Throw an Eco-Friendly Party

Hosting a party? Whether for the young or old, go green at your next big event! Party planning made eco-fabulously easy, Jenn Sbranti, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of www.hostesswiththemostess.com, offers the following tips.

Eat your fruits & veggies… AFTER you decorate with them! Colorful produce like artichokes, oranges, apples, bell peppers, lemons, and limes can actually make for a surprisingly gorgeous centerpiece. Use them to fill pretty centerpiece bowls or tall glass vases and enjoy them after the party, or create an Edible Veggie Bouquet for guests to both admire and nibble on at the party!

Instead of paper plates, opt for reusable and compostable bamboo plates, bowls, serving dishes, and utensils. You can even find bamboo-based party supplies in bright, summery colors these days! Many options are available at Party City stores & online retailers.

Choose a theme and color palette that already works with your existing home decor. This will eliminate the need to purchase a bunch of brand new decorations. Next, go on a scavenger hunt around your house – the best decorations like unique vases and pretty plants are often already “living” in other rooms at your home – (or over at a friend’s house!).

Eco-chic doesn’t have to mean paperless! In fact, paper is always a great way to dress up the party – just think “reusable and recyclable”. Turn kraft grocery bags, leftover gift wrap, or colorful magazine pages into paper flowers or bouquets, like this beautiful Eco-Chic Bouquet Alternative idea from Jesi Haack Designs that utilizes grocery bags from Trader Joe’s.

Do more with less. Paper lanterns are a great way to instantly make a party “feel like a party” without needing to do much else! They can be reused over & over again for all sorts of occasions, store conveniently flat, and added bonus – are wonderfully inexpensive.

Play in the day! Summer is the perfect time for outdoor entertaining, and utilizing natural lighting cuts down on your party’s energy usage significantly. If your party goes into the evening, candles or LED twinkle lights are beautiful, energy-efficient options for adding pretty mood lighting to the festivities.

Send a paperless birthday party invitation. There are tons of great designs and services available these days, from Evite and Cocodot to Pingg and Paperless Post.

Finger foods are a must! Serve finger sandwiches, pinwheels, veggie crudites, and other treats that don’t require much cooking.

In lieu of napkin rings, tie rolled napkins up with raffia for a pretty presentation. Tuck a sprig of fresh thyme under the raffia for an extra dose of eco-pretty!

*Image provided by MYdrap.*