Labor Day is the last big holiday of the Summer, so it deserves a blow-out party, and many event planners and designers will tell you to prepare for a lot of clean up. Just keep in mind, if you use eco-friendly plates and tableware, lights, and other decorations, you can still be kind to the environment. Going green is more than just a trend now; it’s a way of life. Because of that, you can throw a unique party that will help all of your guests remember the summer. Take a look at how you can celebrate—and decorate—in a way that’s nice to the Earth but still fabulous.
Design an Eco-Friendly Tablescape
Parties are fun, but it’s impossible to deny that they often lead to a lot of waste. Putting together beautiful table settings can get excessively wasteful, for instance. Using real plates results in more water than usual, while paper plates are harmful to trees and the environment, unless you recycle them. To go green, you just have to cast your mind away from the traditional. There are plenty of eco-friendly plates from which to choose, including durable bamboo plates. Go one step further and replace your plastic straws with one-and-done paper straws.
Don’t rely on plastic containers, bottles, and cans. Present food in serving bowls and on platters straight from your kitchen, or consider bamboo and other eco-friendly materials. Pour beverages from pitchers, jugs, and drink dispensers. Stick to glasses or reusable plastic or rubber cups.
Let There Be Light
Evening soirees and events that take place indoors may need extra light. Get creative in ways that won’t run up your power bill or waste electricity. Again, you have an array of lively options. Switching to LED lights indoors and outdoors is a start. In fact, that’s a smart move all year, not just for parties. String LED fairy lights throughout the yard or the main room or line the area with battery-powered or solar light. Candles and paper lanterns are also classic options. A combination of white lights and flames will create a magical, eco-friendly effect.
Send Out Paperless Invites
Paperless invites have several benefits when promoting your event. Designing traditional invitations is the only fun part. No one enjoys paying for postage, addressing envelopes, or licking stamps. Sending out invitations is expensive and time-consuming, not to mention bad for the environment—all those trees! Paperless invites, however, have the potential to be 100 percent free, provided you have an eye for design and can create your own. Otherwise, you can spend a little on a template, or just find something that’s free to use. Then, you can email it, text it, Snapchat it, or stick it on your Insta. How easy is that?
Make the Backyard Work for You
Instead of wasting money on paper decorations that probably won’t even last until next Labor Day, get creative as naturally as possible. Use the plants and flowers in the yard as decor, adding lights to trees and bushes. Add simple lawn ornaments that are great for all the warm-weather months. Alternatively, light a fire, enjoy the stars, and toast s’mores.
Do you have a pool that guests will be playing in all day? A safety fence made of lattice is ideal for displaying flowers, especially flora that vines, plus it will keep the younger guests safe. All of these ideas will celebrate the beautiful summer landscape that may well be under snow in a couple of months. Of course, anything durable that you can get a lot of use out of is perfectly fine.
Cut Down on Waste
Sending out save-the-dates and RSVP requests may not be enough to guarantee that no one will flake on the party. It’s hard to plan for exactly how many people will attend, but do your best to cut down on waste as you buy food and beverages. No host wants to under-plan, but you can figure out what to do with all the leftovers beforehand. Maybe you can donate them to a local shelter or take plates to neighbors and friends who couldn’t come.
Serve Local Goodies
Are you going to have the party catered? That’s a fabulous idea! You can focus on playing host instead of worrying about the food. However, transporting food is an expensive business that’s not necessarily nice to the environment. That’s the nature of transportation. You can do your part to cut down on emissions and wasted energy by choosing a local farm-to-table restaurant or catering company that uses seasonal, locally-sourced produce.
It doesn’t take much to host an Earth-friendly celebration for Labor Day or any other holiday. These tips apply to Valentine’s Day, your birthday, and Earth Day, of course. The most important thing is to cut down on waste wherever you can, particularly with the decorations, the food, and the actual energy that goes into planning and throwing the party. Seasonality is an essential consideration in every aspect. What do you do to make your parties environmentally friendly?