Unbottle the fun: Throw a plastic bottle-free party

BlogHer Original Post

To help BlogHer members ditch the disposable water bottle habit, I signed up to write this post about de-bottling parties. But now, I'm wondering -- Do people drink water at parties?

Honestly, people don't drink much water at my parties, bottled or not. Why drink water when you can drink organic wine? For me, the eco-issue has been more about avoiding plastic cups at bigger parties, when I don't have enough glasses for everyone. Luckily, that plastic cup issue's one that applies to parties where people might drink more water!

After all, if you've gotten rid of the plastic bottle habit at home by getting a filter, all you have to do is fill up the pitcher (or not even that, if your filter's installed on your faucet or fridge) and pour when someone asks for a glass. But pouring that nicely filtered water into a plastic cup will of course beget plastic trash, defeating the purpose of ditching the bottled water.

So: Here are three ways you can avoid using plastic cups at your next party:

1. Pool the glasses. Just ask your close friends bring over their stash of reusable glasses. That's what my friend Summer did for her birthday party -- so I packed a half dozen of mine into a small box, put them in my bike basket, and cycled them over in time for the festivities. A couple other friends did the same and there were plenty of glasses to go around.

The thing to remember with this method: You gotta bring the glasses back! I still haven't done that -- and Summer's party was last April. It's because I've since gone on a wine tasting trip -- through which I acquired a bunch of new glasses -- so I've been in no hurry to get the old ones back. Which reminds me of another upside to this pooling method: It's a great way to get rid of glassware you no longer want!

2. Charm the glasses. Funny thing about tipsy people: They'll "lose" their wine glass, even when the party's confined to one room. If you've only got one glass per person, this "I can't find my glass" thing can quickly turn into a pressing party problem.

To remedy this, use wine charms or tags! I got a bunch of free Oops wine charms at the last BlogHer conference, but if you didn't, you can make simple ones from card stock -- or in a pinch, use earrings. If you're using glasses sans stems, putting simple stickers on glasses can work too.

3. Make it BYO glass. In your evite, ask everyone to bring their own glass. This tactic works especially well if your friends are already eco-motivated -- or if you're throwing an Earth Day or otherwise eco-themed party.

Yes, party-throwers really do do this -- and it works! LA Green Drinks, monthly social gatherings for environmentalists, has been inviting people to BYO glass it at some of the events, for example. I do, however, suggest you keep some spare glasses on hand, because about half the people will inevitably forget to bring their own.

This BYO glass tip's useful even if you're not the host of the party! If you're going to an event where you know the only option'll be those big ugly red plastic cups, take your own glass! Summer tried this for a Green Business Networking event to great success. This trick works best when it's a pour-your-own-drink situation vs. a bartended party. As long as you're not preachy or snooty about it, you may even convince others to do likewise --

Photo by Smaku, mandymooo and Damiel
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BlogHer Contributing Editor Siel also blogs at greenLAgirl.com.

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