ECO-CONSCIOUS ENTERTAINING TIPS FOR EARTH DAY
Entertaining that is eco and socio-conscious as well as healthy does not have to consist of brown invitations, brown napkins, brown bags, brown rice, and brown breads. It is possible to have a party which is green and glamorous–as well as multi-colored! And to be aware of what you are buying, using, doing and its impact on the environment and on others.
INVITATIONS AND DECORATIONS
Here are some wonderful ideas for your eco-conscious party.
- Electronic invites are not only easy, but very environmentally friendly
- Arranged centerpieces of fresh or dried fruit or vegetables (edible), as well as flowerpots and small trees (reusable), make wonderful spring and summer decorations. Send these gifts home with guests or deliver to a hospital or nursing home
- Create entirely edible centerpieces, using (takeout) chopsticks skewered with fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses
- Use decorative cloth napkins–or bandanas. Tie them with bamboo, hemp, or raffia
- Large leaves can become place cards when written on with non-toxic ink
- Collect wine corks to use as place card holders; slit and insert paint chips or cardboard with guest’s name.
FOOD AND DRINK
Look for foods which are organic (regulated by USDA), biodynamic (sustainable, self-contained system, where everything on the farm is re-used or recycled), and/or sustainable (sustains rather than degrades the environment, and is economically viable).
- If at all possible, THINK and BUY LOCALLY. Saves transportation costs, supports local economy, stays fresh longer, and tastes better. Local organic eggs and artisanal cheeses are widely available throughout the year
- For drinking, serve filtered ice water in pitchers rather than bottles; use organic teas and fair trade coffees; purchase local (if possible), organic wines and liquors. 50 states now produce their own wines. Look for beverages in recyclable glass bottles.
- Prepare the meal around one main dish, which incorporates various fresh vegetables and/or fruits, such as gazpacho with various toppings.
- Prevent waste by purchasing and preparing food in appropriate quantities.
- Offer at least one dish for vegetarians, which is free of animal fats/products.
- Barbecue with grass-fed beef and sustainable seafood for better taste as well as greener event
For a final eco-chic touch, send guests home with seed packets, bulbs, small potted plants or their own bandanas, soybean or beeswax candles. Homemade cookies, jams, small breads, vinegars, and pickles all lend a nice homey touch.
FUN IDEAS AND TIPS
- Combine your party with a Spring Clean-up event for your neighborhood, local park, school or playground, nearby empty or parking lots, or with an exchange or tag sale to help your guests with their spring house and garage cleaning
- Organize a salt or honey tasting ,which also educates guests about the various ecological and taste choices available
- For a really special event, purchase and release butterflies indigenous to your area and beneficial to the environment
- Live music will save electricity, and using your iPod will provide music without lots of gear
- Use beeswax or soy candles and organic soaps in powder room/guest bathroom
- Have your event during daylight hours to conserve power
- For green chic, try recycled cardboard made into everything from vases and bowls to tables and room dividers. Objects made by Liquid cardboard(tm) are 100% recycled and recyclable–even the glue is vegetable. This coffee table is from Chairigami, 100% cardboard, and only $85!
DON’T FORGET THAT EARTH DAY 2012 IS SUNDAY, APRIL 22!