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Green Your Gathering-Tips To Make Your Party Eco-Friendly
Hosting a Hanukkah, Christmas, or New Years Eve party can be a daunting undertaking – and it can be tough on the environment too. Consider these tips to help make your festivities a little more earth-friendly.
Decking the Halls
For atmospheric lighting, use soy candles. These are made from 100 percent soybeans, a renewable and sustainable resource. Soy wax is non-toxic and the candles are completely biodegradable. For an outdoor event, buy a set of solar yard lights and don’t forget to put them in prior to the party on a sunny day.
Use flowers from your own garden or the local farmer’s market for decoration. You can even pot some of your own plants for party favors to encourage your guests to garden. Wrap pots or vases in colorful scarves or scrap fabric.
For a tablecloth, use a quilt, rug, or pretty sheet you already have. You can even use a painter’s cloth for that casual ‘linen’ look.
For a Centerpiece- Try purchasing a baby tree from your local nursery, wrap the container with layers of burlap, and tie with a shiny ribbon. Place on a cake stand as a living centerpiece, and plant right after the party.
Eats & Drinks
Serve organic beer and wine as well as appetizers made from organic ingredients. Even better: Source these items locally to reduce the carbon emissions of groceries transported long distance. If possible, support local farmers through a visit to the local farmers’ market.
Eat Local- Try to shop locally for food and gifts. Buying local products reduces the amount of fuel used to transport food and supports your local farm economy. What’s more, local food simply tastes better because it’s had time to ripen naturally rather than in a crate.
Be aware of which foods are in season when planning your menu, but the best method of eating local is to preserve food when it’s in season for future use.
Serving organic food is another eco-friendly option. If an entire meal of organics seems out of your budget, mixing organic food with local food is one way to create a less expensive sustainable meal. If a product claims to be 100 percent organic it must contain only organic ingredients; however, words on the label such as “natural” or “green” mean very little because there are no regulations to control the use of these terms.
• Send invitations online: use evites or personalized email.
• Decorate with pesticide-free, organic flowers.
• Use organic fabric tablecloths and napkins.
• Light up with soy or beeswax candles.
• Avoid disposable dishes and utensils; rent instead.
Think about this! Start a new tradition of eco-friendly holiday entertaining and reclaim the holidays for what they were originally meant to be–a time for friends and family.
Enjoy the holiday season!