Entertaining doesn’t have to be damaging to the environment, nor do you have to limit the fun to throw a green party. Being aware and choosing to make better environmental choices are good ways to start turning things around for our planet. So check out these great tips on how to throw a green party and do your bit for the environment.
This is one area where it is simple to go green. Most people have computers these days and an email account, so send out digital invitations, to save on paper, ink and postage.
Digital invites don’t have to be boring; there are many free design sites that help you create beautiful invitations online. Get creative, or get a creative friend to help you, and come up with impressive invites for your next party.
If you really want to send out paper invitations, use recycled or handmade paper and use a single sheet. Print them yourself to save money. Have a talented friend address the envelopes in beautiful handwriting to add a personal touch to the invitations.
Ask the guests to RSVP by phone or email to save paper and postage.
Theme and Decorations
If you want to draw attention to the environment and the fact that you are throwing a green party, make this your theme. Make the environment your theme, ask your guests to come dressed in green or to bring something that represents being environmentally aware.
Party decorations that are used once and then thrown away contribute to the huge amounts of land-fill being collected every day. Choose decorations that can be reused or that are made of natural materials and so can be recycled in the garden or compost.
Reusable party decorations could include potted plants, glass or metal containers or ornaments, fabric, party lights that you own or can borrow and candles. Recyclable decorations could be dried or fresh flowers, decorations made out of recycled paper or fresh fruit.
Invite guests to take home flowers, plants, fruit and other decorations after the party; they make great ‘Thank You’ gifts.
Venue and Starting time
A party held in daylight hours will use less power than one held at night. Many reception and function centers use huge amounts of power, so look for alternatives. Consider using your own home or garden, where you can control the amount of power used.
Another idea to save on electricity usage for your party is to hire a large marquee and erect it in your yard or in the local park (provided you are allowed to do this). If you hold the party during the day, no lighting will be needed.
Plates and Utensils
The Clean Air Council in theUnited Stateshas estimated that the amount of plastic and paper cups, knives, spoons and forks that are thrown away would encircle the globe 300 times. While disposable plates and utensils are a hassle-free alternative, they are certainly not good for the environment.
While it means more cleaning up, use crockery tableware, glassware and stainless steel utensils when you have a party. If you really need non-breakables, look for the clear polymer drinkware that is 100% recyclable. There are also ranges of tableware made from recycled plastic.
Consider hiring all your tableware and drinkware needs. While some hire companies expect everything to be washed up, there are some that will collect the dirty dishes from you and wash it all in commercial dishwashers. This saves you having to do a big clean-up and possibly uses less water and power.
In addition to these main tips, you could use organic or locally-produced foods and support Fairtrade organizations with the party supplies you buy. If it is a gift-giving occasion, ask for donations to be made to environmental projects that you support. If you have left-over food, encourage guests to take some home and freeze the rest for later consumption. Recycle as much trash as possible to limit the amount going to landfill.
By using these simple tips, you too can throw a green party that will be the talk of your friends.
So, when you throw a party, what do you do to cut down on costs and eco-impact? Also, if you are planning a New Year’s party, are you going to make it green?
These are fine tips. I think there’s an assumption that such events are going to be wasteful or that steps to prevent waste would be a significant inconvenience. However, this article shows that with appropriate planning, you can host your green party without too much of a hassle.
It’s true. Being green isn’t a big inconvenience. There are small easy things you can do when planning that make a huge impact. One of my favourites is email invites. It is so easy and saves so many trees.
I recently had my whole family (6 siblings, spouses & children) over for Christmas. We used cloth napkins, china plates, real silverware, china cups, and glasses. No paper. I borrowed from my sister so there would be no paper. A few family members washed forks half way through so we could use them for dessert. No need for paper anything.
Joyce. That is awesome!!! Good job. I always love hearing stories of how others have found ways to be green in their homes. Doing a few dishes never hurt anyone right?! You should be proud of your efforts. They really are important.
We use cloth napkins and real plates every day. I love how the cloth feels on my hands and face compared to the paper.
It very hard to throw a New Year’s party during the day, however you can have everyone bring a dish to reduce costs and impact on the environment. We are going to do something different this year and go to the movies (using discount tickets) with friends and have a light meal afterwards.
You’re right. The daytime thing is a bit of a bummer for New Year’s specifically but you get my drift.
Sounds like a neat idea. What movie are you going to see?
Unfortunately, our parties as not as green as we would like simply because of the convenience plastic plates and utensils!
Yes, convenience is handy sometimes. However it does come with a price, either financially or eco wise. Here is a suggestion. Try having a party that doesn’t use plates and utensils. Finger foods are a lot of fun.
I do hope this trend catches on. I’d also like to add, donate any left over food to local soup kitchens, they’ll gladly accept them.
Going green will definitely be more expensive, but that’s the least we can do to save this over polluted planet.
Great idea on the donations. I hadn’t thought of that one. I usually try not to have too much left over. We are having a party this Saturday. If we have left overs I will drop them off on Sunday. Thanks for such a great suggestion.
A Green Party sounds fun. 🙂 A great place for a green party is even at a park (fresh air and natural light)… it’s so nice to enjoy mother nature. 🙂
I totally agree. There are a couple city parks where I live that are really pretty and in the summer we often get together with friends and have BBQ. It is great to get outside and enjoy the sun and mother nature. The beach also works great for this.
It is so expensive to throw a party. I do not do this often to save money. Going green definitely helps bring down cost. Good job on this topic!
When you can save on costs of cutlery, plates, napkins, etc. then your savings can really add up. Hopefully you can throw a party one day soon that is green and doesn’t break the bank. Parties are a lot of fun.
What do you know, I have green get togethers and never even knew it!
It is great to hear that you are doing good hey?! I always love it when this happens to me too. The reinforcement is a great feeling.
I always use Evite or Facebook to invite guests. On top of being green, it’s much faster that any other method, too.
I try to stay away from disposable plates as much as possible, too. One way I do this with friends is that sometimes everyone brings their own plates and silverware if we’re just having an informal potluck.
Great idea. I was actually just at a work potluck where people were told to bring their own dishes to eat with. I thought it was awesome.
I like the suggestions from your commenters for having a green party. Evites, having a party in the park, and encouraging party goers to take home left-overs.
Another way without sending out formal invitations is using facebook. I find it a great way to see who’s coming to the event or not.
I have been trying to avoid disposable/ plastic plates and cups etc.
Yes Facebook is handy. I like how you can make an event on there private too. That way if you have select group you want to invite you don’t have to worry about offending anyone else.