To Throw a Green Party
When you book a party at any of the BTPD facilities, we encourage
you to keep it green!! We provide you with recycle
bins to use for your event and ask that you keep the environment
in mind during all your activities.
But you can also make sure all your parties are "green"
by following these tips:
recyclable products. Identify items and packaging that
can be recycled and then be sure to recycle them! Our landfills
are full of recyclable products that were thrown in with the regular
Here are things that you can recycle right at your event site:
pop cans, aluminum containers, plastic water and juice bottles,
glass tea and juice bottles, 2-liter pop bottles, cardboard and
paper packaging (be sure to "break down" cardboard boxes
before putting them into recycle bags, or the waste management
company won't pick up!)
reusable products. Many products are designed to be used
more than once. That not only saves the environment, it saves
Here are things you can use for your event that can be used over
again and again: reusable utensils and serving ware (if plastic,
remind your guests not to throw them in the trash!), washable
cloth napkins or tablecloths, reusable plastic table cloths, reusable
shopping bags, and reusable plastic containers for leftovers.
If you must use disposables, purchase biodegradable party ware
made from vegetable starch. Although it's a bit expensive, you
won’t feel guilty putting it in the landfill or you can
reuse it or compost it!
Remember these don'ts!
Don’t use polystyrene or Styrofoam It takes 500 years
to decompose in the landfill! Don’t place garbage in recycle
bins! After your event, check through the recycle bins
to make sure no garbage was accidentally dropped into them; also
check to make sure cans and bottles weren't put into the paper
recyclables, etc. Don’t waste! Reduce first; purchasing
over-packaged items or over-buying is a common non-green mistake;
also avoid small individual packages of items.
Plan ahead! When
planning your party, think more than guests, dates, times, and
events. Remember also to plan to Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!
BTPD already has some green practices in place, some for a good
number of years. For example, when trees and and fallen tree limbs
must be removed from our parks, they are thrown into a wood chipper.
Perry Farm visitors are probably familiar with the huge piles
of wood chips visible from the playground area. These chips are
used for mulching our gardens and around other trees. Wood chips
help soil retention, weed reduction, and even fertilization as
they slowly decompose.
Some trees, especially those located in the Illinois Nature Preserve
around the Indian Caves, are left in the area they fall, moved
only to clear the hiking/biking paths. This allows animals and
bugs to make homes in the fallen trees as nature slowly recycles
the wood over the years. As the name suggests, a nature preserve
preserves the natural environment with as little human
interference as possible.
Visitors to the Indian Caves area are asked to tread lightly
on the land and carry out any trash. Picking wildflowers or disturbing
the land in any way is prohibited in the Nature Preserve.
Burns. You may
have noticed large portions of grassland burned to the ground
in Perry Farm and elsewhere. These are controlled burns on an
alternating schedule to simulate natural fires that helped restore
the prairies before humans invaded it. The burns strengthen the
native plants, control weeds, and return nutrients to the soil.
Have you seen how quickly these charred fields return to healthy
green? Mother Nature knew what she was doing!
mentioned in the "How To Throw a Green Party" article
to the left of this column, BTPD will provide group events with
trash and recycle bins for use at the activity. You may want to
ask for them as you plan your event or, if you don't see any when
you arrive, ask a BTPD representative to supply them. And then
please encourage all your members and guests to use them responsibly.
Much of our staff is volunteer, so also please clean up after
your activity before you leave. Other park users don't want to
see your confetti poppers and streamers lying around the park
Green Clean Parties.
Unfortunately, not all our park users are environmentally responsible
and our maintenance staff is limited, so we encourage your group
to throw a "Green Clean Party." Hike our paved
and wooded dirt paths and streams with garbage and recycle bags
and help us in our continuing efforts to Go