Last week I was challenged by Foodbuzz and GLAD to host an event that generated only ONE BAG of landfill-bound trash. Participant received a trash management kit, a consultation with a waste management expert and a stipend to cover the expenses of their One Bag event. Allan and I racked our brains on the type of event we would like to host and decided that it was only natural that we throw a party for my birthday, which is on Monday.
On Sunday we will be hosting a Mexican Fiesta for our family and friends. Does anyone have a sombrero and corn hole game we can borrow? 😉
Aside from the landscaping, this week has been about party prep. Yesterday I shopped until I dropped! Thank you Mark and Lois for watching Matthew while I ran errands. Today I had a phone call with a waste management expert, Keiko, who happens to live in Minneapolis, as well! She was very sweet and extremely helpful. It was so nice to meet another Mom who is also so passionate about saving the environment and reducing waste.
We discussed everything from waste management ideas for the party as well as minimizing regular household waste. We also spent quite a bit of time discussing compost, as I am a composting newbie. Right now I do not have a compost bin, but really want one. However, the more that I read, the more confused I am about the process. I have wasted so much time researching and not enough time executing. Keiko suggested that I pick up a simple compost bin that will fit in my yard and just get started. So, this afternoon after Matthew’s nap I hope to swing by Home Depot and buy a compost bin.
Here are my notes from our conversation:
- #5 plastics (yogurt containers) can be recycled at Whole Foods and plastic bags can be recycled at lots of nearby stores, keep them in your car and drop them off when you are running errands
- Hennepin county has an organic materials drop off location in Brooklyn Park for items that you might not normally place in your back yard compost bin (ex: meat, dairy, oily items, pizza boxes, etc.)
- To reduce the risk of a foul smelling compost bin, add a handful of dry matter every time that you add wet (kitchen) matter to the bin
- It’s ok to add egg shells to your compost bin, just crush them up a bit first so that they compost faster
- Avocado, stone fruit and mango pits can be added to your back yard compost bin; they just might not break down as quickly as everything else
- When choosing a compost bin find a simple one with a cover and vents to keep out pests (i.e. squirrels)
- It’s not necessary to measure organic materials, worry about ratios, water or turn your compost – it might just take a little longer for the organic matter to break down into dirt
- If you are hosting a large event, you can order a compost cart from Hennepin County for a nominal fee
- Hennepin County has several pilot Organics Recycling programs and hopefully they will bring one to the Nokomis neighborhood soon!
- Have a set of dishes reserved for parties – we have a set of melamine plates, cups and bowls for outdoor parties along with lots of cloth napkins
- Challenge guests to be eco-friendly in their gift wrapping… offer a prize for the most creative recycled packaging
Today I updated our Mexican Fiesta Facebook invite to add a challenge for our guests. If they do choose to bring a gift, which I am NOT expecting, they should wrap the present using recycled or other eco-friendly materials. The person who is the most creative will win a special prize.
Next week I will write more about my party planning process in order to reduce waste and save money while hosting events at our house.