At the end of a successful party, after the guests have gone, what’s left is generally a lot of clean-up. Trash bags full of paper plates, napkins, plastic ware, paper tablecloths, streamers, balloons, gift wrapping. Is this really the price we must pay to host a party? Throwing a party that’s kinder to the environment may be easier than you think. Below is a quick list of ideas to consider. For details go to http://healthyhighways.blogspot.com/2008/07/reduce-reuse-throw-party.html
* Send invitations (and thank you’s) by email
* Set a green table with durable tableware or compostable products made from plant materials like potato starch, cornstarch or bagasse (a byproduct of sugar production).
* Set up bins for reusables, recyclables and compostables.
* Decorate with flowers (if you were at the Festival on June 18th you now know how to make beautiful arrangements); paper creations from used paper (on July 23, Anita Barbour will demonstrate origami flower making); or food (come to the Festival on Sept 17th when Chef Oliver Kita creates Edible Table Décor).
* Build the menu around fresh, locally grown or produced food.
* Homemade gifts or gifts bought locally are greener options. Request “no gift wrapping” or reusable gift bags. Suggest something consumable that leaves no waste, such as food or candles, or donations to your favorite nonprofit or charitable organization.
* Give party favors that are durable or consumable rather than useless throw-aways.