Graduation is more than a ceremony. It’s a time to for graduates and their friends and family to celebrate a major milestone, reflect on accomplishments, and look forward to making the world a better place.
To help celebrate a bright and sustainable future, why not plan a party that’s fun, memorable, and green?
Planning a green graduation party
In Minnesota, more than 60,000 high school students will be graduating this year. That adds up to a lot of parties and a lot of waste. According to a recent survey, Americans spend an average of $985 for graduation parties. With a little planning, you can have a big party without a lot of waste.
- Host a joint open house. Many graduation parties occur on weekends in June and July, which means a lot of parties on the same day. Not only will you save money by sharing in the costs, your guests won’t need to travel from party to party. Tip: Go greener by encouraging your guests to carpool or use more eco-friendly ways to get to the party, such as bicycles or mass transportation.
- Invitations. Look for recycled-content paper, or skip paper altogether and send out electronic invites.
- Plan your menu in advance and only buy what you need will help you reduce your food expense and waste. Use this online portion planner to help you choose the right amount. See more about wasting less food at MPCA's When good food goes bad article.
- Rent or borrow party decorations and supplies such as tables, chairs, centerpieces, linens, dishes, and silverware.
- Serve beverages in pitchers, not in disposable bottles or cans. Tip: Help all your guests remember what glass is theirs by using removable stickers or temporary markers (using your school colors). It’ll jazz up the glass without creating extra wash or waste.
- Place the recycling bin next to your trash. Be sure to include a clear label to avoid trash in the recycling and vice versa.
- Compost food waste. Many communities offer curbside collection or drop-off sites for organics. Contact your city or county to see if you can do this in your community.