If you want to throw a successful and enjoyable party, but also make less of an impact on the earth, here are some suggestions for ways to do so.
Invitations: Evite.com has an easy to use website that allows you to create invitations that are then sent by email. It offers online RSVP options and other party management features.
Menu: Create your menu with seasonal and locally grown foods. Your eco-conscious guests will appreciate seasonal selections that were grown close to home and not transported thousands of miles to the market. Purchasing organic foods is also important to the environment, but some family farms can't afford the huge fee to get organic certification. So be sure to ask the farmer if their products are pesticide, hormone, and antibiotic-free.
Decorations: Nature is one of your best resources for decorating in an eco-friendly way. Scour your backyard for fallen branches, sticks and leaves. Arrange the branches in an old water pitcher or other decorative container and spread the leaves on your holiday table. Potted herbs like rosemary or mint make fragrant decorations that look good and can be used in food as well. An arrangement of winter fruit is another beautiful non-wasteful way to decorate. Consider arranging organic lemons with other citrus in a clear bowl, then using the lemons the next day for fresh lemonade. If you have a backyard flower garden, you can also use some fresh cuts in a simple vase for a festive holiday centerpiece . Be sure to compost flowers and leftovers from used fruit.
Dinnerware: One of the easiest way to keep your party green is to use reusable dinnerware. Your holiday table can be green and sustainable by using dishes like these from Noritake. Choose from one of their holiday patterns or something from their stylish everyday collection. Also check their options for reusable glassware that would also make a lovely way to serve holidays drinks to your guests.
Lighting: Candles do create a certain celebratory atmosphere during this time, but opt for healthier versions of candles. Regular candles made from paraffin can emit dangerous toxins into the air while they are burning. Soy, beeswax and LED candles are a more earth-friendly and sustainable choice for your lighting options. If your party will be in the evening outdoors, solar lights are another inexpensive and greener way to brighten up your party. They charge during the day when it's sunny and glow at night when it's dark.
Gifts: If you exchange gifts at your holiday party, there are many options for going green. Minimize holiday wrapping or use reusable gift covers . Many cloth options are available for your gift-giving this season. Choose gifts that lessen your environmental impact by shopping locally for handmade items. Local artisans appreciate the support and your recipient will appreciate the artistry of the work.
It is possible to share in the spirit of the holiday season with friends and family and also lesson your impact on the earth. Implementing some greener habits will make all your celebrations more positive for you, your guests, and the planet we all share.
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