You’re Invited! How to Keep your Parties Green.

July 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm 1 comment

#Green outdoor #party #inspiration.

Parties, cookouts, and soirees are a dime a dozen in summer, especially around the 4th of July. Anyone who has ever thrown a party knows how easy it is to stack up on paper plates and napkins to simplify clean-up. However, we should be conscientious to our carbon footprint as well as our guests. In every category of party-throwing there are simple changes to make your party more green.

Invitations

Try nixing your paper invitations for invites via email. You can still be artsy and creative using eCards plus you’ll save money avoiding pricey invitations and postage.

If you are a traditionalist and really want people to receive invitations in the mail, there are more options than plain card stock. I personally love seed cards, they have a great texture and feel more special. Botanical Paperworks makes beautiful invitations that your guests can just bury in the yard at a later date. However, these can be pricey for a budgeted host. Another simple option would be to use paper you have laying around the house to make hand-made, recycled invites. Don’t be afraid to be creative, the funkier the better!

Tableware

No more paper tableware! Make it your hosting mantra. Don’t let a whole garbage bag fill up with paper plates, napkins, plastic cups, and utensils. What a waste. Your party will look more sophisticated with actual plates and silverware.

Sometimes this just isn’t an option if you’re having a large party or don’t want to risk tableware breaking. The good news is that there are plenty of eco-friendly disposable tableware options. From recyclable to compostable there are companies that sell disposable tableware for every budget. Costco carries a line of plant based compostable tableware for fair prices. Whole Foods also carries tableware that looks like sturdy paper plates but are actually made from renewable and biodegradable sugar cane.

Note: If you do decide to go with compostable tableware, make sure it is composted! Throwing compostable tableware into the garbage is a common mistake. Many people think, “Oh, it will compost in the landfill”. But many landfills compress garbage so tightly that the tableware wouldn’t get enough air to compost. Have your garbage/recycling/compost bins CLEARLY labeled.

Food

Think Local! When planning your menu, try to base it off what is in season in your area. That way, once its time to go shopping, it’s easier to find most of your shopping list at the local farmers market or food co-op. This will ensure that most of your food will be organic without the price-tag of out-of-season ingredients. If you plan on serving burgers, steaks, etc. buy grass fed beef because it require fewer pesticides, fossil fuels, and antibiotics than the corn-fed alternative. Not to mention, buying better ingredients will make your food taste and look better.

When it comes to drinks, try to eliminate as much container waste as possible. Make fresh lemonade (or powder drinks) in pitchers instead of individual cans. Buy pony-kegs of beer and root beer. The kids will love feeling like the adults and you can avoid the frustrating clean up of dozens of barely drank Mtn. Dew cans.

Favors and Games

It is so easy to be creative and less wasteful with party favors. Some options are fun can koozies, seed packets, or local treats or unique games. One of my favorite idea is to decorate the tables with various potted plants. You can send the guest home with one of the plants- a party favor they will actually hold on to. Simple, pretty, and inexpensive. Another fun idea is to make a homemade pinata (easy, I swear) and fill it with mini bottles of wine, make-up samples, or giftcards for the adults.

When it comes to the kids, don’t bother with plastic, cheaply made knick knacks. Instead, make the favors part of a game or activities. Have the kids tye-dye shirts, make their own kites, decorate frames, or make their own bubble solution and wands. This is a great site for kid activities: http://bit.ly/11dML2w.

As you have read, making your party more green is easy peasy. And all these tips will also make your party more successful, memorable time. It just takes a little planning!

Thanks for reading,

EnAct Intern Chelsie

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Entry filed under: 3 R's, 4th of July, conservation, consumption, events, food, Holidays, Kids, organic, other, renewables, sustainability, tips, waste.

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1 Comment Add your own

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