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Published on December 29th, 2007 | by Stephanie Evans


Ringing in the Green New Year

Ahh…the holiday rush is over and we’re headed toward the bright horizon of a brand new year.  There’s no better way to usher in a new year than starting it off sustainable style.  And hosting or attending an eco celebration will likely inspire you to continue thinking of creative ways to go green throughout the year.

It’s time to put on your green-thinking New Year’s party hat and whip up a sustainable event to remember…

The Party

Send out e-invitations to let your friends know they’re in for a night of fun . . .

If your group is of the creative persuasion, have a sustainable New Year’s party hat contest with voting at the end.New Year's Party Hat Each guest brings their own signature-designed eco-friendly, recyclable, compostable, or reusable hat.  Or you can set out materials and have guests construct designs once they arrive.  If it’s a costume party, see who can come in the most sustainable, most recyclable, or most reusable outfit.

Have a post-holiday white elephant gift exchange.  Put all of the wrapped “gifts” in the center of the room and let everyone choose the one they want.  After they’ve all been opened, gifts can be exchanged among friends until everyone has the one he or she wants.  This is a great way to find homes for holiday gifts that may not have been used.

Instead of exchanging gifts or trinkets, swap memories and green New Year’s resolutions instead . . .

Depending on how many guests you have, set up various stations with snacks and board games.

Ask guests to bring a photo of a memorable event from 2007—it can be anything from something hilarious to a life-changing event to showing a risk that they took.  Let them know you plan to display the photos on a bulletin board or table.  It’s a great ice-breaker for those who don’t know each other and if the level of comfort is there, each guest may want to share the experience represented in the photo.

Food and Festivity

Host an organic snack and beverage “bar” with a tray of organic chocolates, breads, and cheeses, a spread of fresh New Years Partyproduce, a jug of hot apple cider, and fair trade coffee and tea or a selection of organic wines.

Make colorful confetti by cutting up leftover holiday gift wrap or last year’s calendar.

If you must have noisemakers(!), fill tea tins or small spice jars with beads or dried beans.

General Tips for a Green Holiday Party

  • Send e-invitations to guests and encourage them to carpool.
  • Turn the heat down and let your guests warm up the room.
  • Set the table with cloth napkins and reusable tableware.  For a larger party, consider renting tableware instead of opting for disposable plates and silverware that end up in the garbage.
  • Put leftovers in recyclable containers for your frinds to take home with them and compost leftover food scraps.
  • Fill your dishwasher to capacity before running it.

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