It’s the most wonderful time of the year, which means it’s the most wonderful time to throw a holiday party to celebrate! You can emphasize the green in your holly and ivy theme by planning to make your get together extra eco-friendly. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Invites. When sending out your party invitations, you can go two ways: traditional or tech-friendly. Traditional invitations are printed on paper and mailed or dropped off. You can still be eco conscious with your physical invitations if you use recycled paper or invitations made from hemp. Practice your creativity by reusing last year’s holiday cards, clipping away the personal part, and using the image on the front as your invitation. If you’re going to tech-friendly route, you can remind yourself that many people are using email and Facebook for invites. This option saves paper and money too, and you can personalize them by using a photo.
Menu. Shop locally for your party food at the farmer’s market or in the organic section of the grocery store. Shopping locally saves gas and destructive fumes caused by delivery trucks (which you can do as well if you bike to the location). Organic food is healthier for you and your guests as it is pesticide, hormone, and antibiotic free. You can also serve organic wine, which is free of artificial preservatives.
Serving. Prepare your meals with reusable plates, glasses, dishes, silverware, and napkins that can be washed and then used again. Bamboo grows faster than trees, and dinnerware made from it biodegrades faster as well.
Décor. You can have a lot of fun creating the decorations for the party yourself and still practice sustainability. Dress up old coffee cans with recycled holiday wrapping paper and use them as centerpieces filled with apples or pinecones. Collect fall leaves in advance and create place cards out of them by writing the name of each guest in gold or silver ink. You can avoid using scented candles that may produce toxic fumes by placing naturally scented fruits like oranges or using herbs like mint or lavender around the house. Or you can purchase essential oils like frankincense or pine and add them to boiling water to make your home smell seasonal. Create a festive atmosphere by dimming the lights in your house. And there an increasing number of businesses that rent Christmas trees, which can be repotted after the holiday season is over.
Clean up. Though this is the least fun part of the party, you can still be eco conscious when cleaning up after the guests have gone. They can even help out by taking home any leftovers with them. Avoid harsh chemicals and use earth friendly cleaners like baking soda. You can mulch your tree and any plant-based wreaths or decorations that can then be reused as compost. Make sure to recycle any paper, aluminum or glass waste.
You can have an eco-friendly holiday party that is successful and entertaining without placing an advertisement online that reads, “Wanted: belly dancers Los Angeles.”