Hope you all had a fun and safe Fourth of July celebration! And speaking of parties and celebrating…We have a great some great eco-friendly summer party and decorating ideas for you. Summer is the time for back yard BBQ, pool parties and other outdoor fun but how can you decorate your bash on a budget while also making it eco-friendly? Try these tips!
Ditch the Paper…and plastic
- Save money and go green by not using paper plates. Stop by a local flea market or thrift store to pick-up a colorful aray of mis-matched china and glass wear. You can re-use these over and over. Clean up might not be as easy as throwing it away but ask your guest to pitch in and help with clean up.
- The same eco-friendly tip goes for paper towels. Why not use cloth napkins instead? Search your local thrift stores for these items too.
- If you fear for your glass dishes and want to use plastic plates, then look for recycled ones. Preserve Plates are a great option; they’re made from recycled plastic. You can also easily rewash these and use them over and over if you want to maximize their life.
- You can also check out Green Party Goods for planet-friendly party supplies. They’ve got some really cool, fun stuff there!
- If you’re having a huge party and think you’re going to run out of plates and cups, don’t go out and buy more. Why not just borrow some? Ask your friends and neighbors if they have tableware you can use the day of. You can also request quest to bring their own cup for the party. All the different sizes and colors will make for a fun table display!
Eco-Friendly Party Decorations and Gifts
- Just say “no” to balloons. Instead, why not go with paper Chinese lanterns? They can be reused multiple times. Or how about home made garland or banners with re-purposed fabric or tissue paper. Like this or this.
- When it comes to your party invitations, use recycled paper. Or, you can make your own from scrap paper, magazine cut outs, old books and old photographs.
- If the party happens to be a birthday party, then ask that all gifts be wrapped in newspaper or cloth bags. Wrapping paper is festive, but it’s incredibly wasteful.
- Skip the plastic table cloth. Instead, use an old sheet. And if you want to decorate it and make it fun, then pass out markers to everyone and let your guest decorate it for you. Or again, keep your eye out for table clothes and table runners at thrift stores and flea markets.
- Use old mason jars, glass bottles with the labels removed to make vases with hand picked wild flowers or even paper flowers made from old magazines and newspapers. See here and here.
- Here is a great blog from environmental lifestyle expert Danny Seo. He has tons of tips for re-purposing and decorating.
- Instead of burning regular wax candles, use beeswax candles.
- Old mason jars also make great candle holders. You can also use them as lanterns, by wrapping thin wire or cord around the opening and suspending them from trees. This creates a very pretty effect at night and you can also use them to burn environmentally friendly mosquito repellent candles. Or make eco-friendly instect repellent for your guests to use.
- Make sure that you set up recycling bins around your house or backyard, clearly labeled, so your guests can easily recycle things during the party and have some fun with the labels. Make a collage from old magazines.
- If you have a compost pile in your yard (or know someone who does), think about creating a compost bin where everyone can dump their food scraps. Make sure guests know that only food scraps go in the compost box.
There are tons of great eco-friendly party tips out there! Start the planning by researching blogs, Pintrest and online forums, it amazes me how many new ideas are out there on how to recycle or re-purpose something that was once considered trash. It just takes a little extra time and thought to plan your eco-friendly party and I think you might be surprised on how much you can save. Hope you enjoyed these few tips and happy party planning!