Whether it's a wedding, a conference, a launch party or a sleepover, you can take a few easy steps to make your event greener. Brides and corporations alike are feeling the pressure to do something socially responsible, especially when it comes to putting on events. You'll impress your guests with your creativity and your conscience.
Pick an Easy Location
When you're looking for that perfect setting, keep convenience, and global warming pollution, in mind. Choose a spot that your guests can get to easily, and encourage them to leave their cars behind. Help arrange for your guests to carpool to the event, and let them know their public transportation options.
E-vite Your Guests
Emailing invitations saves paper and money, especially if you have a long guest list. If a printed invitation is an absolute must for your event, use postconsumer recycled paper or seed paper and give a phone number for RSVPs instead of reply cards.
Serve Local Food As Much as Possible
Look for a restaurant or caterer that uses fresh, local or organic foods. If you're planning on serving seafood, make sure it's sustainably caught or farmed and low in mercury. Make arrangements with a local food collector to pick up any leftovers at the end of the day.
Use Reusable or Biodegradable Tableware
Stick to cloth napkins and real tableware to reduce the amount of resources your event consumes and the amount of garbage you'll need to dispose of at the end of night. For a gathering at home, use your own dishes. If you have to go for the take-and-toss variety, look for post-consumer recycled content paper napkins and biodegradable plates, cups and utensils made from corn starch or agricultural waste. They'll degrade in just a couple of months in a commercial composter!
Try using 'living' décor such as moss, stones and succulent plants, or organic flowers instead of traditional pesticide-laden bouquets. Send your decorations home with your guests at the end of the night, or reuse them for another event.
Dazzle with Energy Efficient Lighting
A daytime event held outdoors or in a place with plenty of windows lets you save big on energy costs and global warming pollution from conventional lighting. For additional lighting, use compact fluorescent light bulbs. They use only about one-third of the energy that regular light bulbs do. Look for energy efficient bulbs and fixtures marked with the Energy Star label. Alternatively use solar powered lights.
Make Recycling Easy
Don't rummage through trash bins the next day looking for stuff that shouldn't have been thrown away. Make recycling easy by setting out clearly labeled recycling bins for items such as bottles, paper and cans.
Avoid Theming a Party
Unless you can theme your party creatively using items around the house already, it is a good idea to avoid purchasing extra items to make a theme, as these will be disposed of at the end of the event and will add to landfill.
Offset your Output
At the end of the day, your event is still going to produce some global warming pollution. You can help ease the burden by purchasing a renewable energy credit from a green energy company. Each credit represents an investment in 100 percent clean, renewable energy that will offset the global warming pollution produced by your event.
If you can implement atleast a few of the above suggestions, you can party with a feel good factor and a green conscience. Going a little bit green is better than not all, because every thoughtful action helps our environment.
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