The bad news: The world of entertaining happens to be one of the planet’s biggest offenders when it comes to waste.
The good news: We can easily change that.
Did you know the world of parties and entertaining is responsible for dumping millions of tons of waste into our landfills and water ways?
You’ve seen it – all the left over food, trash and bottles that gets tossed after a party. If you’ve ever peeked behind an alleyway before the trash trucks come, of a big hotel or restaurant after a banquet or wedding – it will make your stomach turn. It’s hard to feel good and throw a party when you think about that and the potential cost to the environment.
Well I say there is absolutely no room for guilt at a party. So I’m here to offer you a few tips on what you can do to Party clean, green and guilt free so nothing stands in the way of a good time for you and your guests. Print this up, stick it on the fridge, tweet it, share it, mail it to a friend – let’s make partying green a reason to celebrate!
Top 10 things you can do to Party Green:
1. Keep your glass jars
Don’t throw them out. These are the perfect replacements for plastic or tuperware containers. Use old BBQ sauce glass bottles to store left over party vinaigrette and liquids. Peanut butter jars are the perfect size for extra party nuts, mayo jars for left over soups. Glass jars also double as excellent votive holders. Mix up different shapes and sizes and you have a beautiful display for your table. Bonus: glass is non-toxic and recyclable.
2. Use 100% Cloth Napkins
If you don’t have any, invest in at least 8 to 10 100% cotton, all white cloth napkins – the white is so you can bleach them (spot with stain remover and then wash with non chlorinated eco-friendly bleach) to get rid of stains. Your cost will quickly come back to you in what you save on paper towels and napkins. Plus they feel better to the touch and instantly upgrade any party or meal. They also make perfectly soft dust cloths and cleaning rags once you’ve worn them out.
For evening parties and gatherings turn off all the lights, television, and computer. Switch out the electric lights for candle light. Place and light plenty of candles all around your space in different heights and sizes – stick to one color and non-scented. Not only does this create a beautiful setting for you and your guests but you are reducing your energy consumption during the peak hours of the day.
4. Shop Local
Produce that is local doesn’t have to travel far to get to you, using less gas, energy and resources, therefore leaving less of a carbon footprint. Support your local growers and shop at your farmer’s market or ask your local grocer who your local suppliers are.
5. Recycle aluminum foil
Rinse it, dry it and lay it flat or roll it either way you’ll reduce your consumption and save some bucks.
6. Buy recycled aluminum foil
When you need to restock your foil choose the recycled option, all the foil you’ve recycled comes right back to you.
7. Shop packaging
Choose products in recyclable or compostable containers. If you have a choice between a plastic bag, paper or a glass jar – go for the glass. Always bring your own shopping bags, if you don’t have them ask for paper bags instead of plastic at the checkout stand.
8. Reuse what you’ve got
Before you run out to buy something new, look around and see what you can repurpose that you already have. One of my favorite multi use products are the metal buckets and pails – the kind that’s used for mops or paint. You can find them at Home depot or your local hardware store. These guys get a lot of use around my house. I use them for everything from center piece flower tubs, ice buckets and utensil containers to bread baskets, even carnage buckets for shucking crab
9. Send recycled or electronic invitations
evites make planning a party so easy. They keep track of the guest list RSVPs, comments, changes and any updates you might have. They’ll even organize who’s bringing what to your pot luck. They have some super creative styles and designs to fit just about every occasion. Recycled invites are fun too. Send out vintage postcards for a ‘bon voyage’, lunch sacks for a picnic or tear out book pages from an old book and send as ‘book party’ invites. Get creative and have fun.
10. Green up your clean up
Only use compostable trash bags for your food waste. Bio-Bag certified compostable bags are made of vegetable oil and “breathe” allowing for safe and rapid composting.
Using these top 10 Party Green tips you are now on your way to a more soulful, sustainable and conscious entertaining. You can feel good about making mindful choices that help the planet and protect the environment – now that’s reason to celebrate!
XO ~ L