Hosting a Green Party...
While many over-in-dulge at holiday parties, perhaps you can take a wiser approach and " under-in-dulge"... at least when it comes to "green" hosting and taking care of the planet as well as your guests.
So, how do you host a party and- in the spirit of winter-keep the festivities evergreen? Follow these few tips...
Use the fancy china... Avoid disposable tableware. Serve with real plates, silverware and cloth napkins. Load up the dishwasher at the end of the night rather than loading up the landfill. If you don't have enough plates, host a potluck and have friends sign up to bring their own dishes.
Toast the night away... For beverages, use stemware that can be cleaned at the end of the night. Save money by placing water or other drinks in pitchers versus purchasing bottled beverages. Add sliced citrus or other fruits to flavor water.
Don't forget to RSVP... Ask guests to RSVP. This way you can plan portions to ensure adequate cuisine without being wasteful. Become a "locavore"(person who eats food grown or produced locally) and visit the farmers market in your area to save gas from driving store to store.
Encourage guests to take home leftovers on the plates the brought- did you really want to do their dishes anyway?
Sending the Greenest Gift of All... Good things come in small packages, especially when they aren't wrapped. When mailing items, consider gift cards, movie vouchers, or restaurant certificates. These are great alternatives to packaged and wrapped holiday presents and most can be purchased online to avoid the stress of store shopping. Additionally, this saves the recipient from creating fuel emissions by driving to pick up their gifts. Also, consider an e-gift, redeemable online such as donating funds in someone's name for their favorite cause or a music download service like iTune.