As more and more people are going green in their own homes and lifestyle choices, why not include entertainment? For your next dinner party, try a green theme. Yes, some friends might be afraid you will make them eat tofu and cardboard or play Scrabble by the light of a solar lamp but this would be a great opportunity to show them how fun and easy it is to go green. Here are some ideas for keeping it fun and eco friendly.
* Invitations – This is an easy one in this day of Internet savvy and smart phones. Consider going informal and inviting your guests via electronic invitation. You can send an email invitation, a mobile invitation from your phone, or even a Facebook group invite.
* Green food – Choose local, seasonal food. If meat is on the menu, choose organic, grass-fed beef and free range, organic poultry and ham. If you can find locally-raised meat, that is also a good choice. For vegetarian menus, emphasize bean dips and whole grain dishes with fresh fruits and vegetables.
* Beverages – Serve organic, fair-trade wines, teas and coffee in re-usable cups and mugs. Avoid soft drinks, water or juice in plastic bottles or cans. Instead, serve home-made punch in re-usable cups and hot beverages in insulated pitchers. You can also get organic liquor and use real glasses. Also instead of pre-mixed drinks in plastic bottles or margaritas in plastic tubs buy glass bottles that can be recycled and channel your inner bartender. Having a stainless steel martini shaker and a Vita-Mix make it quite easy I might add. You could also ditch the alcohol altogether and make sparkling fruit smoothies.
* Decorations – Get creative with your decorations! Look to the outdoors for inspiration, and cut greens if it’s winter, fall foliage if it’s autumn, and flowers for a spring or summer party. Your local farmer’s market will have seasonal fruits and veggies that can make attractive centerpieces and decorations, such as colorful squash, cranberries, apples, pears, peaches, etc. Just be sure you use the decorative foods and don’t throw them away – in fact, your guests could take some of them home as favors. You can even use live plants as decorations. I LOVE the look of wheat grass growing on kitchen counter tops and dining room tables.
* Lighting – Light your home and table with eco-friendly candles and LED lights, whether as regular-sized bulbs or in festive strings of mini bulbs. You can also get beeswax or soy candles and thrift store jars in various sizes. You can even decoupage the jars with left over holiday tissue paper first if you want colored lights.
* Compost – Don’t toss the leftovers! If your menu is vegetarian, leftovers can be composted. Ask your guests to put their veggie and fruit scraps into a designated bin.
Can you have fun and be green? I say yes, how about you?
Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010