The holiday season is all about celebrating, but not necessarily not about celebrating our planet. In fact, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the amount of trash produced in the United States increases by an estimated 25%. That equates to nearly one million extra tons of garbage each week. Disposable plates, balloons, confetti, and a whole lot of other plastic that will end up in landfills.

This year, consider trying out a more sustainable way of celebrating to help reduce your holiday waste. If you’re in charge of hosting the New Year’s Eve bash for your friends and family this year, be sure to ring in the new year with the environment in mind.

Below are 7 tips for throwing an eco-friendly New Year’s Eve bash.

1. Send out electronic invitations to your party to save paper via

  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Websites like Evite

2. Get creative and decorate with natural and recyclable materials

  • Forego the plastic noisemakers, cheesy top hats, streamers, confetti, balloons, etc.
  • Use a pot of flowers as the party and table décor
  • Save energy by turning off the twinkling lights and disco balls and instead light soy or beeswax tealight candles, or hang LED fairy lights
  • Pick seasonal greenery from your yard to accessorize a door or centerpiece

3. Shop locally for organic food and drinks that you will serve

  • Think tapas
  • Serve simple foods that people can eat with their hands, such as dried fruits, raw avocado tacos, homemade dips like salsa or hummus with locally made bread and crackers, organic cheese, and fresh fruit and vegetable trays – this will reduce the amount of serving ware required and help you save energy (from not having to cook foods on the stove or in the oven)
  • Choose meatless options
  • Avoid buying pre-packaged individual appetizers
  • Toast with organic bubbly (champagne or sparkling wine made from organic grapes and without synthetic materials) – You can use websites like Local Harvest to find local wines and beers. If you can’t find anything in your area, be sure to buy from a mom and pop liquor store instead of a chain market
  • For the kids, have organic juice or ciders

4. Ditch the disposables

  • Use real plates and stemware if you’re hosting a small gathering
  • If you’re expecting a larger crowd, use biodegradable or compostable dishes and utensils – you can find these online or at most natural grocery stores
  • Check out a secondhand store to pick up vintage linens like tablecloths and napkins

5. Avoid wasting food

  • Compost scraps
  • Send guests home with leftovers
  • Freeze leftovers
  • Donate leftovers to a local shelter

6. Be green as you clean

  • Recycle glass champagne, beer bottles, and any other recyclables
  • Avoid cleaners with harsh chemicals and use natural cleaners instead
  • Use cloth washrags as oppose d to paper towels
  • Ensure that your dishwasher is completely full before you run it – you can also skip the drying cycle and allow your dishes to air dry instead to save energy

7. Cap off your green New Year’s Eve party with an eco-conscious new year’s resolution

  • Share your personal green resolution with a toast
  • Encourage your guests to do the same and help them achieve their sustainability goals for 2019 by telling them about Kiwi Energy’s environmentally focused energy products. For every friend that you refer to Kiwi Energy, you’ll receive a $50 credit towards your Ecogold account and your friend will receive $25 in theirs. Refer as many friends as you want! Just have them mention your name and customer number when they enroll.

These are just a few tips for hosting an eco-friendly New Year’s Eve party, but there are lots of other things you can do to keep your New Year’s celebrations as green as possible, like motivating your guests to carpool or purchasing a second-hand outfit. Making environmentally-friendly New Year’s eve choices is a great step towards making a commitment to live more sustainably in 2019.

Happy New Year!