New Year’s Eve Fireworks is one of the biggest events of the year, attracting millions of Londoners to the banks of the River Thames. But extravagant celebrations often bring extraordinary waste.
Based on Veolia's clean up in 2018, it's estimated that over 85 tonnes of waste will need to be cleared at the end of the event this year.
To reduce this amount and to make a green start to 2020, check out our five top tips to celebrate sustainably this New Year's Eve.
1. Consider sustainable party outfits
It’s easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamour at New Year’s, with many of us looking for the perfect party outfit to match the occasion. However, fast fashion is far from carbon neutral.
To make your New Year’s outfit more sustainable, consider mixing and matching clothes you already have in your wardrobe. You could attend a clothes swap, borrow an outfit from a friend, or buy pre-owned from a local charity shop. If you prefer to buy new, consider sourcing an outfit from brands that support sustainable manufacturing processes.
2. Opt for reusable bottles and flasks
New Year's Eve celebrations tend to be thirsty business, so whether you’re out partying or doing your best to stay warm at the fireworks display, consider heading out with a flask or fill your reusable bottles with your favourite drink. They will keep your drinks colder or hotter for a longer, and you'll also reduce your waste impact.
3. Use containers for food to minimise packaging waste
In 2019, we’ve seen an encouraging growth in the "bring your own" container concept, and we hope it’s here to stay. By packing food in your own containers, you can significantly reduce your packaging waste.
So don’t go hungry in the lead-up to countdown, fill containers with snacks or dinner from home, and any uneaten food can be taken back with you, instead of being thrown away.
4. Use public transport
There are changes to transport on New Year's Eve, with many services running all night and free travel on TfL public transport from 23:45 on New Year's Eve until 04:30 on New Year's Day. With many road closures in place in central London on the night, it's a more efficient way to travel and it helps save on carbon emissions, improving local air quality.
5. Take your waste away with you
Don’t leave litter at the end of the night, take your waste home with you and make sure all recyclables end up in the recycling bin.
There are plenty of small, yet significant, lifestyle changes you can make to help the planet in 2020 and beyond.
Here's a few ideas to get you thinking:
- Ditch disposable cups and opt for reusables, whenever possible
- Bring your own shopping bags to the store
- Buy fruit and vegetables loose
- Make sure you don't waste food, by planning your meals and reusing dinner leftovers
- Try your hand at repairing items, instead of throwing them away
- Hang your laundry to dry, rather than using a powered dryer
Make 2020 your greenest year yet!