Plastic Free Summer Entertaining

Table Top Decor

Summer is here, the kids are out of school and the heat is on which means BBQs and pool parties are in full swing. We’ve all cleaned up and taken the giant bag of trash out after hosting a party.  Have you ever wondered if you could minimize what’s going into that bag?

Here are some tips and some great, Love Local approved, product alternatives to create less waste at your next get together. 

Ditch the Solo Cups

Instead of using plastic cups for your summer soirée, invest in a set that you can wash and reuse. Let’s face it; there will be lots of pool parties in the heat of summer.  Buy a set at a vintage store, you can find really cool ones that will be perfect for entertaining.

Trade Plastic Plates, Cups and Cutlery 

We are all aware that we need to find ways to use less plastic. None of us want to pollute the ocean. Instead of spending money on plastic plates, cups, cutlery, etc. choose compostable or biodegradable options. Try these by Bambu.

Say No to Herbs in Plastic Containers

When doing your grocery shopping, opt for fresh herbs available without packaging.  If you shop at your local farmers market, it’s a guarantee you’ll find fresh herbs sans plastic.  An even better idea is to grow your own! Buy organic and GMO-free seeds and plant starts from a local nursery like the Maine Potato Lady. You can easily grow herbs on your countertop with these gorgeous, organic herb planters.

A Better Straw

If you want to provide straws for your guests there are better options than plastic.  Purchase a set of cool metal ones that you can clean and reuse, don’t worry they come with the pipe cleaner. 

These compostable straws are also a good option. They’re cheap and can be tossed in your compost bin. 

The Mighty Slipat

A reusable, non-stick slipat is perfect for all your baking needs. 

Send Leftovers Home in Glass Containers

Instead of tossing your empty spaghetti sauce, jam and pickle jars, wash them with the rest of the dishes and keep them. They’re perfect for sending leftovers home with your guests. It’s easy, cheap and good for the environment.

Trash, Recycle, Compost

Set up bins clearly marked for trash, recycling and compost to make it easier for you to dispose of properly at the end of the day.


Many cities have a composting program or a facility where you can drop off food scraps. This is important because food in landfills = polluted water and methane and we simply don’t need any more of either.  Check out this state by state guide to find a composting solution in your town. https://www.litterless.com/wheretocompost.

Party Favors

Choose better party favors. If you’re hosting a kids birthday party, choose favors that will leave a lasting impression. These Pura stainless steel water bottles are cute and perfect for kids to use at the pool AND they will last for summers to come.

Even if you implement one thing on this list for your summer party, you’ll be doing the Earth and future generations a favor. Happy BBQing!

Author Details

Jen Culler Liepis

Jen is the founder of Love Local.