New Year’s Eve Party? The pros come easily: you don’t need to worry about your guests driving late back home, you can wear sweatpants if you want, and people will help you clean up. The cons? Well, the pressure of throwing a party awesome enough to start the new year off with a bang can be high. Plus, parties can be wasteful, especially boozy year-end bashes Here are five tips for throwing your own New Year’s party using only the greenest of methods. After all, if living a more sustainable life is one of your resolutions, what better way to start than throwing an eco-riffic party?
1) Plan a local menu.
Sure, raspberries are great in champagne, but they probably aren’t in season where you live, so plan around it. Use websites like Local Harvest to find local wines and beers; if you can’t find anything, buy from a mom-and-pop liquor store instead of a chain market. Winter menu planning can be a cinch; a vat of onion soup thick with cheese and homemade baguette can be a godsend on a blustery New Year’s Eve. How about local mushrooms stuffed with breadcrumbs and spices?
2) Flowers don’t have to be exotic.
If you’re dead-set on flowers as centerpieces for your New Year’s table, that’s cool, but remember to buy local. Encourage friends and family to take home leftover plants, and compost once they aren’t in their prime anymore. Drying and pressing leftover centerpieces can also be a wonderful rainy-day craft, and they’re beautiful to boot.
3) Invitations don’t have to use paper.
If you’re keen on acquiring guests by written invitation, consider a site like evite to do the dirty work. People are much more prone to respond if all they have to do is click “yes,” and you can upload an image from your computer to suit your style.
4) Send guests home with leftovers!
If it can’t be composted and will taste good the next day, pass your food onto guests.
5) Don’t buy noisemakers.
You know those annoying gadgets that everyone blows/bleeps/shakes at midnight to celebrate the coming of another year? Most of these are throw-away and are a complete waste of materials. Instead, opt for good old banging on pots and pans, or shaking tambourines or maracas.