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Better Choices , May 2007 -- 25 Easy Ways To Green Your Parties
May 17, 2007

Making Your Next Party More Eco Friendly


What's In This Issue:

25 Easy ways to celebrate and be green.

New info, tips and resources added to Natural Living for Women





Being Green is not a trend. It is a way of life that becomes easier to incorporate into our everyday living the more we do it. Before you know it, it's just the way it is.

What better way to bring more green in to our life than while throwing parties. It seems to me that when it comes to parties we just throw the usual rules out and say well just this once or it's a party let's just celebrate.

We don't have to forget about all the great things we may be trying to do everyday to be more eco friendly. With a few simple changes and a little creativity your party will be green.

Invitations

  • Choose recycled paper invitations. A new item out is seeded paper. Your invitations become new plants when the invitation is planted in soil. Isn't that cool, full circle recycling offered by

    Twisted Limb.

  • E-mail invite. If you and your guests are computer savvy, this is a very environmentally friendly way to inform one and all of your party plans. Evite
  • offers a good selection of all kinds of invitations.

  • Make your own. Depending on the kind of party, this can be fun and creative. We've had good luck using brown paper bags for this.

    Cut open the paper bags and lay flat. Draw lines with a pencil and ruler to make the size invitations you want.

    I prefer ripped edges instead of cut. So I place the marked line of the paper bag on a counter or anything with a sharp edge and slowly rip along the line. The results are softer more artistic. Fold in half or leave flat and your ready to decorate if you want stamps, markers, glue, glitter or whatever.

    With the same technique you can create little bags for party favors. This works well for bags that have advertising on them, the advertisement can go on the inside.

    Using the same technique, after folding, glue the two parallel sides together, I use hot glue, leaving an opening at the top. With a hole punch make holes in the top on each side so you can attach a handle of twine or raffia or even some scrapes of ribbon.

    Decorations

    Look around your house and see what can be used.

  • Use any leftover decorations.
  • Those little Italian lights so popular around Christmas make great decorations for parties at any time.

    It always seems festive to me with those wound around the yard or house. Just make sure to use the LED varieties. They do cost more but they last forever and are environmentally friendly.

  • If you have some pretty sheets they make great table cloths.
  • Most of us have baskets. If they are interesting, stack them creatively in the center of the table and stick in some fresh cuttings from the florist (locally grown if possible) or even better from your yard. Branches and twigs with leaves last longer when not in water. Or use in season locally grown fruits and vegetables in and amongst the baskets.
  • Do you have a collection a bottles heading to the recycling bin?

    I like this best using one color of glass, green is the most common. Can't be more fitting than that could we?

    Place them in the center of a table and use as vases for a couple of flowers and maybe another accent like a thin branch or tall grass.

    Think in odd numbers when designing. Three items in a bottle. Five items clustered on a table. The balance is right and I think you'll agree it looks better.

  • Thinking of glass recycling, do you have clear jars cleaned and ready to go. Well before recycling them how about using an assortment of them as holders for tea lights or votives.

    I like to use white votives in the glass and put them on a mirror or even a large glass picture frame, something reflective. Use greenery and branches from the yard as accents. Experiment with this. It makes a very nice, fresh looking table setting.

  • It's easy to paint almost anything you have from baskets to glass to match the colors you're using.

    Sometimes it looks best when you have a mix of items that don't seem to go together to paint them all the same color. It unifies them. But it can also be fun to paint lots of different colors if going for a bright color scheme.

  • Clay pots or other small containers can be grouped in small arrangements for table settings. Maybe even planted with tiny herbs for party favors.
  • If balloons are on your list, choose latex. They are biodegradable. The shiny Mylar balloons, while fun, are not.
  • Use soy or beeswax candles. Better for you and the environment. Most candles are made from petroleum products and when burned can create unhealthy smoke and soot on your walls.
  • Tableware

  • Use your own dishes and cutlery and don't be afraid to mix and match patterns especially with those of similar color.
  • Look to thrift stores and flea markets for unique serving dishes.
  • Recycled plastic plates, cups and cutlery are available by Preserve. Many Target, Whole Foods and Trade Joe's carry these in their stores. You can check online for other locations.
  • Make it a fun thing for guests to mark their cups when they first use a cup, that way they can keep track of their cup and use less.
  • Use your own napkins. Or if you must use disposable, choose recycled brands.
  • If looking for new tableware consider those made from sustainable resources. Recycled glass, bamboo and other natural materials are a much better choice.
  • Use containers creatively. Those clear jars from spaghetti sauce or other foods can be decorated with a few stripes of colored masking tape and used for celery or carrot sticks.
  • Food

  • Choose organic or locally grown fruits and vegetables and even breads for your meal.
  • Organic juices or organic sodas are available for the kids. For fun use twizzlers for straws.

    Adults might enjoy a mix of two parts organic juice, one part strong tea of choice and two parts sparkling water or club soda, sweetened to taste with honey or agave nectar(This gives a sweet taste and can be used like honey without the distinct honey flavor. Available in health food stores) served over ice with a little squeeze of fresh lime or lemon.

  • Quite a few varieties of organic wine and beer are available. Check around especially if you have a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods in your area. You might even check Target. In our area Target carries quite a selection of all kinds of organic foods.
  • The Party's over

  • Save any decorations and reuse them.
  • If you've used crepe paper, rewind it back in to a roll. I know it takes a little time but it works just as well the second time around.
  • Recycle what you can.
  • Get out your safe biodegradable cleaners. Method, a line of cleaners available at many stores locally are great and effective and they smell good from essential oils.
  • What's so great about many of the things we do that are environmentally friendly is that they save us money while being good for the environment.

    Have some fun, be creative and enjoy your next green party.



    New Additions to NLW website

    I have made quite a few additions to my site in the past month and hope that it is beneficial to you as we all try to take better care of ourselves while being conscientious about our purchases. Just click on the links in the text below and you will be taken to the right page.



  • A new section added to the site is called recycled stuff. Here the focus is on the great products being created using recycled materials.

    Here is our chance to close the loop and buy products made from recycled things like paper, plastic and glass. Check out

    recycled stuff.



  • Handbag designers create some unique and fun designs using recycled materials like aluminum pop tops, old records, textile remnants and more. Now's you're chance to have the same handbag as some eco celebrities. Look at recycled handbags.


  • All that paper we recycle can be used to make more necessities like toilet paper and paper towels but can alse be used to make some beautiful stationery, jewelry or even vases. You'll learn more in

    recycled paper.

  • Did you know glass can be recycled over and over again.? Learn more about the inventive and beautiful things that are being done with recycled glass.
  • Did you know that wood that might have ended up in landfills can be reused to make furniture, flooring or other items? Recycled or reclaimed wood from old buidings or warehouses is finding new life.


  • Well, that's all for this month. Until next time. Have a great month.

    Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I won't know unless you tell me. I'd love to hear what you think. Just reply to this e-zine and let me know. If you like this e-zine and think a friend will too, do us a favor and pass it on.

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