Below is a list of 9 simple tips for potentially having a more sustainable New Years Eve party or celebration.
Some might be more practical than others, so, you might consider only the tips that are more practical for you and what you plan to do.
1. Consider The Type Of Party Or Celebration
There’s a range of different ways to celebrate on New Year’s eve.
Some examples might be:
– A private party/celebration at your home, or someone else’s home
– A party/celebration at a public venue, such as a bar
– A party/celebration at an organised social event, or an entertainment event (like a festival or concert)
– Going away for a party/celebration (which may or may not include a holiday as well), such as going on a cruise
Each of these different types of celebrations has a sustainability footprint.
Having a private party/celebration at home might have a smaller sustainability footprint than a cruise or a large resource intensive type of organised event, just as one example.
Rather than foregoing these types of events altogether, a more sustainable approach to New Year’s might be doing a mix of smaller and larger types of celebrations from year to year.
2. Consider Your Transport/Travel Footprint
Staying local for New Year’s celebrations may be more sustainable from a transport or travel perspective than going to another city/town, or even another country.
When leaving your city/town, the type of transport you take, and how far you travel, may matter from a sustainability perspective too.
Similar to the previous tip above, a more sustainable approach to transport and travel for New Year’s might be to alternate the years you do this.
It may even be considered sustainable to travel for New Year’s, but combine this travel with travel you would have had to do with your annual holiday/vacation (i.e. plan the vacation for the end of the year around New Year’s). This way, you may cut down on total travel or total trips for the year on planes, in the car, etc.
We’ve previously put together a guide containing sustainability tips for holidays and vacations, where we discuss travel/transport.
3. Consider More Sustainable Party/Celebration Supplies
There’s a range of supplies that can be used on New Year’s eve.
They can include glitter/confetti, balloons, streamers, other decorations, and other general party/celebration accessories
They can also include New Year’s branded/specific accessories, like sashes, head wear (hats, tiaras, etc), and so on.
We listed several of the ways that you might be more sustainable with party supplies in a separate guide.
4. Consider More Sustainable Attire, Outfits &/Or Costumes
Some people may have a dress-up New Years requiring a costume, and some people may purchase attire/outfits (like a dress or suit) just for New Year’s.
When getting clothing that you may not wear again regularly in the future, a few ways you might be more sustainable with this clothing might be:
– Borrow from a friend or from family where possible, and return after New Year’s
– Rent where possible
– Try to sell, or even donate what you’ve bought after New Year’s
In these instances, the clothing can be worn again by someone else instead of sitting in your wardrobe mostly unused or unworn.
5. Be Mindful Of The Potential Sustainability Impact Of Fireworks
This tip might be debatable, because some will say that New Year’s isn’t New Year’s without some form of fireworks.
But, there are various reports that indicate that fireworks release emissions (and potentially air contaminants) when they are lit and they go off.
With this in mind, instead of eliminating fireworks altogether, a more sustainable approach might be:
– Relying on watching public fireworks displays, and not using your own private fireworks (that become additional to public fireworks)
– Be aware of New Year’s fireworks displays that appear to use an excessive or exorbitant amount of fireworks, research the impact of these fireworks, and consider spreading awareness if you believe the impact is significant, along with suggesting reasonable alternatives (like decreasing the amount of fireworks used)
– Consider how more eco friendly fireworks can be used, that might have different chemical and emissions profiles
6. Reduce The Use Of Single Use Plastics Where Possible
If hosting a New Year’s Eve party, to reduce the use of single use plastics, you might reduce the use of single use cups, straws, plates, cutlery, and so on.
Instead, you can provide reusable and washable items (cups, plates, cutlery, etc.) to use
7. Reduce Food Waste
Some type of food (snacks or otherwise) is usually provided for New Year’s celebrations at home.
To reduce food waste on New Year’s night or day, some things to consider might be:
– Provide, or request people bring only food which they know will get eaten
– Have reusable and washable food containers on hand to store or transport excess food to eat later as leftovers
8. Clean Up & Dispose Of Waste Properly Afterwards
If hosting a New Year’s party/celebration, there’s usually waste left over afterwards.
There might be general waste which can be picked up (or vacuumed up) and put in the general waste bin.
Additionally, recyclable waste, such as alcohol, soda, and other beverage bottles and cans, can be collected and put in the recycling bin.
9. Consider Other Sustainability Tips Applicable To New Year’s Celebrations
Some sustainability tips we’ve put together in other guides that might be relevant to different aspects of New Year’s parties and celebrations might be:
– Tips For Throwing A Sustainable Party
– Tips For A More Sustainable Holiday Or Vacation (if going on a holiday or vacation as part of your New Year’s)
– Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions (if thinking about resolutions in the lead up to, or after New Year’s Eve)
1. Various ‘Better Meets Reality’ guides