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How to Throw a “Green” Event

August 11, 2009

There’s been a lot of talk in the fast few years about Global Warming and how we should try and help our planet by keeping our environment cleaner. As more and more people are becoming more aware of the environmental struggles, “green” parties are becoming more popular. Here are some tips on how to throw a “green” event!

Firstly, try and keep the guest list down. The less people that are invited means less traveling and less fumes. But, if you still want as many guests as possible, follow these tips!

STATIONERY
Invitations
If you plan on going paperless for your invitations, http://www.evite.com is a good option. However, your invitations won’t be very personal, and will be a generic template. But, have no fear, because there are invitations made from RECYCLED paper! Recycled paper invitations is a good way to keep eco-friendly, as well as give your invites a more personal feel. (Michelle Valerie Designs offers stationery on 30% – 100% recycled paper. For more information, email michellevaleriedesigns@gmail.com!)
Programs & Place Cards
Programs, place cards, and any other stationery can also be created on quality recycled paper!

DECORATIONS
Flowers

Flowers almost always play such a huge role in decorating an event. However, instead of going to a luxury florist and choosing the most unique flower that is in season on the other part of the globe, go to your local neighborhood florist and choose flowers that are in season in your area.
To go even further in the eco-friendly direction, instead of going to your florist to get cut flowers that will die in a few days time, go to a nursery and purchase potted plants. These are not only already arrangement ready, but they can be given to guests to plant in their own back yard. If going to a nursery, flowers aren’t your only option either; think baby trees, herbs, or small bushes! You can then decorate the pots with ribbons or any other decoration of your choice.
Other options for centerpieces include fruits and vegetables in a nice looking flower pot, vase, or cake stand!
Lighting
Wherever your reception or ceremony is, see if you can have candles instead of lighting. Candles come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, so it will be easy to coordinate the candles with the rest of your decor and theme! Soy and bees wax candles are best.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
If you would like to throw your event in a “green” location, there’s nothing better than going to your search engine and searching for eco-friendly venues. Some good options are farms, botanical gardens, museums, buildings that run on solar energy, green hotels, or even your own backyard!
If an eco-friendly venue is not an option, then choose a venue that is close to most of your guests. It much more green to have your event that is only 20 minutes away, rather than a 2 or 3 hour drive, which will waste gas and produce more pollution.

FOOD & DRINKS
To minimize the use of dishes (and the washing of them) think about having mainly hor’dourves. Finger foods are much more eco-friendly because they do not require as many dishes as a sit down five course meal would.
See if your venue offers organic foods, or food that is locally grown. Although eating less meat is better for the environment, keep in mind that organic food doesn’t necessarily mean vegetarian. Organic food can come grass fed cows and free roaming chickens. These animals are also treated more ethically, given organic feed to eat, and are not injected with antibiotics or hormones.
If you’re throwing the event in your own back yard (or are taking care of your own catering), and want to use disposable cutlery and dishes, use items made from sugar cane stalk or other bio-biodegradable materials. When laying out drinks, fill them in cool looking vases to give it a different look.

Finally, don’t forget about cleaning up! Try and recycle everything you can and put recyclable items in their proper bins.

If you would like invitations or other stationery (programs, place cards, gift tags, etc.) made from recycled paper, email michellevaleriedesigns@gmail.com for more information!

-Michelle Valerie

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