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Green Holidays: Party Planning

Before you get the party (planning) started, check out our previous Green Holidays tips on precycling, holiday cards, holiday lights, and Christmas trees. North Americans produce 25% more waste during the winter holidays – that’s 25 million extra tons of garbage going to the landfill. The Whole Foods Market Green Mission Team has gathered our favorite tips to feature on this blog throughout the holidays to help us all reduce our load. Our customers are some of the greenest folks around, so please share your tips with us too. Hopefully we’ll help each other discover new and creative ways to live lighter on the planet this holiday season. Holiday Parties At least 28 billion pounds of edible food are sent to the landfill each year. Isn’t that amazing? Especially considering much of that can be composted. This year, let’s all challenge ourselves to green those holiday parties and try to make them zero waste. Who knows? If you set a good example for your guests they may take some of your green ideas home with them and keep the momentum up in 2011.
  • Send e-cards or e-mail instead of paper invitations.
  • Rent dishes or glassware to avoid using disposables.
  • Or, go with compostable disposables.
  • Host a “Bring Your Own Bowl” party,where guests supply their own reusable dish.
  • Support sustainable farming practices bycooking with natural and organic ingredients.
  • Consider hosting a party featuring food that has travelled less than 150 miles to get to your hometown.
  • Turn down the heat before the guests arrive. The extra body heat will heat the room while you save energy.
  • Recycle and compost everything you can. Set up recycling bins for bottles and cans. If composting is available in your area, put out a bin for compostables.
  • Walk, ride your bike, snowshoe, ski, car-pool or take the bus to neighborhood parties.
  • Keep an eye on the buffet table and make sure nothing sits out longer than two hours – this will help prevent having to throw out the food that’s no longer safe to eat.
  • Pack leftovers to go for your guests. Freeze what you can’t give away! Make sure no food goes to waste.
Now, it’s your turn. What tips do you have for making holiday parties and gatherings as green as can be?

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Cooking4carnivores says …

I use these green gadgets in my kitchen - http://www.cooking4carnivores.com/2009/04/great-green-gadgets.html And I serve eco-friendly wine - http://www.cooking4carnivores.com/2009/04/drink-to-your-planet.html And I keep these organic staples on hand for cooking - http://www.cooking4carnivores.com/2009/04/organic-kitchen-staples.html

Genevieve says …

Use cloth napkins. You can get 10-pack for a rather low cost. Your guests will be impressed and you can just toss them in the wash when you are done. Want to be greener? Use them all year round! We do and we love it. We haven't bought paper napkin in ten years.

Ashley says …

Use newspaper as wrapping paper. Looks cool and recycles your old newspapers

Micky says …

Go Green by Going Vegan! Try a few vegan meals for the holidays. Taking animal products out of your diet decreases greenhouse gasses even more than riding your bike instead of driving your car. And of course, the bottom line....going vegan decreases suffering, which is a good thing to do for the holidays, and for every day.

Stephanie says …

Dim the lights and place a few votives on the table - Dinner parties are great for conserving electricity! Also, hosting a documentary screening party could open less-green family and friends to new ideas for why & how they could be more green