How to Plan an Eco-Friendly Party
From birthdays to graduations to anniversaries, there are many significant milestones worthy of a celebration. However, with party planning often comes an ethical dilemma: how does one create a stylish and memorable party while still being kind to the earth?
Whether you’re a green guru or are just beginning to find a shade of green that suits your lifestyle, planning an eco-chic party – from a low-key summer BBQ to a black-tie affair – is easy when you follow just a few simple guidelines.
Americans, on average, use nearly 700 pounds of paper yearly. Start your event off right by selecting invitations that have been produced using eco-friendly practices. Specifically, keep your eye out for companies that support responsible forest management and have been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Another option is to look for companies who use recycled paper products to produce both their invitations and their envelopes. If you’d like to encourage your guests to engage in some green practices of their own, consider using invitations printed on plantable stationary. After making note of the date, time and location of your event, guests can plant the invitations and enjoy the small blooms that will follow.
2. Foods and Beverages
From all-natural to organic to antibiotic-free, walking through a grocery store these days is like a crash course in jargon. When creating a menu for your event, keep things green (and healthy) by selecting raw, fresh products and processed foods that contain agricultural ingredients that are USDA-certified organic, by supporting your community’s local agriculture (think nearby farmers’ markets and farms as well as local vineyards and breweries) and by integrating as many seasonal items into your menu as possible.
Keep your guests inspired by creating a party atmosphere that is creative, fresh and decidedly green. Instead of purchasing new vases for your centerpieces, seek out items you already own and can reuse after your event, such as fish bowls, mason jars, tea tins, apothecary bottles or classic soda bottles. For a vintage-feel, incorporate vintage plates and serving pieces into your tablescape as well as small items like classic postcards, maps and books. Not what you had in mind? Start small by forgoing a traditional favor option and offering your guests something they are certain to use, such as a jar of local honey or jam, a tin of specialty tea or coffee or a small basket of seasonal fruit.
Whether it is a wedding dress, a cocktail dress or a sundress, every party calls for the perfect outfit. However, nearly 10% of the world’s pesticides are used to grow cotton – the most widely used fabric in the world of apparel. When shopping for your next little black dress, look for designers who use eco-fabrics, such as hemp, bamboo and organic cotton. On a budget? Browse the Internet for sites that specialize in high-end consignment, sites that resell gently-used wedding and bridesmaids dresses, or sites that allow you to rent A-list designer apparel.
Guest Blogger: Angela M. Graziano is the founding editor of www.somethinggreenevents.blogspot.com, which features daily tips, resources, inspiration and DIY tricks to help the modern hostess plan stylish, contemporary green events – from weddings to backyard BBQs and everything in between.