If there’s any time of year where people are most willing to test the boundaries of the saying “everything in moderation,” it’s the holidays.

We eat too much. We spend too much. We celebrate too much.

Maybe it’s time to consider how we can dial up the holidays by dialing down the overconsumption of it all. You can start by hosting a sustainable holiday party.

What does that look like? Here are our five tips for hosting a sustainable holiday party.

Make it a meatless party

Many experts believe that eating a plant-based diet could be better for the environment.

Perhaps that’s why these days, people proudly declare themselves ‘flexitarian,’ meaning they are mostly vegetarian, even if they occasionally indulge in meat.

Flip that concept on its head and do a reverse flexitarian party– where your carnivores try out being herbivores for just one festive night.

Show your meat-eating guests that it’s possible to have a delicious vegetarian meal. Serve a vegan 7-layer dip with veggie crumbles as a base, for example. Offer a meatless charcuterie board with a variety of cheeses, dried fruits, nuts, olives and savory crackers.

Make it a white elephant

One strategy to make a holiday more sustainable is to go totally giftless, but where’s fun in that? Instead, do a gift exchange featuring only used items.

White Elephant gift exchanges are super fun. One party-goer’s relegated-to-the-storage-space-in-the-basement weird sculpture thingy could be another’s just-the-thing-I-need-for-my-bookshelf quirky tchotchke.

Even when someone gets a dud, it’ll generate a good laugh when a guest brings it back to give away at next year’s party. It can be the plus-1 for a new guest each year until it finally finds a home with someone who appreciates its unique appeal.

Best of all, regifting rescues an item from an eternity in a landfill.

Rethinking gift wrap

While we’re on the subject of gift giving, let’s talk about wrapping paper. Not only does it create waste (it isn’t always recyclable), it can also be pricey. Since it ends up in the recycling bin (if you’re lucky), it couldn’t be a bigger waste of money.

If you really want to conceal your gift, consider using recyclable wrapping paper. As long as it doesn’t have any non-paper additives, it can be recycled.

Another option is to reuse newspaper as gift wrap. Even if you’re fully digital, you probably get a sale paper tossed onto your lawn every week. Its colorful pages can be used to make a festive looking package.

Choose beverages that come in sustainable packaging

It wouldn’t be a party without festive beverages.

The best way to make cocktails sustainable is to use ingredients that come in sustainable packaging. Make sure you choose spirits that come in glass bottles or aluminum cans, and recycle them when you’re done.

Skip the plastic juice bottles and instead get All Friends beverage infusions. Our beverage infusions are packaged in a recyclable, aseptic carton. Plus they’re functional and mix well with a ton of different spirits. Check out our recipes for inspiration or play mixologist on your own.

Gen Z and millennials are increasingly opting out of drinking alcohol, but no matter who you’re inviting, you’re bound to have some guests who will appreciate a zero-proof option. All Friends Beverages are flexible and flavor-forward, making them a natural choice for zero-proof cocktails.

Send guests home with the leftovers

Food waste is a big problem. Americans throw out almost 40% of their food. No need to contribute to that mess with your holiday party.

If you think you won’t be able to eat all the leftovers yourself, prepare to-go packages for your guests. Leave out these handy compostable containers and encourage your guests to pack up their favorite treat before they leave.

Excessive Sustainability

Use these five tips for your next holiday party, and maybe you’ll inspire someone to make more sustainable choices in everyday life. Because if there’s one thing that doesn’t need to be done in moderation, it’s sustainability.

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