Green Etiquette: Eco-Tips for a House Full of Guests

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The holidays are a time of friends, family and, of course, fantastic food. But in many cases, throwing family parties means at least a few of your friends and relatives will arrive with an overnight bag in tow. Sure, you want to keep your home sustainable, but it can be tough with grandparents, siblings and out-of-state friends crashing on every sofa you own.

To help you have a planet-friendly holiday – despite your unusually full house – Earth911 rounded up six simple tips that will allow you to share your green lifestyle with your loved ones without coming across as pushy.

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Earth911 Tip: Before your guests arrive, invite them to bring something that helps reduce waste, such as food storage containers to those yummy leftovers home in. It will relieve some of their stress and confusion about what to bring and help make their stay more sustainable. Photo: Shutterstock

1. Invite them to bring something

If you’re already the self-appointed “recycling police” at family gatherings or the lone vegan among your group of friends, your guests probably already know that your home is a sustainable one. And they may actually be nervous about how to act.

Inviting guests to bring something that reduces waste during their stay may actually put their minds at ease, as they won’t have to guess about what they should bring or how they should behave once they arrive at your home.

For example, asking guests to BYOL (bring-your-own-linens) is a great way to save yourself from wasting water by washing sheets, blankets and towels that have only been used once. Your guests can continue using their linens and towels when they get home, and you’ll save loads of water in the process.

If you plan to cook for your guests, suggest they bring a few reusable food storage containers with them to take leftovers home in – reducing food waste and sharing tasty holiday treats with everyone on the guest list.

Generally, just go with something simple that has a big impact, and share the estimated savings with your guests as a “pat on the back.” Friends and relatives will not only learn about lightening environmental impact, but they’ll also feel good knowing they helped you achieve something that is important to you.

You Asked, Earth911 Answered: Holiday Travel: The Greenest Way to Get There

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