Hosting holiday parties can be one of the highlights of the season. Yet, Christmas gatherings can feel rough on the environment, with the bags of gift wrap, plastic food trays, and paper invites that all end up getting tossed in the trash. If you are planning on hosting a holiday party this year and want to help cut down on waste and make your party more eco-friendly, this guide can help. We’ll show you some tips for how to host an eco-green holiday party, without sacrificing the glitz and glam!
Not only will an evite reduce paper waste and lower your carbon footprint, but it also provides your guests with the convenience of RSVPing and adding the date to their calendar right from their smartphone. It can also help you keep track of who’s attending and which friends may need a little nudge to RSVP. If you’re concerned that an evite is not as elegant as a paper invitation, check out the many beautiful designs to choose from online, as there is surely a design that will suit you and the vibe of your gathering. If you have any invitees who don’t have access to the internet, a good old-fashioned phone call with an invitation to a holiday get-together can sometimes be the best gift of all.
Use Eco-Chic Decorations
Potted trees are a great alternative to cut trees and can be planted in the yard after the holidays. If you don’t have a yard, you can donate your tree to a local school or organization. You can also consider an artificial tree that has been made from sustainable materials and you'll be able to use it again year after year. For other decor, you can use greenery and other organic materials without impacting the environment and compost them after the holidays.
When decorating with lights, look for LED bulbs. They last longer and are more energy efficient. Consider creating new decor out of your existing light collection by arranging them differently or by adding to them from found objects, like pieces of ribbon, buttons, or old costume jewelry. And don’t forget that box in the basement with some of Grandma’s old holiday decorations. Not only will they give your decor some nostalgic charm, but will also evoke special holiday memories and add sentimental meaning for you and your family.
Many people prefer to use paper goods and plasticware for their holiday parties because it makes cleanup so much easier. However, if you are hosting an eco-friendly holiday party, it’s all about re-use. Use your china and silver (if you want to get fancy) or your everyday plates and cutlery. At the end of the night, load up the dishwasher (get some late night guests to help) and nothing will end up in a landfill. The same goes for tablecloths and napkins, as you can keep a festive, inexpensive set of linens on hand to use each year. Cloth napkins are eco-friendly and really will impress the guests!
If you don’t have enough reusable plates and cutlery on hand, consider purchasing biodegradable products. Not only are they better for the environment since they will not take up landfill space, but they have a unique look and feel that may even spark some conversation. Compostable platesare available in multiple shapes and sizes too. The compostable and wood looking products also work really well with many design themes, especially the popular “rustic” look.
Instead of going to a large, chain grocery store for the food you plan on serving at your party, try your local farmer's market. You can plan your menu based on what’s in season, and make your meal mostly from items that are sourced locally.
When you select produce, consider the "ugly" fruits and veggies. If you are selecting fruit for a homemade pie or other dessert, choose the oddly shaped or slightly bruised fruit that you can cut around, thus saving it from being wasted.
Gift Exchange? Use Sustainable Gift Wrap
One of the biggest wastes during the holiday season is gift wrap. You can help reduce this waste by using reusable holiday gift bagsor non-paper wrapping materials, such as scarves, decorative dish towels or bandanas. Encourage your guests to be clever with sustainable wrapping options with any gifts they are bringing to your party so that together you are making a bigger impact on the environment.