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Ideas for minimizing waste while saving money

Green Party

Celebrate at your next get-together with these eco-friendly ideas.

Whether you’re hosting a fall harvest dinner party or a coworker’s baby shower, why not choose to be kind to the earth during the festivities? Parties can generate lots of waste—paper plates, cups, and tablecloths, wrapping paper and mailed invitations can all end up in the landfill. By choosing to throw an eco-party, you can keep the earth green while saving the green in your wallet!



One of the first steps to throwing a green party is to forgo traditional paper invitations and send the invite via email. You’ll not only save on paper but also postage. You can email guests directly, or send invitations through sites such as Evite and Pingg, which can be customized to your party theme. If you must send paper, why not use recycled paper from around the house?



Another big trash generator is all the paper and plastic plates, napkins, cups and cloths on the market. You might be tempted by all the pretty colors and party themes, but think of how long they’ll be sitting in a landfill. Use your fine china or even your everyday ware to serve your guests. If you want to get really creative in your presentation, purchase vintage china teacups, saucers and plates, then mix and match for an eclectic, whimsical look.


Decorations and Wrapping Paper

Balloons, streamers and confetti are other disposables your party can do without! Decorate with cloth ribbons, which can be reused, and fill pretty teapots with flowers cut from your own garden. Pick up napkin ring holders at garage sales for another fun party look. Wrapping paper is another big waste. Recycle gift bags you’ve already received.


Food and Beverages

Always try to source local produce and meats if hosting a dinner party. Better yet, grow your own veggies in containers and serve to your guests. If a birthday cake is in order, make your own from scratch. You’ll have total control over the ingredients and won’t be tossing the tin pan it comes in. Cans and bottles can rack up waste faster than other items. Serve your guests in glasses and forgo individual containers—they’ll just spend decades in a landfill if not recycled. Whatever your party theme, make sure you have a recycling bin close by for the items that can be recycled. And know that the greatest gift you’re giving yourself and the guests is a greener planet!

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