Are you hosting a holiday party for friends and family? Want to wow them with a good time that’s also good for the planet? Follow these simple tips to help ensure your seasonal celebration is eco-friendly and fabulous:
1. Send digital invites
Paper invitations not only create waste, they are easily misplaced. Opt for digital invites instead. There are a variety of websites offering free and affordable designer digital invitations that will impress your guests and allow you to send updates and keep track of RSVPs. If you feel that it’s absolutely necessary to send out paper invitations, choose recycled, unbleached ones with veggie-based ink.
2. Use natural lighting
If you live in an area where the temps are bearable, consider hosting an outdoor holiday party during the day. This will allow you to take advantage of the sun’s rays, keeping energy consumption (and costs!) down. If you prefer an evening affair, use energy-efficient light bulbs—or better yet, set the mood with soy candles. These come in a variety of shapes and scents, and they won’t pollute the air!
3. Choose reusable linens
Disposable napkins and tablecloths end up in landfills. Consider elegant—and reusable—linen ones instead. You can rent them from a local company, or keep costs down by shopping for beautiful vintage linens at second-hand stores. After your big bash, cleanup is as easy as running a wash. And you’ll have a nice supply of lovely linens to choose from for future get-togethers.
4. Skip the plasticware
As you’re likely aware, plastic isn’t good for the planet. Instead, rent dishes for your holiday party from a local caterer. As a bonus, they’ll wash them after the event, so you won’t have to! If this isn’t in your budget, look for compostable plates made from sustainable materials. Also, make charms for wine, beer or other beverage glasses so your guests can keep tabs on their drinks throughout the party.
5. Pick potted plants
Floral arrangements are a wonderful way to set the scene for your seasonal celebration. Potted plants are a great, eco-friendly choice that will last long after the holidays with proper care. Or place individual, locally grown flowers from the farmer’s market in small bud vases. They can even double as party favors for your guests!
6. Make your menu organic
Hit up the farmer’s market for your menu items, too. In addition to producing fresh, flavorful and organic ingredients, many local farms work to protect resources, like water, soil and air.
7. Limit the leftovers
8. Promote recycling
Set up “recycling stations” throughout your space so guests can properly dispose of bottles, cans and paper goods. Create signs for the recycle bins so renewable resources don’t accidentally wind up in the trash. Bonus: In addition to helping Mother Nature, you’ll have a little help with the clean-up!
Looking for more ways to go green this season? Click here for 11 creative (and eco-friendly) gift wrapping ideas for the holidays.
Editor’s note: For more tips and tricks for avoiding single-use items and reducing food waste, check out our Zero Hunger, Zero Waste initiative.