12/23/2014 5:24:08 PM

{Green Your Holiday} Party Planning

We are greening our holidays and hope you will join us. Twice a week between now and the end of the year we'll give you tips for reducing your holiday carbon footprint. Why should we care? Because polar bears are facing a huge threat from all of us—global warming. Let's give bears a white holiday season by reducing our carbon footprint.

Are you hosting a large group for dinner this month? Maybe just a small, family gathering? Either way, you can green your dinner party with a few simple steps.

  • Forgo throwaway dishes for reusable plates, bowls, glasses, and silverware. If you don't own enough, hit your local secondhand shop. Not only are you keeping paper plates and plastic cups out of a landfill, you are giving old dishes and second life. Don't worry, not everything needs to match—get dishes that are about the same size or in the same color family, and mix and match.
  • Cook only as much food as you think people will eat. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates the global volume of edible food wasted to be 1.3 tons. All that wasted food has a carbon footprint of about 3.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide releases into the atmosphere each year.
  • Still have leftovers? The EPA recommends, "Consider secondary uses for excess food - Leftover bread can become croutons, excess rice can become fried rice, leftover fruit can be a dessert topping, and vegetable trimmings can help form a base for soups, sauces, and stocks.
  • Or send food home with your guests in reusable containers.

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