Q: How can I make sure my office ‘walks the walk’ by having an eco-friendly holiday party this year?
A: Here are some ideas to show your commitment to the environment:
1. Consider throwing a party at a restaurant near your office that serves local foods. Not only is this good for the local economy, but it will also help cut down your party’s carbon footprint because neither your food nor your colleagues will have to travel far.
2. If instead you’re having a party at the office, reusable cups, flatware, and plates will help reduce the waste typically associated with holiday parties. If this is not feasible, use cups, plates, and napkins with recycled paper content or biodegradable materials.
3. Ensure that no edible food goes to waste by contacting a local food bank or other food rescue service. (Businesses in NYC can call City Harvest to see about donating leftover prepared food to those in need.) Consider composting whatever can’t be donated.
4. Notify your building’s cleaning company before your party to ensure that you have additional recycling bins as needed.
5. Participating in a “Secret Santa” or gift swap? Consider re-gifting something you don’t need that someone else might enjoy. Wrap presents in recycled paper, and recycle all wrappers, ribbons and decorations.
6. Decorate the office using natural or reusable materials. Consider a real tree (harvested from a sustainable source) rather than fake ones which can contain toxic materials such as PVC and are not biodegradable.
7. Use the opportunity of an office gathering to distribute information on recycling procedures and other “green tips” in your space.