TAMPA, Fla. — Now that Christmas is over, many are gearing up for New Year's Eve and more parties. Not only for the holidays, but for college bowl games and NFL playoffs.
If you're hosting a party over the next month, consider keeping it green. Daniel Gallagher, the recycling coordinator for Hillsborough County, shared some tips.
"This is how we've been throwing parties. This is the disposable single-use, easy-to-clean-up but cheap plastic. Everything you see on this table is not recyclable," he said.
Even those thin paper plates are a problem because once they're soiled with food, they're no longer recyclable.
"And then you run out, you've got to buy more plates, so it's more money, more cost to your wallet, and more cost to the environment," Gallagher added.
And when it comes to party decorations, Gallagher says you don't need brand-new items for every party.
"A lot of this stuff is re-useable and not recyclable," he said.
If you want to have a greener party, he says there are some simple things you can do.
"Even starting with your tablecloth to cover your table. It's washable, re-useable, you don't have to buy over and over again the cheap plastic tablecloths."
Use regular plates, bowls and silverware, instead of single-use plastics. And as far as drinks, keep a glass pitcher full of water and give people their own souvenir cups, or Gallagher has a unique suggestion.
"Mason jars are becoming new and popular and chic. They're reusable. I've been to parties where they've re-used old pasta sauce jars and salsa jars. They have cool shapes."
And finally, he says to set out a trash can and a recycling can where your guests can find them easily and let your guests know what's recyclable.