It’s that time of year again; the season of cocktail parties and shin digs, all sorts and sizes of celebrations to fete another year of success, hard work, accomplishments, changes, and/or all of the above. Whether you’re planning a personal party or managing an event for client, here are a few party thoughts that can help make your event both festive and a bit more eco-conscious.
Figuring out the Fundamentals. First step, pick a venue. Regardless if this is a holiday party or a client event, try to pick a venue that (besides fitting within your budget) is located centrally. This allows guests to get there on time, and allows them the option of coming via public transportation or carpooling with others. Outdoor venues tend to be more energy efficient, spending less on lighting and A/C or heating. Of course, this doesn’t work if you’re located in a cold climate. Other alternatives include eco-friendly hotels or small restaurants.
Go Paperless. Clearly, as the host with the most, you don’t need to send out paper invitations. Each year, landfills accommodate a rush of holiday trash, including wrapping paper and holiday cards. Rather than spend the money on postage, just go paperless this year. Electronic invitations can be as elementary or as elegant as your graphic designer and you decide to make them. Depending on the size of the event that you’re throwing, you can build in a database function that will easily help you track RSVPs.
Top Nosh. No party is a party without a bit of festive nosh. If you’re holding your party at an established venue, then this is moot (unless you find a great restaurant that focuses on providing local foods). If you’re holding the party in a non-traditional venue, there are tons of small caterers that source their ingredients from within 100 miles and specialize in creating delicious seasonal amuse-bouches for parties. A cult favorite in LA is Terrapass, there are several different companies out there that offer carbon offsets for small events.
Nitty Gritty. It may be the last thing that you want to think about, but such is the yin and the yang of putting together a great party. There will always be some clean-up. If you have the resources, know that there are special cleaning crews out there that specialize in eco-friendly cleaning. They use natural products and can help get your space spic and span without the use of bleach, borax, or any other eye-stinging toxins.