I understand that it's something we can't avoid. After all, we all love spending time with friends and entertaining will always be part of our lives. I guess the only way to go about it is to find eco-friendly ways to throw parties.
Invitations (and Thank You cards)
- If you really MUST send something on paper, choose recycled paper or easily-biodegradable ones.
- Send them via email, an evite, or set up an FB event
- Cloth napkins/towels instead of paper napkins/towels.
- Use a tablecloth that you can reuse or repurpose.
- Invest on lightweight but reusable dinnerware.
- BYOC- if possible, ask your guests to bring their own cups. It might be a bit too much for some but they'll find out the benefits when they're served more vodka than usual.
- Have some reusable containers ready for leftovers instead of using cling wrap/aluminum foil/ziploc bags.
Food and Beverages
- Go healthy and organic as much as you can. Consider the guests coming in and their preferences.
- Consider the packaging of food items. n.b. my friend, Jo, keeps a cake box and aluminum-foil-covered-plate for her baked creations. If you can't bake, maybe you can keep a cake box and bring it to the bake shop when you buy cakes/baked goodies.
- Opt for finger food that you can place on cloth napkins instead of using flatware.
- BYOB - if it's a Bring Your Own Beer (or Drinks) kind of party, ask your guests to avoid cans and small bottles. Kegs and larger bottles are better -- in more ways than one. :D
- Opt for homemade decor that you can reuse.
- Make it balloon-free. Balloons are fun but they're rarely biodegradable and bad for the environment. Use chinese lanterns or felt banners instead.
- Do it outside or use natural light if possible.
- For party favors, choose reusable hats, canvas bags as goodie bags and environmentally-friendly items instead of cheap stuff that will end up in the trash in less than a day.
- Ask for or give gifts with social merit. If you don't need anything in particular and your guests really want to (and can) -- get them to donate to a charitable organization of your choice. e.g. my friend, Chell, holds her birthday parties at an orphanage. She brings food, drinks and little gifts for the kids. Donations are always welcome.
- Personalized gifts are a nice option for talented, crafty people.
- Avoid disposable gift wrappers or unnecessary wrapping. Use newspaper with a funky twine, cloth or reusable gift bags.
- If you decide to go with a store-bought present, carefully select gifts. Don't just buy something because it's cheap or something expensive to show off. Choose something that the receiver will appreciate and will be able to use.
- Book lovers will appreciate books even if they're secondhand.
- Buy items that can replace disposables. e.g Reusable shopping bags, produce bags, Skoy cloth, etc.
- Buy organic.
Clean-up check this post for eco-friendly tips
- Choose eco-friendly cleaning products or better yet go with a homemade all-purpose cleaner.
- Think before tossing.
Ready for an eco-friendly party?