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Greening Summer Parties

By Archive, June 25, 2007  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Archive
It’s time for summer entertaining! How can we make our parties more Earth-friendly? One reader, Duane, mentioned how he is changing all of his outdoor powered items to solar powered versions. A great idea for lighting an evening get-together in the backyard. What other things will you be doing this summer to make your gatherings sustainable, as well as fun? Let us know!
Category: Green Action




jennbecluv says ...
For your next summer dinner party, why not commit to buying all your produce from local farms? I know it's tough sometimes to commit "full time" to buying only local, but creating a dinner party "theme" around local fresh produce could prove interesting and educational, not to mention delicious! And it's a great way to support sustainable small farming practices. Even if you're in a large city, there's a good chance there's an urban farm or community garden co-op you can visit to get veggies straight from the field.
06/26/2007 11:11:28 AM CDT
Renee says ...
For kid-related summer events (or just everyday use), I serve homeade frozen organic banana pops. This is a great way to reuse chopsticks (wooden or other materials). Peel and slice the banana horizontally through the middle. Place chopstick in center of banana, wrap in wax paper and place in freezer (for an special treat, dip in chocolate sauce/nuts before wrapping and placing in the freezer). Kids love them and you can keep reusing the chopsticks all summer!
06/28/2007 8:45:58 AM CDT
Donna Pleasant says ...
Why not turn rainwater from your gutters into water for your lawn and garden? By attaching these resevoirs to the ends of your drains, rainwater collects in them and can later be used, with the quick attachment of a garden hose or turn of a dial, to help your garden grow.
06/28/2007 8:48:14 AM CDT
Matt, Cleveland, OH says ...
A great summer party includes a lawn that you can walk on! There are many organic fertilizers on the market now, so no excuses for polluting our watersheds/groundwater. Think about it! If a sudden rainstorm hits, where does your fertilizer go? If that's not the case, it still ends up in the water tables below. Use organic feeders and let your kids and babies play healthy! Why have a lawn if you are afraid to take your shoes off when you walk on it? And remember, insecticides in your lawn kill the good bugs too. Without the good kind of insects, your lawn will just get worse over the next few years. The next wave of bad bugs will have a 'field day' without a fight. Use organic! And the fish in our rivers will thank you!
06/28/2007 10:09:32 AM CDT
Judy Pokras says ...
Green up your summer parties by serving all raw vegan recipes. You avoid toiling over a hot stove, and there's no baked-on food to wash off pans. Here's one delicious and easy frozen dessert recipe, a treat for your party guests: Cut up ripe canteloupe and/or honeydew into small chunks and freeze. When frozen, put the melon pieces through a Champion juicer (using the blank plate). It makes a soft-serve frozen dessert. Sweet and creamy and cold. Spoon into paper cups and serve immediately.
06/29/2007 5:28:58 AM CDT
Nikki S says ...
For summer parties (and all year 'round) we only use reusable dishes, not paper plates and disposable cups and plasticware. It keeps the waste way down, and we spend a lot less money too!
06/29/2007 5:31:35 AM CDT
Reeners says ...
For summer parties,I always have nice looking trash contianers nearby labeled 'Recycle- Bottles and Cans'' , 'Trash' and "To Wash' to help guests during the party know where to toss their used dishes, bottles and trash and not mix it all up together. I offer drinks in pitchers, kegs or jugs along with appropriate cups/glasses whenever possible to cut down on the number of bottles/cans we use. I purchased several inexpensive sets of a fun and summery stainless 'flatware' from a discount store which are dishwasher safe and use them for outdoor parties. So much better than using disposable plastic forks/knives and they look great. My guests always comment that I used the 'good' stuff for them! I also cut down on paper napkins (though I use recycled) by wrapping each knife/fork/spoon set in a cloth napkin and tying with raffia and placing in a basket near the plates. People use far fewer napkins when they are cloth rather than paper...
06/29/2007 10:47:24 AM CDT
Vanessa says ...
We we wash our fruits and vegetables in a bucket in our sink so that we can re-use the water in our garden. We also compost all the fruit and vegetable peels (melon skins, corn husks, etc.) and use it in our summer garden of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant to show our sons the environmental goals we reach - conserving water, reducing the amount of waste that goes to dumps while nurturing our gardens with great compost, which in turn, nourish us!
06/29/2007 12:06:49 PM CDT
Jay & Pat Auxier says ...
We started making all veggie sandwhichs for lunch this summer and taking them to work in a small cooler. Its better for us and we don't have to use any gas at lunchtime.
06/29/2007 5:33:17 PM CDT
Scarlet says ...
I'm buying only foods that were grown locally or within 75 miles of my home. This supports our area farmers, and also is "green" as it reduces the fossil fuel used to transport the food to me, and provides fresher produce than is ordinarily available. This year, I see more local produce in the Whole Foods markets and I think this is great!! Let's have more, but in the meantime, I'll have to shop some at our farmer's market too.
07/01/2007 8:56:18 PM CDT
Brandy Martinez-Lemke says ...
I am sending evites for all my summer gatherings. The evites are free to send, reduce waste as well as organize guest lists and thank you's. Just be sure to to click onto a sponsoring web page so they remain gratis (free)!!!!!!!
07/03/2007 11:36:58 AM CDT
Scarlet says ...
Hey Salton: Where is the post from Duane, who talks about his switch to solar-powered outdoor appliances and other electronic stuff? I'd like to know if he converted all of this by clever home engineering or did he buy new solar powered appliances? And what exactly did he solar power? Grill? Lights? Lawn mower? Thanks -- Scarlet
07/05/2007 5:35:40 PM CDT
Kristi says ...
Another item you can use for mood lighting in addition to glass jars and bottles, is empty cans. Now, you have to be careful as depending on the type of can opener you use you can have sharp edges, so caution when children are around is paramount. But what you do is, peel off the label, and wash the can thoroughly, using baking soda and salt to eliminate the smell. You then take an old fashioned can opener, the kind that leaves triangle shaped holes and punch out designs you like, or you can fill up the can with water (I use water leftover from washing dishes for water conservation) and freeze it. Once the water is frozen you can use an ice pick or a nail and using a hammer make patterns of holes in the metal. Once the ice melts, you just dump it out on your garden! Once you have the patterns you want, you can paint the cans and decorate how ever you want, paint over with school glue for a nice finish, and voila! you have a unique holder for votive or tea light candles. It's a nice touch, and if you have enough you can get away from using those electric fairy lights. Another tip for resuing jars, is to remove the label, thoroughly clean, and fill them with dried flowers and herbs for your own potpouri. I grow and dry my own, and so can mix up colours to match or complement any room. Add a few drops of essential or aromatic oils and you have a nice accent piece that smells beautiful. You can do the same with shells and pretty stones and beach glass that your kids have collected at the beach. Jars also make great snowglobes. Remove the label, clean well. Fill the jar with water, coloring it with food color if you like, and pour in some glitter. On the lid of the jar, glue plastic toys or whatever takes your fancy, and let dry. Once the glue for the toy has dried, pipe some glue around the rim of the jar and inside the lid, and screw on. Leave the snowglobe upside down until the glue dries (otherwise you may have a mess on your hands!). Then turn it over and enjoy your snowglobe! This works particularly well with those little plastic toys your kids get in 'Happy Meals' or out of gumball machines.
09/01/2007 3:08:14 AM CDT