New Year's Zero Waste Swaps
1. Instead of disposable solo cups and paper plates, take the extra time to serve with REUSABLE GLASSES AND PLATES. The earth with thank you for not contributing to the huge amount of waste produced on New Years! According to the EPA, US households create 25% more waste between Thanksgiving and New Years, about an extra 1 million tons of trash!
2. If you're going out, take a moment to ask for NO STRAWS. If asked why, feel free to patiently explain your reasoning for not wasting the plastic, which ends up harming wildlife and polluting the earth. Suggest they use a straws-only-when-requested-policy. More info as well as cards to hand out on the subject can be found at The Last Plastic Straw and Plastic Pollution Coalition. If these extra steps make you uncomfortable, you're already doing good for the earth by simply asking for no straw.
3. Say no to disposable decorations like party horns, confetti, or string banners, especially those that come in plastic packaging. Instead, use paper scraps like newspaper, gift wrappings and holiday cards to create beautiful RECYCLED DECORATIONS. Here's a link to DIY Fringed Party Horns, that you can make as a fun New Years activity out of recycled materials. Just replace the plastic with a cut and glued toilet paper roll, and use colorful recycled paper.
4. Try finding less wasteful, NEW TRADITIONS. In Spain they eat 12 grapes, one for each stroke of midnight. It's a fun and kind of difficult task, but they represent 12 lucky months to come. You could also try out this zero waste Hoppin' John recipe. Let us know what new, eco-friendly traditions you tried out this year!
5. DON'T STRESS too much about being absolutely zero waste. Try your best, but let loose and be in the moment with your friends and family.