Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hosting an Eco-friendly Holiday Party

From MyPunchBowl.com...

Entertaining this holiday season? In just five easy steps, you can host an eco-friendly holiday party. Try one or try all, any steps you take will surely make a difference. And you will set a great example for your guests!

1. Decorations
* Bring your party to life by decorating with plants and flowers. You don't need expensive bouquets to make a statement with flowers. Get a bunch of small vases and put one or two flowers in each. Then you can give them to guests when they leave as a party favor.

* When setting up your table, opt for a linen tablecloth instead of a disposable plastic one. It will look nicer and you can reuse it for parties, holidays, and dinners.

* Use natural lighting whenever possible. If you can have your party during the day, take advantage of the outdoors or natural light. If your party is in the evening, decorate with candles. How many of us love to buy candles but then never use them! Now's your chance.

2. Food/Drinks
* Buy food from local growers/farmers’ markets. It can often be less expensive than the supermarket and you'll be supporting local farmers which is great for your local economy.

* Try organic. The widespread availability and variety of organic products has improved immensely (as has the taste) so incorporate a few organic products into your party menu. Your guests might not even notice the difference (in a good way).

3. Plates, Cups & Utensils
* Use glasses instead of plastic cups. Plastic cups can really build up at parties because people put them down, forget which cup is theirs, and grab another. Use glasses your own or buy inexpensive glasses that fit your occasion. Whether it's margarita glasses, beer mugs, or wine glasses, decorate them with the name of each guest so not only will your guests know which glass is theirs, but they'll go home with a fun party favor.

* Use real plates and silverware instead of paper/plastic plates and utensils. You may have a bit more cleanup at the end (can you say "thank heaven for the dishwasher"?) but you'll feel great not adding to the enormous amount of paper and plastic that ends up in landfills.

4. Invitations
* Replace paper invitations with online invites. Paper invitations can look great but let's face it, they usually end up in the trash. Design your own sophisticated online Christmas invitations, Hannukah invitations, and really invitations for any occasion using the MyPunchbowl Design Studio.

5. Recycle
* Set up recycling areas at your party. If you must use cans and/or bottles, set up recycling areas at the party so your guests know where to dispose of these items.

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