Whether it’s a large or small gathering, entertaining can add serious stress to celebrations. We’re bombarded with images of extravagant winter holiday decorations and elaborate recipes before we’ve even finished carving Halloween pumpkins. With standards like that, a simple party can become a monstrous task. Our Wildlife-friendly Wedding Guide is a useful year-round resource for more sustainable nuptials, and many suggestions in the guide can apply to any kind of large celebration.
Here are some ideas to make your party less stressful and more sustainable (for you and the environment):
People aren’t always excited about changing holiday celebrations and rituals, so it’s a good idea to talk to your family about it ahead of time and get their feedback. Talk about what everyone loves the most about the holiday or tradition, and how the changes you want to make will foster an even greater sense of meaning and connection. Share your ideas and enthusiasm. This isn’t about taking anything away from the holiday but creating new traditions that are more strongly aligned with your family’s values.
You may be pleasantly surprised by who shares your concerns and enthusiasm, especially once you start talking about new ideas. But even if your family resists change, you can still gradually incorporate new practices into your old rituals. Creatively planned activities and thoughtful homemade gifts will often win over cynical friends and relatives, and even the smallest changes in your routines can make you feel better about your holiday while reducing your impact on the environment.