The next few weeks will be high time for parties! (I love parties! And I mean for any and all occasions!)
And of course, who DOESN’T love a party!?! BUT, they can also become occasions for an abundance of waste and trash making. Whether you already have a party planned, are helping to host a party or might just throw together an impromptu soiree(!)… here, once again this year, is my standard list for keeping it turned toward the green end of the dial:
- Try evites or create your own electronic invitations instead of mailing the paper store-bought version. Sure, you might have a few guests who aren’t email users, but where you can minimize… minimize! (Be careful if you mention your party on Facebook… your guests list may grow exponentially!) For guests requiring mailed invitations consider using last year’s holiday cards and turn the front of the card into a postcard.
- Decorate using live plants and maybe even give them to guests at the end of the night. Toss pine cones or evergreen clippings from your yard (or your neighbors!) into a bunch of beautiful bowls or vases you already own.
- Turn off an excess of lights. Blaze up the soy candles. It creates great ambiance too!
- Turn down the thermostat. Bodies = heat, so set it to the cooler side!
- Use your real plates, serveware and glassware. Or, if you don’t have enough, consider buying biodegradable and/or compostable tableware. Eco Products offers a variety of tableware made from corn, sugarcane and paper. Or check out Verterra for tableware with some real character – made of leaves! Orrrr, if it’s in your budget, rent real tableware and utensils… not in my budget, but maybe someday!
- Hit a dollar store for linens. (I bought four-packs of cloth napkins for a dollar last year!) Skip the poinsettia print. Pick flat colors so they can be used for many other occasions.
- Consider local beers and wines (if you have local choices) or locate organic choices… not always easy to find, but they are certainly out there!
- Buy organic fruits, veggies and meat-products. I know that is an expensive proposition, but as many as you can afford is better than none at all (consider the “dirty dozen” and the “clean 15” if you need help in making the choices too!).
- Set up a receptacle for recycling. Clearly mark it and ask everyone to jump on board.
- If you feel comfortable with the group of guests, ask them to remove their shoes. Shoes track in some really nasty and unhealthy things, believe me! (Read more here).
- Set up a numbering system where only “every fourth guest” who uses the bathroom flushes. Haahaa! Obviously, this one is a joke! I’m not that crazy!
But sincerely, just do your best! Many of the choices aren’t expensive and can actually be less expensive in the long run when you weigh all of the factors. And if your prep and set-up has all of the best choices in place, you will be able to “eat, drink and be merry”… and content that your party is a little greener.
And seriously… for the second time!… STOP considering that numbering system… it was a joke…(yea, kinda gross!)