When the New Year’s champagne is flowing, the last thing most of us want to do is consider the consequences. But is it possible to sustainably ring in the new without tossing out the old? Fortunately, from choosing compostable glitter to plotting ways to reduce waste ahead of time, we have simple solutions to make your New Year’s Eve celebrations as environmentally conscious as they are memorable.
Best of all, if you’re worried that being mindful will deflate the fun faster than air out of a popped balloon, you and your guests should hardly notice as the clock ticks toward midnight.
Skip the non-biodegradable sparkles
All that glitter might be festive, but it’s anything but kind to the planet. Fortunately, there is a solution that will let you sparkle on New Year’s Eve without wreaking havoc on the environment. Traditional glitter is made from microplastics. Instead, choose glitter that is certified as compostable. There are alternatives made from natural and organic materials. Otherwise, paper glitter can still add plenty of festive flair to your sustainable New Year’s Eve party.
Choose sustainable party decor
Beyond the glitter, dazzle up your party space with eco-friendly decorations. Instead of cheap plastic and latex balloons, we recommend choosing reusable party décor items or making DIY decorations from recycled or natural materials. Washable table runners or linens can help decorate your space, and they are easy to reuse for future gatherings or festivities. Also, try putting that used wrapping paper to use by stamping out stars and punching holes in them to create a garland. Natural elements like dried orange slices and cinnamon can also add a festive and aromatic touch that can be easily composted after the party has wound down.
Make sustainable menu choices
If dinner is a part of your NYE party, sprinkle in some sustainable habits. When menu planning, seek out recipes that minimize waste and support local, seasonal produce. Studies show plant-based food carries less of an environmental impact, so see if you can serve less meat at your NYE dinner party. Save leftovers and invite your guests to bring reusable containers to minimize food waste. Compost any food scraps. To get started, see our guide to composting.
Use reusable tableware
Single-use tableware may seem more convenient, but it’s also tremendously wasteful. Avoid disposable plates, cups, and utensils by using reusable tableware like ceramic.
If you absolutely need to turn to single use products for your NYE dinner party, choose certified compostable options made from sustainable materials like bamboo or pasta. Skip out on the plastic cups and choose sturdier options like metal, glass, or reusable plastic cups you already have available.
Prep eco-friendly party favors
Adding some extra flair to your NYE party? Offer eco-friendly party favors or skip hats, headbands and party horns altogether. While these can be fun and make for memorable photos from NYE, think about more sustainable alternatives. Consider hosting a fun photo booth where guests can choose reusable hats, headbands, and silly props to capture memories. Once the photo is taken, other guests can use them. Otherwise, you can search for paper-based 2024 headbands or craft your own.
Make mindful beverage choices
Popping champagne this New Year’s Eve? Choose beverages served in glass bottles with natural corks or aluminum cans, which are more recyclable than plastic. If you have access to local wine or beer, choose those over any alternatives. This act reduces the carbon footprint associated with transporting these beverages from elsewhere while also supporting your local economy.
Help your guests reduce waste
While you might be passionate about making sustainable choices that doesn’t mean your guests are. Make it simple for them by setting up designated waste stations for recycling and composting. Clearly label bins for different waste categories to encourage proper disposal. This is an easy step for those hosting a NYE party — and it will make the cleanup much smoother.
Choose energy-efficient lighting
Parties don’t often call for bright lights, so dim them or use energy-efficient LED bulbs. Warm, energy-efficient bulbs can create an atmospheric space that will save you money and lower your emissions. You might also incorporate soy wax candles or solar-powered lighting for a cozy outdoor ambiance.
Skip a NYE party theme
While inviting guests to dress up in costumes — for example, for a masquerade ball or 1920s-themed gathering — can enliven a party, it also encourages wastefulness. Instead, invite guests to come in outfits they already own or to shop secondhand before buying a new dress or suit for the occasion.
Suggest eco-friendly transportation options
Gently encourage carpooling, public transportation, or ridesharing for those traveling to your party. If possible, host the festivities in a central location accessible by public transport or within walking distance for guests. This makes getting to and from not only a safer experience but also reduces your event’s carbon footprint.
Clean up sustainably
After the celebrations have come to a close, it might be the next morning. No problem! Once you’re up and moving, aim for a sustainable cleanup. Use eco-friendly cleaning products and reusable cloths instead of disposable wipes or paper towels. Wash table runners and other linens with eco-friendly laundry detergent sheets. SaltyLama’s plant-based detergent is hypoallergenic — meaning it’s ideal for people with allergies or sensitive skin — and cruelty-free. Best of all, our pre-measured sheets will leave your clothes clean and fresh without a trace of residue. After you're finished, properly sort any waste for recycling and composting to minimize landfill contributions.
By incorporating these eco-friendly strategies into your New Year’s Eve celebrations, you can enjoy a festive, environmentally-responsible party. Here’s to 2024!