10 Tips to Green your Holiday Party!

Posted on December 3, 2016

Tis the season of holiday party after holiday party! Unfortunately, the holiday season can be a strain on our Earth’s resources and produce a great deal of waste. We’re more likely during this time of year to purchase things for ourselves and others that we don’t need. In fact, we produce 25% more household waste during the holidays. If you’re putting on a holiday party of your own, we have some suggestions to keep it green!

1.    Email Invitations: Avoid paper invitations by sending emails or creating a good ol’Facebook event.
2.    Use Green Ornaments: Avoid purchasing one use, low quality or any ornaments at all. You can also look for ornaments at a second hand store, or do a swap with your friends if you’re bored of the ones you’ve used past years. Also see if you can use natural materials such such as sticks or dried leaves, and then incorporate leftover ribbon or other materials you have lying around the house.
3.    Reduce Food Waste: Make sure to make composting easy for your guests after their feast.  
4.    Make your Party Favours: Save money by giving your guests something sustainable they can use. Make them a hot chocolate mix in a jar, bath salts with essential oils or another craft idea. Google has endless ideas! And if you’re having a gift exchange, challenge your guests to make a gift, offer to teach a skill, or do a favor like providing childcare for an evening.
5.    Lights: Put up LED lights sparingly rather than the old fashioned energy consuming incandescent lights. You’ll be using less energy and still get a chance to smile at those pretty holiday lights. Even better? Set a timer so that the lights are on for peak enjoyment.
6.    Let people know what you need: Let’s face it, even if you tell guests not to bring anything, they won’t listen. Take the pressure off by telling everyone the little things that you need. That way you can skip a task like baking, and won’t end up with 10 cartons of eggnog.
7.    Organize transportation: Let guests know how they can get to your home by public transit and if it’s easy for any of them to carpool with each other, help organize.
8.    Local Food: Head to local farmers market or natural food store such as Community Natural Foods or Sunnyside Market to get the ingredients for your holiday feast.
9.    Suggest Donating: Considering incorporating donating to a local cause while you have all your friends together. Instead of asking them to bring something for the party, ask them to donate to a charity or bring a gift for someone in need. You can also give donations in guests honor instead of party favors. If Green Calgary appeals to you as a local charity you can donate here in honor or memory of someone.
10.    Use reusable: Avoid disposable and use plates and cutlery you already have. Need some more? Borrow from a friend, or family member that’s already planning on coming. Or pop over to your neighbour’s and while you’re asking, invite them too!

We know your holiday party will be the talk of all the other holiday parties! Giving a green example will help build awareness and your guests will appreciate you taking care of the planet we all wish to share for many more holidays to come.