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Green Christmas Party Guide - Making Your Christmas Party Greener

Updated on September 16, 2011

Some might wonder what the point of the Christmas season is, were it not for the parties. In fact, in most Western countries, the average person under 40 will go to as many as a dozen parties during the Holidays. That means a lot of fancy clothes, little treats and adult libations. It does not, however, have to mean busting your personal “carbon footprint” or creating a massive amount of landfill waste. You can have both a white and a green Christmas party at the same time with these useful tips.

Earth-saving Invites

The average household sends out upwards of 60 Christmas cards each year. Nearly all of those will end up in a recycle bin or a landfill. However, when sending out your Christmas party invites, you can save paper and even keep track of who is and isn't coming by sending out eCard invitations. There are several online services that will allow you to easily set up a Christmas party website that will even handle the last-minute reminders for you.

Permanent Dishes, Cups and Silverware

It has become very commonplace to buy a large number of non-recyclable and disposable plates, cups and eating utensils to facilitate an “easy” clean-up. However, many people don't realize the vast amount of waste this practice generates. While using bio-degradable, disposable table-ware is one way to address this problem, an even better solution is to avoid that waste entirely by using durable goods and washing them when you're done.

Even if you don't have enough dishes of your own, friends and neighbours are almost always more than willing to help out if you ask. If you want everything to match perfectly, there are also services that rent out reusable Christmas party equipment, from the tablecloths to champagne glasses. Some of them will even do the washing up for you. While it may seem like a lot of extra work to wash all those dishes, many people find it involves far less bother than they'd imagined once they give it a try.

Green Christmas Decorations

Your commitment to hosting a green Christmas party doesn't end at the kitchen. Many of the holiday decorations that are purchased to decorate for a single evening are also environmentally problematic. From petroleum-based paraffin Christmas candles to wasteful incandescent Christmas lights to shiny tinsel, there are far more Earth-friendly alternatives to your Christmas decorations that look great and have a much lower impact on the world around you.

Consider, for instance, stringing up cranberries and popcorn in place of disposable plastic garland. Candles made of beeswax, organic soy or palm wax burn longer and are usually scented with non-toxic essential oils. Even the fairy lights on your tree can be made from super-efficient LEDs. The Christmas tree itself can be even more green by choosing a living tree or choosing to compost a real, cut tree.

Green Party Clothes and Accessories for Yourself

Whether you're throwing the Christmas party yourself or simply attending, you can wrap yourself in very stylish green designs. While that may have once doomed you to a rather rustic look that most avoid at this time of year, a large number of designers have taken up the green banner and begun to design very contemporary clothes and accessories to bedazzle their fellow party-goers.

Look for items that have been made from recycled fibres or alternative fibres such as linen, silk or hemp sourced from as close to home as possible. Gone are the days when these fabrics were doomed to be coarse and unfashionable. There is nothing more fashionable than that little black dress made from renewable resources.

Environmentally-friendly Party Food and Drink

There are a few ways to make your table green, too. Specifically, organic and local items support the people who are on the ecological front lines and save energy. That is good for you and good for other people. Organic Christmas party food, whether you make it all yourself or buy prepared foods, can make a big impact on your own ecological impact. There are even organic wineries popping up all over the world to make the Holidays bright for your guests.

Given that the average Christmas party dinner travels several thousand miles to reach your table, buying locally produced foods and beverages saves a tremendous amount of transport energy. And, since the food hasn't already been on a road trip, the odds are that it will be fresher and taste better, anyhow. By some estimates, the average Holiday party can save upwards of 12 tonnes of carbon by sourcing items locally.

Choosing vegetarian dishes whenever possible decreases the amount of energy that the food took to produce and makes your Holiday party friendly to all your guests to graze upon. Keep a pitcher of water on hand to avoid plastic water bottles and imported wines.

THIS HUB IS PART OF A SERIES OFFERING A COMPLETE GUIDE TO A GREEN CHRISTMAS (ECOFRIENDLY CHRISTMAS)

For other hubs in this series, please visit the index hub where you will be able to see all topics in this series and navigate between them.

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    • profile image

      Alicia 

      7 years ago

      Why not give you colleges something that will grow and help the environment. We found these adorable tree seed in brown boxes where you can plant your own Tree! What an excellent idea for greening the holiday.

    • PearTreeGreetings profile image

      PearTreeGreetings 

      7 years ago from Rexburg, ID

      Great tips! Another eco-friendly alternative is to use printed Christmas party invitations made from 100% recycled materials. Also, just because the invites are made from recycled paper doesn't mean you need to sacrifice quality either -- there are some really nice designs available so you can 'go green' in style.

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