Green Graduation Celebrations: How to Keep Your Grad’s Party Environmentally Friendly

Recycle your plastic bottle today and graduate in it tomorrow! This spring, over 190 colleges will graduate in eco-friendly gowns made with REPREVE recycled fibers. Based out of NC, this company has turned more than 12.7 million plastic bottles into graduation gowns since 2012. When the graduation ceremony is over, you’re probably planning to have family and friends over to celebrate and give gifts. While you’re planning your bash, be sure to consider a few easy ways to recycle and minimize the environmental impact of your party!

First things first, you’ll have to send out invitations. Rather than send paper invitations (which are costly to print, send, and will just end up in the recycling bin at some point), send electronic invites! There are a number of sites that will perform the service for you. You could even create a Facebook page to let people coordinate travel plans or let others know what they’re bringing.
Next, if you already compost then this idea won’t be hard to incorporate, but put out containers for food waste that can easily be composted later. Also, mark special bins as recycling for all your party’s recyclables. This is a great opportunity to educate and show others how easy composting and recycling is.  These recycling and compost bins will work the best if they are well labeled and placed right next to the trash can, twin those bins!

For decorations, consider using products that are made from recycled materials or upcycle some everyday items! Ideas could include stringing together CD’s for a flashy backdrop or banner, borrowing from your stash of old party decorations, or displaying photos using old bottles that also serve as a vase! Repurpose those old newspaper comics by gluing them together and creating a fun table cloth. You could even shred colorful magazine papers to create multi-color confetti (that you can also toss into the compost pile during cleanup).

At the party, be sure to use reusable dishware and silverware to avoid paper plate waste. It actually takes less energy to simply put the dishes in an energy efficient dishwasher, as opposed to the energy required to make the paper plates, ship them, package them, use them, toss them, and dump them into a landfill.

By using these tips, your graduate’s celebration will not only be fun, but environmentally sustainable as well. Congratulations on graduating!

--If you have a tip for other green elements to add to your entertaining plans, leave us a comment below and share your ideas!--

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