Lots of people love throwing summer parties. It’s the best time of year to get together with friends! But it’s important that we try to lesson our impact with our get-togethers.
Here are some tips to help get you started:
1. Wear Organic or Fair Trade Clothing
As the host or hostess, you’re the center spoke of the party. So, choose an outfit that also helps spread a message when you talk about it with guests.
Organic and/or fair trade clothing not only looks great, but it might also inspire others to start wearing clothing with a positive social message as well.
I know clean up is a cinch with disposables. But disposables not only add garbage to your local landfill, but they also consume trees and oil. Not good.
You could think about investing in a set of non-breakable, eco friendly plates just for parties. LeafWare makes really beautiful plates out of palm leaves.
These are great for several reasons:
1. You don’t have to worry about guests breaking your good dishes and getting glass all over the floor or patio.
2. Leafware plates and bowls are 100% compostable.
3. Serve Fair Trade Organic Chocolate and Coffee
If you haven’t tried Newman’s Own Fair Trade Organic coffee, you’re missing out. This coffee is amazing, and I have a serious addiction to it.
If you’re serving coffee to guests with dessert, then make sure it’s fair trade, organic, and/or shade grown.
Chocolate nibbles are also a plus at any party. So instead of stocking up on Hershey’s or Godiva, put out some fair trade chocolate. My favorite? Shaman Organic Chocolates. Yes, I’ve written about them before, because they’re amazing.
4. Give Out Eco-Friendly Party Favors
If you’re having a casual gathering of friends then you’re probably not giving out party favors. But if it’s a birthday party or wedding shower, then you probably will.
Instead of buying cheap plastic favors that will just get tossed, spend a little more to offer guests an eco-friendly option.
Why not give out little organic chocolates, potted plants or a reusable shopping bag?
5. Host the Party Outdoors
How many times have you been at a party in a house jam packed full of people? It was probably sweltering, right? Even with the A/C cranked up.
Instead of using all that energy to keep people cool indoors, why not host the party outside? Make S’Mores (yum!), play games, and let people relax.
6. Decorate Without the Waste
There are plenty of awesome ways to decorate inside and out without buying a ton of “stuff”.
Use old vases as Sangria jugs (and use real fruit as the stopper, suggests Epicurious), place small potted plants and trees on and around tables, use real leaves as placecards for guests…you get the picture.
7. Cook Local
Whatever you’re serving to guests for dinner or snacks, try to buy ingredients grown locally. This is a great way to ensure your party won’t have a huge carbon footprint.
8. Encourage Guests to Carpool
Hey, your driveway and yard isn’t big enough for 30 cars anyway, right? Ask guests to carpool when they can to cut down on emissions.
Summer parties are fun for everyone, and there are plenty of easy, low-cost ways we can make them a bit easier on the environment.
Filed under: Eco Living on June 29th, 2010