Home

Next Dinner
Wed., June 15

Wildflower Walk
Sat, June 18


Landfill & SWMP
Information
Action Alert

Hotel Info
Sally's Recycling
Corner

Subscribe to
SPB List

Action Alerts

Court Cases

Newsletters
by Subject

Newsletters
by Date

Newspaper
Articles

Speakers List

The Karner Blue

Nabokov

Fire!

Virtual Exhibit

Cartoons


About SPB

Volunteer

Our Friends:

FORCE

Historic Action
Network

Friends of
Stanford Home

Protest Photos

Letters to SPB
Join Mailing List


Sally’s Recycling Corner

How To Get Guests to
Recycle at Your Holiday Party

by Kathryn Sukalich, December 20th, 2012, Earth 911
 

If you’re throwing a holiday party this year, you may run into the dilemma of how to get your guests to recycle. Well-meaning guests may accidentally throw recyclables in the trash, and at a large gathering it can be hard for you as the host or hostess to keep things under control. To prevent having to sort through your garbage

Plan Ahead: Choose Easy-to-Recycle Items

One of the main reasons a guest might accidentally put something in the trash can that doesn’t belong there is because they’re uncertain whether or not it’s recyclable. And for certain sometimes-recyclable-sometimes-not items like plastic silverware and cups, who can blame them?

One easy way to stop this problem before it starts is to make sure your friends or relatives don’t have to consider this dilemma in the first place by purchasing party food and beverages that come in clearly recyclable containers. If you plan to have individual servings of soda, get aluminum cans instead of plastic bottles, since most people are used to recycling them. (This year, the recycling rate for aluminum cansreached 65%, evidence that the public is getting the hang of aluminum recycling.) Glass bottles are another good option, since glass is easy to recycle as well.

Think of this step just as you would precycling. Precycling is when you think ahead about how to reduce waste. For example, if you go to the grocery store, you can consciously buy food in containers that are easy to recycle or in bulk so you can eliminate the issue of packaging altogether. In the case of your party, you could also consider buying beverages in large containers so you can recycle the bottles yourself when they’re empty.

Using your regular dishes will cut down on waste. Photo: Shutterstock

In conjuction with choosing containers that are easy to recycle, you can also keep confused relatives away from the trash bin by using your regular dishes and glasses instead of single-use paper or plastic options. It is highly unlikely anyone will throw your regular dinner plates and utensils in the trash. Additionally, while single-use options may be efficient for clean up, they can seriously overwhelm your trash bin, since items like plastic silverware cannot be reused and once paper plates are dirty, they can’t be recycled.

If you’re hosting a party outside of your home or you need extra reusable items to accomodate all your guests, there are plenty of eco-friendly alternatives you can purchase to help you out. Take a look at Reuseit.com, a website dedicated to replacing disposable goods with those that have longer lives. You’ll be able to find everything from bamboo silverware to stainless steel straws. Since an estimated 40 billion plastic utensils are used each year in the U.S., according to Reuseit.com, eliminating some of those throwaway items can start to decrease that number.

Plus, if your guests see you using reusables, that might encourage them to seek out reusables in the future, too.

4. Make an Announcement

Another easy way to help your guests recycle is to tell them. That may seem obvious - or on the other hand, pushy - but a verbal reminder at some point during the evening will ensure your guests look for the recycling bin when it comes time for them to use it.

Oftentimes people don’t recycle because they’re confused, and making desired behaviors simple so that people can act reflexively may help them recycle. As host, it’s your job to facilitate this kind of behavior.

Don’t Miss: Holiday Travel: The Greenest Way to Get There

One easy way to make sure everyone knows about the recycling plan is to make an announcement early on. If you’re serving a meal, perhaps clarify where the recycling bin is when you announce that dinner is ready so everyone knows ahead of time. You don’t need to give a speech about your motives or green lifestyle, just point out how guests can help you with clean up by putting everything where it belongs.

One big problem with recycling is that people often don’t realize they should be thinking about it. Perhaps you have relatives who live in areas without curbside recycling, so it never crosses their minds. Your verbal reminder will ensure that those guests think before dumping everything into your trash can.

5. Have Visual Reminders

Even after doing all of these things, your guests may need some friendly reminders to recycle. Rather than patrolling your kitchen to catch stray aluminum cans on their way to the trash bin, try making some signs to point people in the right direction. Visual reminders will reinforce what you’ve told your guests.

If you already have a labeled recycling bin, that’s great. You could also consider including a list of recyclable items above the recycling bin for the sake of clarity. The items that you can recycle might not be the same as what people in other cities can recycle. If you have a separate bin for compost, a sign can clarify what can go in there, too.

A sign explaining what can go in your recycling bin could be a helpful reminder for guests. Photo: Earth911

Another good suggestion is to put a sign on your trash bin that says “Can I be recycled?” True, you don’t want your guests thinking too hard about what goes where – and hopefully, if you’ve clearly labeled things and given instructions, they won’t have to – but to catch anyone who hasn’t been paying attention, this sign might work.

