How to Host a Sustainable Labor Day Gathering

Aug 30, 2021 10:30 AM ET

According to a OnePoll survey conducted in 2020 on behalf of Republic Services, many Americans are interested in becoming more sustainable. In fact, 58% of survey respondents shared that they were reevaluating their eco-friendly habits as a result of the pandemic.

As summer comes to an end, many are preparing for one last celebration by firing up the grill for Labor Day. If you’re hosting friends and family over the long weekend, make a pledge to be more eco-friendly this year.

Check out a few of our tips for hosting a more sustainable gathering:

  • Know your recyclables. Before hosting your gathering and deciding which products to provide to guests, do your research about which items are recyclable in your community. Typically, items like plastic water bottles and jugs, aluminum and tin cans, and paper products are recyclable. No matter where you live, though, your recyclables should be empty, clean, and dry before you toss them in your recycling bin.
  • Make recycling accessible. Setting up a designated bin for guests will make recycling a breeze! Remind attendees that all recyclables need to be empty, clean, and dry. If someone isn’t sure if an item is recyclable, it’s best to put it in the trash.
  • Choose aluminum. Did you know that making a new can from recycled aluminum uses 95% less energy than making the same can from raw materials? Using aluminum products is an easy way to reduce waste at your gathering. Proper recycling of aluminum cans is critical for both our planet and our economy. Choose beer, soda, and other beverages in aluminum cans or containers instead of plastic, since aluminum can be recycled infinitely.
  • Use reusable products. Skip the paper plates and plastic utensils this year and opt for reusable dishes for your gathering. This simple swap will keep unnecessary paper plates and plastic utensils out of a landfill.
  • Save your scraps. Did you know that household organic waste, or food and yard waste, currently makes up about 30% of the waste that’s sent to landfills (EPA)? Composting your food scraps is an easy way to reduce greenhouse gasses and minimize landfill waste.  Learn how to start your compost at home.   

Sustainability efforts don’t have to end when the party is over. For more tips on how you can be a better recycler and live a more sustainable lifestyle, visit