When you're hosting a party, you know that a paper plate here and an empty can there quickly add up to a lot of trash. Eco-friendly actress and mom Ali Larter knows it too, and is here to share innovative and eco-friendly party planning ideas, so you can increase the fun, while decreasing your environmental impact.
Larter believes tackling this problem is as simple as taking small steps to waste less, which is why she co-hosted a tailgate at the University of Southern California (USC) earlier this year. With an estimated 80,000 fans in attendance, Larter teamed up with The Glad Products Company to help tailgaters learn how to take steps to go "One Bag," working toward the ultimate goal of sending just one bag of trash to the landfill, with the rest being diverted to recycling and compost.
"Being green is something I strive for in my daily life, which is why I've teamed up with Glad," says Larter. "My goal is to inspire others to go one bag, no matter the occasion. Whether I'm hosting a family reunion or a birthday party for my son, it just takes a little bit of planning to cut down on waste. Before long, planning an eco-friendly gathering becomes second nature."
With that spirit in mind, Larter suggests these tips for hosting your own One Bag event:
• Send Electronic Invitations: Rather than mailing a printed invitation for your next party, use online invitations such as Paperless Post, or Facebook.
• Buy in Bulk: A large package of hot dogs for a tailgate uses less plastic than four or five packages for the same amount of food.
• Ditch the Disposables: While it's tempting to break out paper plates and plastic cutlery, most dining disposables end up in the landfill rather than the recycling stream. Instead, use real cutlery and plates or look for options that are compostable. I'm a fan of mixing and matching vintage china patterns for a shabby chic look.
• Turn T-Shirts into Tablecloths: Recycle gently used clothing or logo-wear to create party-themed tableware. For example, old college t-shirts or jerseys make the perfect tablecloths for your next tailgate. If sewing is a challenge, try cutting clothes to create napkins instead.
• Use Better Bags: Glad recently unveiled a new tall kitchen trash bag that is stronger, yet uses less plastic. This innovation saves 6.5 million pounds of plastic per year – that's the equivalent of keeping 140 million extra trash bags out of landfills annually. Recycling and compost bags are also available from this family of products.
• Save Your Skewers: Kabobs are one of the easiest party appetizers to make, especially if you're grilling out for a tailgate. Instead of using disposable wooden skewers, purchase reusable stainless steel or wire ones that are dishwasher safe and better for the environment.
For more helpful tips, including a helpful how-to guide on planning and executing a waste-conscious event, or to apply for a grant, head to www.GladtoWasteLess.com.