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Monday, December 13, 2010

Planning an Eco-friendly Holiday Party

Getting together with family for the Holidays or throwing a hopping New Year’s party is par for the season. But don’t you hate the amount of trash it produces? Can you believe that from Thanksgiving to the New Year, our household waste increases by more than 25% - it all adds up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills. And this does not even include all the resources we spend on electricity.
Put together an Eco-friendly party as a way to make your party even more special while reducing the waste you are generating ….and saving money in the process.

Invitations
When planning your party, first thing you should do is select a date and then send out invitations to guests. But invitations can be expensive and then there is the postage. As long as your friends have an email address you can use free electronic invitations sites such as Evite or Pingg. These sites help you track RSVP’s and send out reminders. Of course you can always send out recycled paper invitations or make your own from things you have around the house.


Tableware
Aside from food, purchasing tableware is the highest expense of organizing a party. Instead of buying why don’t you use real plates, metal utensils and cloth napkins? If you don’t have enough of something, I’m sure a friendly neighbor will let you borrow theirs.

Décor
Instead of using paper tablecloths, invest in fabric ones which can be washed and used over and over again. Just don’t go out and buy a yellow tablecloth if you don’t think you’ll have a use for it in the future. Use colorful fabric scraps as napkins or recycled paper napkins. Empty wine bottles, with the labels removed, make for great flower vases.

Food and Beverage
If your budget permits, try serving organic, local and in-season foods and products. These are better for you and the environment. By serving “finger foods” on napkins, you can get away with not using plates. Try to select wines and beers that are made of organic products or simplify things and make a signature drink using local products while minimizes expenses.