Is it possible to throw a Eco-friendly party with minimal, if not Zero-Waste? Absolutely! Like any other party, with a little planning you can throw a party that is not only fun for you but also good for the planet.
Some tips and ideas:
INVITATIONS: Consider electronic invitations that saves paper and trees. These are very convinient to correspond as well If you have to use paper, use recycled paper or FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a non-profit organization devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world’s forests.
Also “seeded invitations” are very cool. Each piece of paper is embedded with a mixture of annual and perennial wild flower seeds. Most
DECORATIONS: A 13-year old told me after our presentations that Balloons go up in the air and finally land up in the sea where they are a hazard for marine wild life. Since then I have never used balloons. This was about 5 years ago. As an alternative to balloons I have always reused decorations, such as paper lanterns and banners and used items in nature + food for some drama!
Parties in the park are fun! Outdoor parties are a great way of connecting kids to nature. Decorate with Nature! Use branches, leaves, fruits, vegetables, pine-cones, flowers (buy locally grown) and potted plants. Works as great gifts and give-away gifts as well!
Scented candles or Fragrant alternatives? Cinnamon sticks and cloves simmering on the stove, warmed essential oils can set the party mood. If you have to use candles, use ones made with natural beeswax or soy.
TABLEWARE: One of the biggest waste creators at a party is the tableware – the plates, cups, napkins, bowls, cutlery and table cloths. The best thing to do is use re-usable plates/cutlery/table cloths. Ask your neighbor or friend if you can borrow before you rush out to buy. We have so much disposable plastic waste. Ditch the Plastic. All the waste lands up in the landfill if not recycled properly and pollutes our land and water. Using Styrofoam should be out of the question! A great alternative, if you have a large number of guests, is compostable and bio-degradable plates, cups and utensils made from corn, potato starch. I recently ordered from World Centric and loved everything!
FOOD: This is so important. When planning your menu, try to keep foods as organic, in season and local as possible. Avoiding prepackaged, preservative-laden foods. Avoid food coloring, unless natural food coloring is used. Also prepare less food. A good idea if you generally throw food away after the celebration.
Find organic food for you next celebration: Choose Organic Food Providers in your area.
DRINKS: Water is the best drink ever! Fresh juices with organic, in-season fruits, vegetable and herbs are an absolute delight!
Roll out the Organic cocktails. You can use Organic Vodka (Square One Vodka, Rain Vodka or Organic Ocean Vodka) Mix you drinks with certified organic mixers (Mod Mix) or get creative and make your own with fresh organic Meyer’s lemons, Oranges, Mint, Watermelon…The choice is endless! Organic wine is great too.
GIFTS: When it comes to wrapping gifts, think recycled/reusable materials to wrap the gift in. Newspapers, cloth or an empty cereal or shirt box work wonderfully! A great idea would be to ask for donations to a charity in lieu of gifts. Let your child choose the charitable organization.
PARTY FAVORS: I absolutely stay away from the small disposable nicknacks available at the store. For the first 6 years I personalized party favors. I enjoy giving out locally sources potted plants and herbs, packaged seeds, soy candles, reusable water bottles, reusable totes. Any more ideas?
THANK YOU NOTES: Again, an electronic version is best instead of wasting paper. If you feel the need to send them in the mail, use recycled or FSC certified paper/cards.
Not only are Eco-parties fun but they teach the guests (any age!) a valuable lesson and something to think about – the environment, that we all share!
Let us know your thoughts/ideas/tips in comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org