Heal the Bay’s Sustainable Holiday Tips: PART THREE

 From the Desk of Meredith McCarthy, Director of Campaigns & Outreach, Heal the Bay leader for over 20 years, and professional mom working hard to thrive during this busy holiday season.

From our beach cleanups to our policy work on single-use plastics, Heal the Bay is tackling the waste crisis. With the holiday season upon us, there are numerous opportunities to help protect our local waters and watersheds by going green. 

Read Part ONE of our Green Holiday Tips Guide: Sustainable Shipping Holiday Myths

Read Part TWO of our Green Holiday Tips Guide: Wrapping Paper vs. Recycling

PART THREE:  Decorating for Your Holiday Party

As you plan your open house party menu, in a perfect world, you run into the store and do the right thing by purchasing compostable disposable party supplies, such as plastic plates, cups, and utensils. Because no good deed goes unpunished, your irritating neighbor says, “Oh honey why did you pay more for those? We don’t have industrial composting in LA.” 

Wait, what? 

They are right. We don’t have industrial composting in the greater Los Angeles region.  We have organics recycling. But what about those green compost bins you see all over Santa Monica? The big push for your food waste to go into the green bin is to reduce the methane in our landfills. Industrial composting and organics recycling are both waste management practices that aim to divert organic waste from landfills. Getting (once) living materials out of landfill is a critical greenhouse gas reduction strategy. While they share the goal of managing organic waste, there are differences between the two processes. 

While both systems readily take all food and yard waste, organics recycling can only process 100% fiber based single use materials. No coatings or adhesives. If your holiday plates have a big colorful snow scene on them, they have a coating and they should go in the trash.  

While it’s true that many disposable party supplies are not easily recyclable, there are efforts to develop more environmentally friendly options and improve recycling systems. As a consumer, you can consider using alternatives such as reusable party supplies, or you can be mindful of choosing disposable items made from materials that are 100% fiber based.  Another zerowaste strategy is to ask your friends to bring their own mug or flatware instead of a hostess gift. Consider it a gift to the environment! 

Need a Last-Minute Gift for your Party Host? Give the Gift of Experience

If you are headed to a holiday party thank your host with a great gift for good. Heal the Bay has no-wrapping-required gift options for you!

For the future marine scientist in your life: Gift Heal the Bay Aquarium Winter Science Camp, perfect for kids from kindergarten to 5th grade, our Winter Sessions are open from January 2 to January 5, 2024.

For the impossible-to-shop-for Secret Santa Recipient: Give a Heal the Bay Gift card, good to use on all items in the shop, at Heal the Bay ticket events, and visits to the Heal the Bay Aquarium.

For the Animal Activist on your Gift List: Gift a Heal the Bay Aquarium Membership which includes unlimited free visits, exclusive member benefits, and valuable discounts.