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Your Guide to a Sustainable Summer - Big Reuse

Your Guide to a Sustainable Summer

It’s summer party season! While we’re out enjoying nature and time with friends, we can also make sure to reduce our waste. Here are some of our favorite tips for sustainable summer hangs:

  • If you’re hosting, have a labeled food scrap bin (and, of course, recycling) available next to your trash. You can even put up signage on what to compost – download a PDF or order free printed copies from DSNY here

  • Hanging out at the beach or in a park? Reuse empty food containers to take scraps back to your curbside bin at home or to the nearest drop-off.

  • Use silverware, cups, and plates from home instead of buying disposables. You’ll save money and your picnic will look even cuter.

  • If you’re using compostable serviceware, take those items to a curbside bin or Smart Composting Bin after you’re done – many can only break down in commercial-scale systems. Always check the guidelines for your local food scrap drop-off before bringing commercial compostable products.

  • Remember that curbside composting bins and Smart Composting Bins can accept all food scraps and food-soiled paper, including hard-to-compost items like meat, bones, and paper plates. If you bring your scraps to a drop-off, make sure to sort your scraps correctly!

  • Take advantage of the many farmer’s markets and zero waste shops around the city. They’re the perfect place to find packaging-free snacks and produce. 

  • Be a good neighbor to our urban wildlife! Be mindful of noise pollution, especially after nightfall. 

  • Save containers like take-out boxes, jars, or food packaging to hand out leftovers, or ask friends to bring their own.

  • Ditch the plastic party decorations and opt for a more sustainable alternative: think repurposed items, DIY decorations, flowers and plants, and thrifted tablecloths or picnic blankets.

Learn more about the program at

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