Ten Tips for Throwing a Green Party

April 20th, 2008

Hope you all had a great Earth Day weekend. I found myself at a book party for Big Green Purse author Diane MacEachern, whom I interviewed here.

Talk about pressure to be green! But it turns out I wasn’t the only one wondering how to dress. That question actually came up at the party. And according to Diane, recycled fibers are best, followed by hand-me-down or “vintage” clothing, and then organic fibers like hemp or cotton. Cotton actually takes a lot of water to grow, organic or not!

Many of the women in attendance had on very chic recycled jewelry made of buttons strung through string and other natural fibers. Apparently a lot of eco-boutiques are carrying these necklaces or – you guessed it – it’s pretty easy to make yourself.

One thing really struck me about the party. Despite the savvy of this crowd of Prius-drivers, even they complained that it’s still hard to find “green” party supplies. People were trading tips about where to find corn-based disposable, biodegradable plates and cutlery.

Here are a few tips I picked up from the Master Green Party Givers, mixed in with a couple of my own suggestions:

1. Skip the paper invitations and use an email invitation program like evite.

2. Decorate with natural materials like plants.

3. Finger food means finger food. Why use forks at all? You can serve foods like asparagus, stuffed mushrooms, cut vegetables, baked brie, cheese, mini-sandwiches, and small pastries or cookies.

4. Go organic! Of course! This includes the alcohol. You can find great organic beers on sale like this one and of course even better is biodynamic wine.

5. Re-usable cups are important. No one likes plastic (least of all your green friends). But even the biodegradable ones are still kind of plastic-y, so why not use real glass or durable re-usable plastic (if you already have them at home)?

6. Cloth napkins are always elegant, but they take on new meaning at a green party. They don’t need to be fancy. You can even use handkerchiefs or odds and ends from a variety of sets.

7. Biodegradable plates are good for the environment, and they feel sturdy, too. They’re actually much nicer to hold than regular paper plates.

8. If you must use cutlery, opt for your everyday stainless. You can wash it. It’s better than plastic that gets thrown away.

9. There’s no need for party favors. People don’t need more stuff, least of all the greenies. If you do want to give something away, a nice reusable bag is always appreciated.

10. And as Diane pointed out, you can compost the left-over party food!


Copyright OrganicMania 2008

11 Responses to “Ten Tips for Throwing a Green Party”

  1. Ten Tips for Throwing a Green Party on April 20, 2008 9:33 pm

    […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptHope you all had a great Earth Day weekend. I found myself at a book party for Big Green Purse author Diane MacEachern, whom I interviewed here. Talk about pressure to be green! But it turns out I wasn’t the only one wondering how to … […]

  2. MamaBird/SurelyYouNest on April 21, 2008 7:54 am

    Sympatico posting! You rock, I am throwing a couple (kids) parties this weekend and am fully in eco planning mode. Thanks! 😉

    Happy I could help!

  3. Amy @ The Q Family on April 21, 2008 2:08 pm

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I love your blog. Thanks for yet another great tip!

  4. Jason on April 21, 2008 6:37 pm

    What kind of biodegradable plates did you choose? I know that Bambu makes some, but they’re kinda too nice to toss :-)

    Thanks for the tips on everything else. We’ve used nothing but cloth napkins for about a year now. It’s weird when we go to other houses and they have paper napkins. I’m stil used to them at fast-food, etc, but not in a residence. I was just thinking how I need to go to Goodwill or another thrift store to get more cloth napkins. We have a nice pile, but I want more for parties.

    Organic beers and wine are great. I love Frey’s wine and Peak Organic beer is tasty, too.

    Be well, Lynn!


  5. nadine sellers on April 21, 2008 8:42 pm

    i haven’t bought paper napkins or towels or plates for so long (ever)i like cloth, the feel, the efficiency, the recycling of good material.

    however i do collect vintage linens, and glad to share.
    actually we never have anyone over, nor go to parties, so i can afford to give most of these tablecloths and napkins and rings etc.

    thanks for the party atmosphere, i receive this vicarious gift of laughter and friendship,

  6. Eva at Evite on April 22, 2008 3:27 pm

    Hi Lynn,

    Thanks so much for recognizing Evite as a great way to help green up your parties.

    I really like your site! Great tips!

    Thanks again,
    editorial director, Evite

  7. Moses on May 2, 2008 4:00 am

    Hey Lynn,

    I’m planning for a party this summer and you’re ideas have inspired me to ensure the party goes green with little impact on the environment as possible. I just have to find a way to convince my guests – to commute by bike to the party : ).

    Keep up the good work with your blog.


    Thanks, Moses! Hey, if you weren’t all the way in Portugal, I would try to come! :) — Lynn

  8. Jayma19 on May 4, 2008 5:34 pm

    Great information.
    We just threw a party last night and I was comparing what we did with your list.
    1. Email invitations: <- Yes
    2. Decorate with natural materials:<- Yes
    3. Finger food. That is a great idea. <- We had some finger food.
    4. Go organic: <- Yes, most of the food was organic. Very little alcohol
    5. Re-usable cups. <- No – we had plastic
    6. Cloth napkins: <- No – we had paper
    7. Biodegradable plates and bowls: <- Yes
    8. Every day stainless cutlery. <- Yes
    9. Party favors. <- Totally useless stuff in my opinion. No party favors at our party. However, this brings an interesting side point: Our party was a Bday party and I specified in the invitation: No gifts. And a number of people still brought gifts. What do you do for that ?
    10. Compost the left-over party food: we live in town, we have not resolved the issue of how to have a composter and not bother the hell of our immediate neighbors.

    Final Score: 6/10 – Can improve.

    Hey, Jayma, that is still a very good score! What an excuse to throw another party – see if you can go greener! The Green Party Challenge! Woo hoo! — Lynn

  9. nicholas on June 16, 2008 11:45 am

    On the matter of paper napkins, they can be composted. Did a bit of googling, and here is a typical guide:


    Nicholas, thanks for sharing! — Lynn

  10. Peaceful Disorder on October 25, 2008 10:29 am

    I know from first hand that organic cotton clothing is a great way to naturally alleviate some skin conditions.

    That is an easy call since conventional methods of cotton production use such harsh chemicals.

    I have heard some varying numbers on the amount, but everyone agrees the chemicals just are bad for the earth and us.

    “Traditional cotton production also attributes to 25% of worldwide insecticide use and 10% of worldwide pesticide use.”


  11. Did Somebody Say,”Theres A Party Goin on”?!!! | Organically Speaking on November 6, 2010 6:20 am

    […] Ten Tips for Throwing a Green Party April 20th, 2008 […]

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