Read: How to Be a Polite Houseguest

Follow these five guidelines, and hopefully you won’t find yourself sorting through your trash can this holiday season. The main thing to keep in mind is that while we might all like for people to expect and understand recycling, it isn’t safe to make that assumption, so you need to educate your guests about what can be recycled and where to put it.

Kathryn Sukalich

Staff Writer

Reprinted from Earth911.com

If you’re throwing a holiday party this year, you may run into the dilemma of how to get your guests to recycle. Well-meaning guests may accidentally throw recyclables in the trash, and at a large gathering it can be hard for you as the host or hostess to keep things under control. To prevent having to sort through your garbage

Plan Ahead: Choose Easy-to-Recycle Items

One of the main reasons a guest might accidentally put something in the trash can that doesn’t belong there is because they’re uncertain whether or not it’s recyclable. And for certain sometimes-recyclable-sometimes-not items like plastic silverware and cups, who can blame them?

One easy way to stop this problem before it starts is to make sure your friends or relatives don’t have to consider this dilemma in the first place by purchasing party food and beverages that come in clearly recyclable containers. If you plan to have individual servings of soda, get aluminum cans instead of plastic bottles, since most people are used to recycling them. (This year, the recycling rate for aluminum cans reached 65%, evidence that the public is getting the hang of aluminum recycling.) Glass bottles are another good option, since glass is easy to recycle as well.

Think of this step just as you would precycling. Precycling is when you think ahead about how to reduce waste. For example, if you go to the grocery store, you can consciously buy food in containers that are easy to recycle or in bulk so you can eliminate the issue of packaging altogether. In the case of your party, you could also consider buying beverages in large containers so you can recycle the bottles yourself when they’re empty.

Using your regular dishes will cut down on waste. Photo: Shutterstock

In conjuction with choosing containers that are easy to recycle, you can also keep confused relatives away from the trash bin by using your regular dishes and glasses instead of single-use paper or plastic options. It is highly unlikely anyone will throw your regular dinner plates and utensils in the trash. Additionally, while single-use options may be efficient for clean up, they can seriously overwhelm your trash bin, since items like plastic silverware cannot be reused and once paper plates are dirty, they can’t be recycled.

If you’re hosting a party outside of your home or you need extra reusable items to accomodate all your guests, there are plenty of eco-friendly alternatives you can purchase to help you out. Take a look at Reuseit.com, a website dedicated to replacing disposable goods with those that have longer lives. You’ll be able to find everything from bamboo silverware to stainless steel straws. Since an estimated 40 billion plastic utensils are used each year in the U.S., according to Reuseit.com, eliminating some of those throwaway items can start to decrease that number.

Plus, if your guests see you using reusables, that might encourage them to seek out reusables in the future, too.

Make an Announcement

Another easy way to help your guests recycle is to tell them. That may seem obvious - or on the other hand, pushy - but a verbal reminder at some point during the evening will ensure your guests look for the recycling bin when it comes time for them to use it.

Oftentimes people don’t recycle because they’re confused, and making desired behaviors simple so that people can act reflexively may help them recycle. As host, it’s your job to facilitate this kind of behavior.

Don’t Miss: Holiday Travel: The Greenest Way to Get There

One easy way to make sure everyone knows about the recycling plan is to make an announcement early on. If you’re serving a meal, perhaps clarify where the recycling bin is when you announce that dinner is ready so everyone knows ahead of time. You don’t need to give a speech about your motives or green lifestyle, just point out how guests can help you with clean up by putting everything where it belongs.

One big problem with recycling is that people often don’t realize they should be thinking about it. Perhaps you have relatives who live in areas without curbside recycling, so it never crosses their minds. Your verbal reminder will ensure that those guests think before dumping everything into your trash can.

Have Visual Reminders

Even after doing all of these things, your guests may need some friendly reminders to recycle. Rather than patrolling your kitchen to catch stray aluminum cans on their way to the trash bin, try making some signs to point people in the right direction. Visual reminders will reinforce what you’ve told your guests.

If you already have a labeled recycling bin, that’s great. You could also consider including a list of recyclable items above the recycling bin for the sake of clarity. The items that you can recycle might not be the same as what people in other cities can recycle. If you have a separate bin for compost, a sign can clarify what can go in there, too.

Another good suggestion is to put a sign on your trash bin that says “Can I be recycled?” True, you don’t want your guests thinking too hard about what goes where – and hopefully, if you’ve clearly labeled things and given instructions, they won’t have to – but to catch anyone who hasn’t been paying attention, this sign might work.

Read: How to Be a Polite Houseguest

Follow these five guidelines, and hopefully you won’t find yourself sorting through your trash can this holiday season. The main thing to keep in mind is that while we might all like for people to expect and understand recycling, it isn’t safe to make that assumption, so you need to educate your guests about what can be recycled and were to put it.

 

 

 

Published in January/February 2013 Save the Pine Bush Newsletter

This page last modified January 10, 2013
Contact Save the Pine Bush at pinebush@aol.com.