Summer (and early fall) are ideal occasions for an outdoor party with friends and family. What better time of year is there to gather around food and drinks, music, sporting events, and nature? If you’re the type of person who would rather host an outdoor party than be cooped up inside, we recommend striving to make the party as environmentally green as the trees around you!
Our top tips for green outdoor parties:
Forgo the disposable eating ware. Yes, we know that plastic cups, silverware, and plates are convenient. Throwing everything in a bag can make it seem almost like the party never happened! But paper plates are bad for the environment in multiple ways, from the pollutants in their factories to the trees that comprise them.
Instead of plastic dinnerware, use real china and glassware. You’ll have to clean up afterward, but we bet that a few good friends will volunteer to help you clean.
Create an eco-friendly menu. If you’re the cooking type, come up with a creative menu made up of fresh, local ingredients. Even better: host a party to share what you’ve grown in your garden. Anything that’s been locally harvested will be greener due to reduced shipping, transportation, and packaging, so keep that in mind.
Gift your guests with a green party favor. Whatever happened to the old-fashioned way of giving guests thoughtful party favors? Keep up the tradition, but add a new green twist. Give your guests a gift that will remind them to go green long after the party’s over.
Helpful gifts include reusable shopping bags, an eco-friendly reusable water bottle, seeds, locally harvested fruits and vegetables, and recycled-paper notebooks.
Choose the right libations. For many people, no party is complete without a glass of wine or refreshing beer. Fortunately, wine and beer can be green, too. As for beer, pick beers in cans—aluminum is one of the easiest materials to recycle. Then, make sure you recycle the cans. And for wine, head to a nearby winery before the party to pick up something local. Many wineries are now going green with their processes and packaging, so this is an added bonus to look for.
Stay off the electricity. A true go-green party should feature no electricity! To that end, keep your activities outdoors and electricity-free (and extension-cord free, as well). Your activities could include playing sports, playing music, listening to music on a solar-powered sound system, or just talking, but try to tune out the ever-present buzz of electricity and focus on being outside.
To go along with your summer party, try one of these summer playlist songs to keep the vibe at your party fresh and upbeat.