The Green Party: Hosting an Eco-Friendly Get-Together

Today's party hosts and partygoers are increasingly eco-conscious. With so much emphasis on protecting the planet and preserving resources, party hosts are under pressure to throw a party that's not only fun, but earth-friendly as well.

Though it might seem a tall order to plan a party and do so with the planet in mind, that's not the case at all. Fortunately, it's easy for hosts to plan a party that's both guest- and earth-friendly.

1. Start With the Food

As the old saying goes, "The easiest way to a man's heart is through his stomach." But as any party host knows that adage can be altered to read, "The easiest way to a guest's heart is through his or her stomach." When planning an eco-friendly party, everything starts with the food. Finger foods like hummus and tortilla chips, cheese and crackers, or even fruits and vegetables are both delicious and earth-friendly because they don't require the use of disposable utensils or plates like more traditional hors d'oeuvres and appetizers. Hosts can even go the extra mile by serving organic foods that are in-season and local.

2. Take It to the Table

Being earth-friendly doesn't have to stop with what guests are eating. Tableware can be earth-friendly and cost-effective as well. Instead of disposable plates and utensils, use metal utensils and reusable plates and cups. For larger gatherings that might stretch the tableware pantry a little thin, purchase inexpensive yet reusable plastic plates and cups. It might not be the fancy china, but it is more earth-friendly and it's a one-time expense, unlike paper plates and cups.

3. Party Paperless

Paper napkins and paper towels have long been a staple of parties. However, such items are not very eco-friendly. Instead of paper napkins and paper towels, use cloth napkins and washable towels that can be reused the next time around. If napkins and paper towels are a must, purchase recycled napkins and paper towels.

4. Don't Pass Over the Party Bus

Many hosts are understandably worried about guests getting home once the festivities have ended. Guests can sometimes overdo it, and if there isn't a designated driver around the burden is on the host to ensure guests get home safely.

However, hosts can reduce their stress and help the planet by arranging for a party bus to pick up guests who live nearby. This helps save fuel while ensuring everyone will get home safely. Though guests might prefer the party bus, hosts can also arrange for more routine transportation that still reduces fuel and ensures all guests get home safe.

When hosting a party, hosts should keep in mind the myriad ways their party can be both guest- and earth-friendly.

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