May 13, 2009

Green Your Party!

While many of us are busy ridding our homes of chemical-filled cleaners, taking our weekly recycling to the curb and trying to buy Organic when possible, there is another great way to go green!

This spring and summer you may be planning to host some BBQ's, birthday parties or maybe even a baby shower. Whatever the occasion, alway consider the greenest options when planning for your big event.

Here is a list of items to consider:

1. Email your Invites with Evite- Consider using as a way to send out free electronic invitations. They have hundreds of gorgeous invitations for every occasion and it's a quick and easy way to check your RSVP's and saves the cost of the invites, stamps and your precious time. All you need is an email address!

2. Use Reusable items instead of Throw-away Whenever Possible- This goes for plates, cutlery, gift wrap and decorations.

  • Use real plates and cutlery for your event vs. plastic or paper tossables that end up in our landfills after one use. Paper plates also tend to become soggy and collapse. Yes, you will have to wash them but you can use them over and over and you already own them, so it won't cost a penny! Dishwashers are more efficient than hand washing so load it up and let it do all the work for you.

  • Decorations and giftwrap can really make an event look spectacular. Be sure to use items you already own whenever possible. Decorate with small and large vases with flower bouquets or a single small bloom in each. Use tea lights (preferably soy-based) and reuse ribbon that you've received. String white lights for an outdoor party vs. premade paper banners. Wrap up gifts in reusable totes that are practical and also encourage your recipient to be green themselves. Loads of gift wrapping just wind up in the landfills. If you happen to have some reused gift bags and tissue at home, use that by try to avoid buying more!

3. Encourage your Guests to Recycle-Here's a chance to remind guests of the importance of recycling. Maybe they'll remember and take this tip home with them. Always keep an actual recycle bin or other plastic bin available with a recycle symbol on the front so that all aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles will be recycled and not tossed. You can place it right next to a separate garbage bin. This also makes clean-up a breeze. Just bring it to the curb or your garage after the party.

4. Give Green- If you are hosting the party and gifts are welcomed, why not tell your gifts that green gifts are accepted. You can also list a few organizations of choice that the guest of honor might want to donate to in lieu of a gift such as Alternativley, guests could bring green items such as soy candles, organic cosmetics, restaurants vouchers, reusable totebags or something unique like a personalized Sigg bottle found at If it's a baby shower, I recommend including this information on the invite and that purchased items are BPA-free, non-toxic, and organic. This might included some cloth diapers, organic & natural baby washes and products, glass bottles, BPA-free soothers, etc.

5. Better Thank You Notes- I strongly advocate thank you notes for those that have dropped off a gift or attended your event. Always be sure to send a heartfelt hand written note. Invites are more generic with the time, date and RSVP info, but thank you notes are personal and specific so I recommend writing vs. emailing these. If you already have thank you notes on hand, use those first before buying anything new. However, if you are in the market to buy, be sure to check to see if the cards are maid from 100% recycled paper, or close to it. This means virgin trees weren't cut down to make those notecards. Alternatively, you can make your own as well if you are crafty, from leftover papers, embellishments from other projects, this way you are reusing what you already own. If you absolutely must, e-cards are eco-friendly, free and can be sent instantly stamp-free!

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