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This weekend I helped a friend with her Eco-friendly party planning and the experience was special. About four months ago she approached me and asked for some assistance. She wanted to plan and host a birthday party for her significant other and her idea was to throw a rocking bash in the most Eco-friendly way as possible. She continues to inspire me daily as she is a big proponent of the three R”s; reduce, reuse and recycle, all in the effort to help reduce the excess that can end up in the garbage.
Parties are all about indulging, pampering and treating the guest of honor in an extraordinarily special way. When you think party planning you think about all you can do; plotting, organizing and shopping to create just that kind of an event. But when party planning strategizing, so many of us don’t consider the importance of being green, reducing consumption and utilizing environmentally sound resources.
The Key to Eco-Friendly Party Planning!
As we went about organizing the celebration making and executing the party decisions; for invites, food, drinks, decorations and the like there was one major stipulation. The plan was that after the party guests had enjoyed, consumed and departed and clean-up was completed we would be left with only one bag of garbage. Yep you heard it here; the strategy was after all was said and done to incorporate only reusable, recyclable and compostable elements so that our only souvenir would be one, one bag of garbage. I for one was incredibly skeptical and didn’t think for one second it could be done. But that didn’t stop us from trying and I’m happy to admit I was wrong and we were able to accomplish our plan. And this experience really did change the way I think about being green when it comes to executing parties and events.
One of the more important factors, I did learned was that when it comes to achieving a successful Eco-friendly party; the key is planning, planning, planning.
Tips to Get Started Eco-Friendly Party Planning
You can easily plan an Eco-friendly, tasteful get-together without giving up on any of the style, pleasure and joy. With some thought and preparation, you can throw a fabulous party that is not only Eco-friendly and good for the planet but is as equally enjoyable for your guests. So say so long (for a night) to your garbage can and hello to party planning tips:
Invitations – There are all sorts of ways to invite guests while at the same time saving the planet and staying green. Use that newfangled invention, the phone and call or go the paperless route and send invitations by utilizing your favorite site like Evite.com or Punchbowl.com. Or just log onto the computer and send out an email with all the details. For my friend’s party we went the way of seed paper, we outlined all the details on wildflower seed paper, hand delivered them which can be planted after the party.
Decorations – When it comes to decorating at an Eco-friendly party a bit of creativity will go a long way. As a substitute to running out to the store and spending more money; why not reuse decorations from previous bashes, integrate items from around the home, go with real plates, glasses, cutlery, table linens and napkins instead of going the paper or disposal route and if due to size going the disposable direction is imperative be sure to check out the Eco-friendly types. And what about utilizing the natural light whenever possible, using local potted plants, flowers and actual fruit and vegetables for centerpieces and to beautify. Try and keep away from disposable almost anything when possible, as it almost always ends up in the trash. When it comes to Eco-friendly decorating, a good recommendation is to consider cloth in place of paper and paper in place of plastic. It is surprising how many different ways there are to reuse, re-purpose and recycle things that at some point were believed to be garbage.
Food – What you serve at your environmentally friendly party can have a huge effect on the party’s over all Eco-footprint. And when it comes to planning an Eco-friendly party menu it all starts with the food so first and foremost think seasonal and think local. It has been said purchasing locally produced foods is one of the greatest things one can do to be green. And by going with “in season” locally sourced food will certainly make a difference to your bottom line and save you some buckaroos. There are many ways to reduce our environmental influence on what we are eating and drinking by being aware of packaging, greenhouse emissions and the use of fertilizers and pesticides, make a point of understanding how and what is produced and grown in your area. If you cater your party choose a caterer that is Eco-friendly and uses organic and local ingredients.
Waste – Set your game plan to zero waste. The whole point of an Eco-friendly party is to generate as little waste as possible. During the party make it easy for your guests to recycle by setting up recycling and compost bins around the party space. And when clearing up be sure to take time to sort things out and put them in the appropriate bins. And when everyone has departed and it’s time to clean up; shun severe chemicals and use only green cleaning products