Picture this: it’s the end of the evening, after a successfully hosted dinner party. The kitchen sink is full, with dirty dishes spilling over and piling across the counter. It feels like every pot, pan, and glass you own has been used. Leftover lemon and lime slices are strewn about the counter from well-enjoyed cocktails. Don’t even get us started about the pile of empty wine bottles by the door, or the cans mixed in with your trash. While these are all signs of a good time spent with loved ones, it’s hard not to think about the no-so-sexy implications of all of that waste. But don’t you fret, we’ve got you covered! We put together our top hacks for sustainable entertaining, so that next time you play hostess, you can actually be lowering your carbon footprint at the very same time. Here's how to host a sustainable dinner party.
Use compostable straws
Let’s face it - if you’re serving cocktails at your bash, chances are there will be a request for straws (link to article on summer cocktails?). Good thing for you, you’ve already stocked your kitchen with compostable straws from Repurpose. These babies are plant-based and 100% BPA-free for carefree sippin’. Need a little bit of color in your life? Try these reusable straws from David's Tea.
Looking for a complete guide to composting? Check this out.
Silpats are your new baking BFF
Goodbye parchment paper, sayonara aluminum foil! Whether you’re baking chocolate chip cookies for dessert or roasting asparagus for your salad, throw a silpat, which is a reusable non-stick baking mat, down on your baking sheet and you will have created zero waste.
Tossware glasses for the win
Ever have one of those cocktail parties where you want to have all of your guests drink out of plastic cups to save on clean-up, but hate the look of Solo cups? Yeah, we know the feeling. That’s why we’ve started using Tossware stemless wine glasses, which are shatterproof, look elegant, are 100% recyclable, and are made of a minimum of 50% recycled materials.
Make recycling easy and accessible for guests
Sorting through the trash the next day to separate out recyclables is one of our least favorite things about entertaining. Have a clearly demarcated bin for cans, glasses, and plastics so that guests won’t think twice about separating these items out themselves. Et voila, you cut down on your clean-up the next day!
One-pot meals are now your go-to
Not only will having an arsenal of one-pot recipes save you precious planning time, but less dishes means less water and ultimately less waste. We love this one-pot linguine recipe from Martha Stewart, and guests will think that you used every pot in your kitchen to whip it up 🙂
Nix the plastic wrap for leftovers
How many times have you thrown a half-full bowl in the fridge with plastic wrap over the top to salvage leftovers? We invested in a set of good glass containers that are airtight, BPA-free, and dishwasher-safe for all of our leftover needs, and have never looked back! For items that don't fit easily into a container, we love bees wrap, a eco-friendly version of plastic wrap that's plastic-free and reusable!
Start a new morning-after ritual
Iced coffee, breakfast sandwich… compost drop-off. Starting to compost this year has been one of the most rewarding things we’ve done - we even ventured to Red Hook Community Farm to see what happens to the compost after it’s collected! Keep a compost bag or food storage container in your freezer, and put cooking waste and scraps from your guests plates in it throughout the evening. The next morning, drop if off at your nearest collection site (Grow NYC has a list of all sites here!)