Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Party With No Trash...Okay Maybe Just a Little!

I woke up this morning feeling like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.  My biggest commitments for the summer are already over, and it feels wonderful!!!!  My sons graduated on Sunday and boy did we have a humdinger (does anyone still use that word?  And if not, they sure should, it's a good one-ha!) of a party!

We also had a baseball game yesterday that was a big deal as my daughter and the choir that she is in sang the National Anthem for the Colorado Rockies; and they showed the town how that song is sang!  I was so very proud.  The group of fourth and fifth graders walked onto the field with a march in their step, took their  places in the choir and belted out our National tune like any professional group could do....even my Grads were impressed!  And that my friends is pert near impossible to do these days, let me tell you.

But back to the party with no trash; really it can be done; with a bit of preparation (and a bit of yucky digging afterward, I must admit).  Now, if you have been a reader of mine, on either of these blogs, you know that I am not at all familiar with paper products.  I do not buy plastic bags or paper plates or even paper napkins; my one downfall is paper towels and I do buy those very infrequently in bulk.  So the paper product aisle itself was a bit overwhelming to me.
So, I headed straight to the party stuff.  I knew I didn't want any "crap".  You know what I'm talking about the kind of forks that break when you first put them into a bite of potato salad?  Or the plate that dumps everything on the unsuspecting kid?  Yeah, I wasn't having any of that.  Party stuff it was, and blue and black to match the boys' colors, easy enough.  From there, it is simply a case of turning the products over and making sure they are recyclable, if not, put it back.  There are plenty of choices out there people, we do not have to fill up our landfills.

Okay now we are at the party and of course we have not gotten the trash cans and the recycle cans marked like I wanted.  Actually there was a huge misunderstanding and we thought the neighbor was bringing some last minute supplies (like the grill, trash cans and bags) so we didn't have them to mark....but anyway; my point is is that it doesn't even matter if it all gets mixed up.  I was able to nonchalantly grab the plates out of the trash as I was going by and put them into a different bag.

This all may sound a bit yucky, but to me it was well worth it.  I had purchased cans for the kids to drink; we had recyclable cups for the keg (I even grabbed out a lot of the food trash for the chickens-ha!).....So let's run down what all was in my trash can when this party for about 75 people was over.  Bags for ice, bags for buns, plastic silverware (and damn did I try and find some that is recyclable, I will try harder next time!) and napkins; that is about it.  That is one small bag of trash for a very LARGE party.  Now, we have two HUGE bags of recyclabes, but that is okay.

We had a wonderful party to help send the boys off right; we won't be filling up the landfills and polluting my beloved Mother Earth in the process and I am done with my major commitments for the summer.  Now it is time to get to work on those campgrounds....keep those campers from burning down our forests and enjoy the time with my children.  Wow, I truly am a very blessed woman.


Recycla from the Eco Women said...

Nice work on keeping the trash down.

For the future: Those plastic bags for ice and buns can be recycled along with plastic grocery bags at most grocery stores. If you go to Whole Foods or another organic grocery store, you'll find bamboo utensils, which can be reused or simply composted. Preserve also makes plastic utensils that are made from recycled plastic and can be washed and used again. You can also buy napkins that can be composted or simply just recycled with your newspapers.

I have a large kitchen with a lot of storage, so I've been amassing a collection of plates, glasses and utensils from Goodwill and other thrift shops and now have enough dishes for a party 40-50 people.

A friend of mine held a large anniversary party for her in-laws and after they ate, her husband built a bonfire (they live on a farm) and everyone tossed their used plates, napkins, and bamboo utensils onto the fire.

Royal Ranch said...

Wow! A comment from celebrity (at least in my mind)!!! Thank you Recycla, for the great input....I knew if I tried I'd be able to find the silverware; and the really dumb thing is that we did have a bonfire that we could have burned those napkins in-ha! And I never knew about tossing those "other" plastic bags in with the ones I get from the grocer store...As I said, a wealth of information.
Kind regards,

Daisy said...

Great work! I served up our grad party last year on regular plates, with regular flatware, and with cloth napkins. It wasn't as big as yours, so we were able to do that with a minimum of trash.

It was a triple party, so a lot of the family members were there for both kids and my SIL.

Royal Ranch said...

Yes, dear Daisy, I remember reading about your eco-friendly party on your great blog. I thought about trying it...but with no dishwasher, aside from my husband that is, I really did not want to attempt it for 100 people. And I do not buy disposable anything any other time of the I figured I could get away with it as long as I did my digging afterward-ha!