For my 21st birthday this year, my friend and I are throwing a “We’re Going Green” themed party. He came up with the idea to have a color theme, and I completed the thought with the buzzword of the moment: green. Included at this party will be green keg cups, top hats, necklaces, streamers, green-bottled beer and Jägermeister. Although the waste from this party will be plentiful, I fully intend on doing the best I can to recycle and prevent waste. I hope people interpret the theme of this party in the following different ways: jolly green giants, green food, but most of all, sustainability.

As freedom from the confines of Winter Quarter approaches us, party season will soon be in full gear. No more rain means no more excuses to stay inside. Going to the beach and spending time outside makes me appreciate the beautiful environment we live in. With a little tender loving care, we can all help make this party season a little less trashy.

Recycle or reuse your plastic keg cups. Whenever I bike from my friends’ house on Trigo to my place on Sueno on Saturday and Sunday mornings, I can’t help but be pained when I see a few dozen red plastic cups strewed all over a lawn on Camino del Sur. Those guys could use a good clean up. When you buy red cups, buy in bulk to save packaging. Load them up in the dishwasher – unless your dishwasher gets super-hot – or just wash them by hand like any other cups.

Leave out recycling bins for beer bottles and cans. Even if your cans get picked up in the mornings, it’ll save the people who go through your recycling bin the trouble of sorting garbage from recyclables. Be aware of the lighting at your party. There’s no reason why rooms should be flooded with light, so try to keep the lights dimmer than what you would use for studying.

If you smoke, please don’t leave your cigarette butts at the beach for some poor bird, fish or child to pick up and eat. Eating filters is not healthy for any living creature. Bring a bag with you and pick them up after you’re done smoking. When drinking on the beach, be sure to bring a bag to pick up your recycling. I find it easy to put cans and bottles back in a big beach bag or even towel if you’re in a pinch.

Try to re-use party gear. I know it can be rough, but storing old party accessories may come in handy later. I plan on re-using my green hat and necklace for St. Patrick’s Day and hopefully many other parties to come. Because we’re fortunate enough to waste our Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights hanging out with our friends and having a good time, it’s important to remember that we’re not the only living creatures in our community. Clean up after yourself at the beach and try to reuse and recycle plastic keg cups when you can. Partying is more fun when you don’t have a pile of garbage to clean up in the morning.