyrene must be thrown in the trash, and it takes hundreds of years for the material to break down in landfills. It’s best to reduce your use and not buy it in the first place.

5.  Offer recycling.

If you’re offering beverages, it may be best to offer them in their own recyclable packaging, like cans and bottles, and provide a recycling container to collect the materials. If you don’t have a recycle bin, a big clearly marked box will work.

The Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County loans out event recycling containers for Porter County residents to collect recyclables at parties, festivals and gatherings of all sizes. No event is too small, so feel free to call and reserve containers for your next event.  For more information call 219-465-3695 or, visit www.ItMeansTheWorld.org.

What can I recycle?

  1. Cardboard
  2. Paper
  3. Food Boxes
  4. Mail
  5. Beverage Cans
  6. Food Cans
  7. Glass Bottles
  8. Jars (glass & plastic)
  9. Jugs
  10. Plastic Bottles & Caps

Also recyclables, but not in curbside bin:

  1. Plastic bags & wraps
  2. Electronics
  3. Textiles.

To find out about your local recycling options visit, www.itmeanstheworld.org

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About Donna Stuckert

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All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Donna Stuckert is the Community Education Coordinator for the Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County. She is a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience who enjoys working for the greater good and inspiring others on making a difference. For more information or to reach Stuckert, e-mail DStuckert@ItMeansTheWorld.org.

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