Single-use plastic cutlery. Paper hats. Styrofoam cups. Once upon a time, throwing a party would mean you'd have to throw your sustainable principles out of the window. Nowadays, though, there are plenty of creative ways — and helpful supplies — to make your party as eco-friendly as it is fun. Here's how to decorate your space without damaging the earth:
1. Send Digital Invitations
An invitation sets the scene for your gathering. It informs guests of the theme and dress code, as well as the time and place of the event. Therefore, it's a piece of the party decor — and one you can easily make eco-friendly. Simply use any one of the many websites dedicated to digital invitations and send them to your guests via email. Voila – no trees will be harmed in the making of your cards.
2. Ditch Plasticware
If you're hosting your party at home, refrain from buying single-use cups, plates and cutlery for your party. Instead, open up your cabinet and let guests use your normal cups and plates. What are they for if not for a party? If you don't have the time or space to stock up on the kitchen supplies you need, then consider moving your party to a restaurant or other venue that will have all the cups and plates you need.
3. Choose Reusable Pieces
A personalized banner looks great, but how many times will you be able to reuse a "Happy 47th Birthday" sign in the future? Opt for reusable pieces that are colorful and fun without being too specific. That way, you can use them for all future birthdays, as well as baby showers, New Year's Eves, bachelorettes and other festivities.
4. Plan Simple Party Games
Pin the tail on the donkey is a classic party game, but you'll end up with lots of waste after the fun's over. This is the case with lots of children's party games, so think outside of the box for your next gathering. Try starting a classic field day competition, with such events as an egg-and-spoon race or a wheelbarrow race. Or, you can whip up your own sustainable games — even a piñata can be eco-friendly if you make it yourself.
5. Decorate With Plants
Party planners have realized the power of plants when it comes to eco-friendly soirees. They have begun to ditch traditional confetti in favor of flower petals. They place gorgeous floral arrangements on tables. They even place potted succulents on tables — and send them home with guests as party gifts. If you go the bouquet route, be sure to extend the life of your blossoms and get the most out of them. You can do so by changing vase water regularly and adding plant food to the basin.
6. Use Food as Decor
Your tablescape doesn't need more than the snacks and sweets you'll serve at your party. So, rather than purchasing one-time-use tabletop decor, lay out your snacks in an aesthetically pleasing way. To make it an even more eco-friendly setup, choose ingredients from local farmers. That way, your menu — and food-centric decor — is as sustainable as possible.
7. Choose an Earth-Friendly Favor
We already mentioned succulents as an option, but there are countless other green party favors out there. You can use them to decorate for your party, and then you can send your guests home with them. It's a win-win for you as a party planner, and it is a sustainable choice for your gathering.
Go Green and Enjoy the Party
You don't have to sacrifice any of your party-planning prowess in order to throw an eco-friendly soiree. Instead, you can decorate eco-consciously with the above tips and have the soiree you've been envisioning — no waste required.