Monday, March 25, 2013

How to Have a Zero-Waste Easter Party

In preparation for Easter, we're taking a short break from our Going Organic series - but don't worry - we'll be back next week to wrap up!

This week we'll be sharing some fun and eco-friendly ways to celebrate the holiday in ways that are healthy for both you and the planet. Easter is a time of celebration and renewal. It’s also a great time to embrace earth-friendly practices. If you’re throwing an Easter party, you can make it a green one by having a zero waste party. Here’s how.

#1.  Use E-Vites. Invitations can now be sent via email. There are some extremely useful programs you can use online. These programs allow you to send email invites quickly and easily. They also keep track of who RSVP’d and many offer a message board so people can ask questions about the party. Electronic invitations mean you don’t have to use any paper or ink. They’re 100% electronic. A couple of the more popular ones are Evite.com, and Eventbrite.com. And if you have people you want to invite and they don’t use email, consider giving them a phone call.

Please Recycle Label
Please Recycle Label (Photo credits: www.recyclereminders.com)
#2. Use  Recycled or Reusable Party Ware. Plates, napkins, glasses and all party decorations can be made from recycled materials. You can also use your own every day real or reusable dishes, or if you’re going to have a large party, consider renting dishes. You can also buy compostable party ware, like plates and cups made from corn.

#3.  Make Your Own Decorations. Easter time is spring time and it’s a great opportunity to decorate naturally. That means you don’t have to buy pre-made decorations. Consider using naturally dyed eggs, real grass, and twig branch baskets for decorations. Cut flowers for a spring touch and place them in vases. If you want to create Easter grass for baskets or decorations consider shredding magazines or using vegetable dye on papers in your recycled bin and then shredding them. Beet juice makes a beautiful natural pink color! 

#4.  Make It A Pot-Luck. Instead of cooking everything yourself or getting takeout, consider asking attendees to contribute a dish to the party. It means there’s less work for you and everyone feels as if they’ve contributed to the festivities. Let them know you’re having a zero waste party so they can be sure to bring food in recyclable or reusable containers.

#5. Compost Leftovers. Composting is a great way to make use of leftovers and you can use the finished compost to help indoor and outdoor plants thrive - use it in your sustainable garden to grow great food organically!

Easter party, New Orleans, Louisiana. Coloring...
Coloring Easter eggs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
#6.  Play Games. Games make a party fun. Easter egg hunts with real eggs instead of plastic ones are a zero waste game. The kids will love helping dye them the day before! Or have the eggs already boiled and cooled, and make the dyeing part of the party! Charades and scavenger hunts also have zero waste.

#7. Make Natural, Earth Friendly, Crafts. In addition to using games to keep children occupied consider having an earth friendly craft for kids to do. One example might be for children to decorate a tin. You can have seedlings, potting soil and paint on hand. They can decorate the can, choose their plant and take it home. It’s a zero waste craft and a nice goodie to take home from the party. Felted Easter eggs are also a fun craft for kids that they can take home with them - check back for Wednesday's post for how-tos.

#8.  Recycle.  Be sure to recycle anything that cannot be reused. For example, if you purchase soda or juice for the party you can recycle the containers. Or you can use them to create compost scoops, bird feeders, or planters.

Easter is a great time to be environmentally conscious. When you throw a zero waste party you’re not only doing something nice for the planet you’re also getting others involved in the cause. You’re setting a good example for your own family and others. If everyone does their small part it makes a huge difference - plus it can be a lot of fun!

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