Now that you’re green, American-made gift shopping is almost done, it’s time to get ready for your green holiday party! Even if you are hosting a house full of people, it’s no reason to give up on your sustainable values. Here are a few tips to keep your holiday celebrations environmentally-friendly.
While I’ll admit that paper invitations and Christmas cards look great and are fun to receive, think about all of the money and paper you’ll waste sending them out to your friends and family. Try looking into e-invitations this year. You’ll save time, money and paper. Plus most sites let your guests see who else is going and chat with each other about what everyone is bringing.
Even though it’s the winter-time, there are still plenty of ways to shop local for your green holiday party dinner. Many towns and cities have winter markets you can visit to find fresh produce and specialty items. You can also check in to your local butcher for meats customized for the amount of guests that you have coming. He may even be willing to order specialty meats for your holiday party. Don’t forget about local spirits and craft beers! Local breweries and distilleries usually have special holiday beverages available and your guests will be impressed and excited to try something new on your drink list.
Use your Resources!
Don’t bother heading to a department store for decorations. Try finding local holly or fir boughs to create unique and lovely centerpieces and decorations. If you’re not feeling particularly crafty this year, many people sell wreaths, trees and decorations out of their homes during the holidays. Buy from a neighbor and display their hard work for your friends and family to enjoy at your green holiday party.
Skip the bright overhead lighting this year and turn off your ugly, Christmas Story leg lamp (I hope that’s not just my family!). Try lighting holiday scented candles this year. Cinnamon, pine, pumpkin and vanilla are great aromas for setting the mood and the candle light will be very flattering for your home décor.
Try to avoid using paper plates and cups this year. While they may save you on dish-washing they’re definitely not friends of the environment. If you must go with a paper or plastic option, try looking for green brands that make biodegradable and compostable paper-ware.
As always, don’t forget to recycle! Try to reuse or recycle any discarded gift-wrap, compost your meal leftovers and recycle your plates and cups, if you used them.