I always think beach parties look like so much fun… when I see them in movies and stuff. Luckily, we’re a short road trip to Southern California’s beaches, which we often take advantage of. Those of you that are so lucky as to live especially close to a beach are probably like those people in the movies. Running around in the sand playing volleyball, working on your tan, splashing around in the water, having clam bakes, and ending the night cuddled around a fire… ahhhh… that’s the life.
Well, you may not have ever taken into consideration the carbon footprint your party might be leaving. So here are a few helpful hints to make your beach bash a little greener:
- Start out by sending your invitations over Evite instead of paper invitations.
- Make it easy for everyone to recycle: Have a trash can for recyclables and one for regular trash. Maybe even put little cards informing people what goes where.
- Contact beach officials ahead of time to find out what the regulations are on bringing alcohol. This is also a good time to ask if glass is prohibited. Hopefully it’s not, since I despise plastic wine glasses (oxymoron). If it is, buying drinks in aluminum cans that can at least be recycled is your best bet. It is said that 95 percent less energy to recycle an aluminum can than to create a bran new one from raw materials.
- Albeit easier to use the throw-aways, use washable linens, silverware, napkins, even dinner and glassware (if allowed). If washables aren’t an option seek out companies such as Recycline.
- If you’re throwing a bigger bash or wedding, find out in advance where the local shelters are. You will most likely have leftover food that could go to people who need it.
- Using floweres to decorate? Potted plants are always best, since guests can take them home afterwards. I read once that most of the flowers brought in to the U.S. are flown in from Southeast Asia! That’s too much fuel for something that dies in a few days.
- Avoid prepackaged foods and buy local organic. Same with the wine and beer; buy organic and local if you can. When you must buy prepackaged foods like chips, buy in bulk and pour them into colorful sand pails with chips; just be sure to save them for next time.
- If it’s getting dark and you need extra lighting, use soy candles or at least use compact fluorescent bulbs.
- Leave the area as you found it!
- Don’t forget the sunglasses and sunscreen!
Have fun and do your best to give the beach the same courtesy you would give a friend’s home as their guest… because that is exactly what we are.