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Earth-Friendly Party Planning: Make Your Next Event More Green

Event hosting can be a lot of fun, but in some cases it can take a toll on the environment. Transportation, food waste, electricity use… it can add up. But it doesn't have to be that way! A few tweaks here and there can make even the most extravagant event eco-friendly. Try these tips to transform your next party.

  1. Go Paperless: Say no to anything that gets thrown out at the end of the night. This includes paper invitations (evites work just as well), as well as disposable tableware. Invest in shatterproof cups for a reusable, eco-friendly alternative to paper cups. Your guests may not even notice the difference!
  1. Think About Your Power Use: Keeping the lights blazing and the music thumping all night long can make your electricity consumption skyrocket. Scale back with lower mood lighting, live music, or a transition to a daytime party.
  1. Restrain Your Menu: Parties and large amounts of food go hand in hand. This is great if everything gets eaten, but more often than not a lot of waste ends up in the trash can. Pare back your offerings to keep your guests well (but not over) fed. If you end up with more food than you need, send leftovers home with guests rather than letting them go to waste.
  1. Think About Packaging: Planning a party usually involves at least a few new purchases. Be mindful of where the packaging from your acquisitions ends up. When at all possible, find ways to solve problems that don't require buying something new. If you don't have any other choice, opt for purchases that are packaged in cardboard rather than plastic. Recycle as much as you can, both before your event and when you're cleaning up.
  1. Shop Local: Chances are high your home town is full of entrepreneurs ready to set you up with food, decor, and entertainment. Shop local to support your local economy, as well as to reduce transportation waste associated with moving goods from far away.
  1. Reuse Your Decor: Reuse or repurpose your decor to decorate without creating trash. Balloons and tinsel are fun, but they'll quickly end up in a landfill. Choose natural, compostable decor like flowers or greenery. Or make a few careful purchases of items that can be reused during future events.
  1. Travel Responsibly: Encourage your guests to be mindful about how they travel to your event. Consider timing your party in a way that complements nearby public transportation schedules. If public transport isn't available in your area, try setting up carpools for your guests. If the weather cooperates, it may even make sense to hold your party in a central public area in order to cut back on transportation needs.

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