How to make your New Year's more sustainable

As Christmas celebrations approach, you may be starting to think about your New Year’s plans. The pandemic caused many people to have a smaller-scale celebration than usual, and the same may be true this year. Even with vaccines and boosters being dispersed, some people may not be in a rush to go to a big celebration just yet. If you are hosting or attending, a New Year’s celebration this year, you may be wondering how you can help make the party more sustainable this year. 

Read on for five ways you can help do your part at your New Year’s celebration this year.


1. Reusable cups

When you have guests in your home, it can be easy to opt for disposable cups, like the classic red solo cups seen in every college movie. While they’re convenient, they’re not the best for the environment. Rather than supplying disposable cups for your guests, you should see if you’re willing to utilize the glasses you typically use at home. Pro tip: Ask your guests to bring a reusable cup from home. Most people have a tumbler of some sort that they’d be willing to bring. Better yet, you can provide a party favor for each guest, if you have a bit of money to spare. This way, you can show your hospitality with a personalized cup for each attendee.


2. Reuse decorations

While you may be in a hurry to take down all of your Christmas decorations in anticipation for ones for New Year’s Eve, you may want to hold off. A lot of decorations you use for Christmas can be used for both holidays, which will save money, and limit waste. You can use simple decorations, like white fairy lights, for both holidays. While you may have them around the tree for Christmas, they can be strung from the walls for New Year’s. You can also reuse mistletoe and holidays bows for a festive aesthetic.


3. Make your own decorations

Many decorations for New Year's have nothing more than “Happy New Year” written on them. You can easily make your own version of this decoration for your home (1).


4. Shop secondhand

It may be tempting to run to the stores for a brand-new outfit for this year’s celebration, but it’s also easy to find something in style at second-hand stores. For many years, sparkles, sequins, and shining fabrics have been the trend for New Year’s celebrations. While the shape and fit of the outfits may change, the fabric hasn’t. You can check out a local thrift store for a secondhand dress or top to wear for this year’s celebration, or you can ask to borrow an outfit from a friend. With the number of people who post photos for New Year’s each year, no one would even recognize your outfit from last year if you chose to wear the same one.


5. Encourage guests to take food home

While your guests may be comfortable taking home the leftovers from the dish they brought, you should make it clear that all of the food at your event is up for grabs. There can be a lot of food waste at New Year’s parties, so having your guests take food home will help cut back on this. To help make sure guests take food home, you can provide Tupperware as a party favor, or encourage them to bring their own.

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