Green Your Entertaining

If there is one thing I love, it’s a good party. I love to host them. I love to go to them. I love it all, except for one thing: the trash they generate. It’s enough to make you want to call it a night.

Sip The Lights
Photo by: NatashaP 

My company is hosting a big open house this week to celebrate the official grand opening of our new office in Irvine, so green entertaining is on the top of my mind right now.

Here are some tips for hosting a greener gathering that demonstrates style and sustainability:

  • Ditch the disposables – For smaller gatherings, use reusable plates, cups, utensils, and cloth napkins. My guess is that most of us can come up with enough plates, cups and utensils for a gathering under 10 people. If your dinnerware doesn’t match perfectly, so what? Say you are going for the eclectic look. Guests will feel extra special when you treat them to “real” dinnerware.

  • For larger parties, consider borrowing from friends or renting dinnerware. If your party is outside or if renting is not a possibility, skip the disposable plastic for biodegradable dinnerware. There are many varieties of disposable plates, cups, utensils, and even trash bags on the market today that are all totally durable and fully compostable.

  • Pass on the plastic table cloth destined for a lifetime in the landfill for a reusable one made from hemp or organic cotton. 
  • If you throw parties often and have a little room from storage, consider purchasing some inexpensive reusable party supplies. Years ago, I spent about $20 on a couple dozen wine glasses from Ikea. A few times per year, we break them out for a party – our guests enjoy their wine in a real wine glass, we prevent hundreds of disposable cups from entering the landfill, and over the years, we’ve saved money too.

  • Send your invitations electronically. A quick email to friends often works. For more formal invites, Evite makes it easy. As a bonus, no paper invitation to get lost (as it sometimes does at my house), and Evite will automatically send a reminder to guests right before the party, ensuring more RSVP’s.

  • Serve locally-grown, organic food and beverages. For a great selection of organic wine, try For organic recipe ideas, check out the Organic Valley Coop

  • Provide mood lighting with CFL’s, LED white decorative lights, and soy or beeswax candles. 
  • Make it easy for your guests to get their trash in the right bin by placing clearly labeled trash, compost and recycling containers where they're easy to find. For large gatherings, have a few trash-sorting stations so guests don’t have to search to find them.

  • To avoid possible food waste, send guests home with leftovers. You can send your guests home with any leftovers in biodegradable take out boxes.

  • This last tip comes from my husband. For large gatherings go with a keg of beer instead of dozens of bottles or cans. He says I got the “wife of the year” award last Father’s Day for buying him a kegerator. Little did he know I also had a secret hidden agenda – zero- waste. A keg can produce over 100 beers with zero waste, since the empty keg is reused by the brewery.

So for your next event, no matter how small or large the gathering, consider some of these suggestions for hosting a green gathering that won’t leave your guests or the planet with a hangover the next morning.

Learn more about Allison at  

Related posts:

4 Delicious & Organic Summer Cocktail Party Drinks!
How to naturally lower stress levels in 10 minutes or less
(Video) Vanessa Hudgens Represents Make A Wish Foundation at Variety's Power of Youth


  • I’m not sure the place you’re getting your info, but good topic.
    I needs to spend a while finding out more or working out
    more. Thanks for magnificent info I used to be in search of this information for my mission.

  • This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  • This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  • This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  • This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  • This is nice! This website is amazing <3 I will tell about it to my wife and anyone that could be enticed by this topic. Great work guys!

  • This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  • Hey! This site is astounding <3 I will suggest it to my friends and anybody that could be drown to this subject. Great work guys :D

  • Hey! Your website is astounding. I will suggest it to my son and anybody that could be attracted to this matter. Great work girls :)

  • Hey! This site is great :D I will recommend it to my daugther and any person that could be enticed by this matter. Great work guys.

  • First of all I would like to say excellent blog!

    I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing.
    I have had trouble clearing my mind in getting my ideas out.
    I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually lost simply just trying
    to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips? Thank you!

  • It’s remarkable in favor of me to have a website, which is useful for my knowledge.
    thanks admin

  • Do you have a spam issue on this website; I also am
    a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; many of us have developed some nice
    procedures and we are looking to exchange solutions with others,
    please shoot me an e-mail if interested.

  • Hi, its good paragraph on the topic of media print, we all know media is a enormous source of facts.

  • Interesting blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog jump out.
    Please let me know where you got your design. Thanks

  • I am sure this paragraph has touched all the internet people, its really really nice paragraph
    on building up new web site.

  • I am in fact glad to glance at this webpage posts which consists of plenty
    of useful facts, thanks for providing such data.

  • Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t
    show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Regardless, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

  • Hi to all, the contents existing at this website
    are truly amazing for people knowledge, well, keep up the good work fellows.

  • Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and
    wished to say that I’ve truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts.

    In any case I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  • I think the admin of this web page is really working
    hard for his site, for the reason that here every information is quality based information.

  • Hi, I log on to your blogs on a regular basis. Your humoristic
    style is witty, keep up the good work!

  • Good day! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog
    platform are you using for this site? I’m getting tired of WordPress
    because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform.
    I would be great if you could point me in the direction of
    a good platform.

  • Truly when someone doesn’t be aware of afterward its up to other people that they will help, so here it takes

  • I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this
    post was great. I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already ;)

  • Normally I do not learn post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to take a
    look at and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me.
    Thanks, quite nice post.

  • I think the admin of this web page is really working hard in favor of
    his site, for the reason that here every stuff is quality based material.

  • If you would like to improve your knowledge just keep visiting this
    web site and be updated with the newest gossip posted here.

    Gamefly 3 month free trial

  • Hello, Neat post. There is a problem with your website
    in web explorer, could test this? IE nonetheless is the
    market chief and a large component of folks will leave
    out your magnificent writing because of this problem.

  • Hi, Neat post. There is a problem along with your site in web explorer, might check this?
    IE still is the marketplace leader and a big part of people
    will miss your wonderful writing due to this problem.

  • Excellent web site you have here.. It’s hard to find high quality writing
    like yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate people like you!
    Take care!!

  • I truly love your website.. Great colors & theme. Did you build this web site
    yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my
    own personal site and want to learn where you got this
    from or what the theme is called. Many thanks!

  • Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is fundamental and everything.
    Nevertheless think about if you added some great images or video clips to give your posts
    more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this site could undeniably be
    one of the greatest in its field. Excellent blog!

  • Hi! I’m at work browsing your blog from
    my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your
    posts! Carry on the outstanding work!

  • Wonderful article! We are linking to this particularly great post on our website.
    Keep up the great writing.

  • It’s hard to come by educated people about this topic,
    but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks