Eco-Friendly Picnic, Wedding, or Party Ideas

wedding party favor center piece ideals plant tree eco friendly green
Plant a tree centerpieces/favors make a great green option image via Nursery Men

Since Earth day is today and warm weather is right around the corner, (t was in the 70s last week, but rain/snowing here yesterday). I thought I'd share a few simple ideals on how to throw a party, wedding, or picnic that is more Eco-friendly.


1. Use E-invites
While it is nice to receive something in the mail that isn't bills, using various non paper methods of inviting someone is not only easier it is also more earth friendly.  While you could use Facebook to send a mass invite, I'd suggest using one of the many sites like evite.com that allows you to create a personalized invite.  Another great personal way to invite someone is to just call your guest (this is a good option for your non techie friends and family).  If you are having a wedding or a fancier event that does call for a paper invitation, make sure to use recycled paper invitations.

2. Use Greener Options For Serving Ware
plant serving ware eco friendy repurpose natural green party wedding
image via Repurpose Compostables


Let's face it, as green as we try to be, sometimes disposable dinnerware is really the best option. From potluck parties that are just too big for dishes to outdoor entertaining where you want the simplicity of disposable plates.  My favorite options for disposable serving wear are those made of plants and not petroleum.  They break down faster than traditional disposable serving ware (of course they should be recycled), and since they are made from plants you don't have to worry about petroleum based chemicals leaking into your food and drinks. 

 Repurpose Compostables sent me some samples of their disposable serving wear that is made from plants (corn, sugar and bamboo, all of which are annually-renewable resources), BPA and chlorine free, uses soy based inks, and are 100% compostable in an industrial composter in 90 days (instead of sitting in a landfill forever).  Repurpose’s cups, bowls, plates, forks, spoons and knives are made from corn, sugar and bamboo, all of which are annually-renewable resources. But they still won’t melt in your hot soup, or warp with cold, wet ice cream!  Mine held up just fine no leaks or breakage at all. 

If you really want an even greener option than plant based disposable serving wear you could use melamine plates and wash them at home.  This could work for a small picnic or get together, but not for big events.

3. Cut up Your Own Fruit and Veggies
fun display veggies vegetables carrot cut broccoli party potluck kids healthy food
How cute is this veggie tray ideal?   From Savy Mom
Making your own food reduces the need for packaging. You don't need to make anything time consuming, simply cutting veggies and fruit can often be a welcome addition to any picnic or party.  I learned this the hard way recently.  I made a few items for a pot luck that took awhile to make.  Guess what was the biggest hit?  Cut pieces of cantaloupe.  So I learned to just keep it simple for parties and potlucks.  Here are some of my favorite fun ways to display fruit and veggies, that are sure to be the hit of any party.
food serving ideals fun fruit bunny party healthy cut cheese
This bunny fruit platter would be cute at any party!  Check out Worth Pinning for the tutorial.
4. Use Local and Organic Foods
image via
Eating local foods reduces the amount of carbon used to produce the food (less gas used in transporting it).  Eating local also helps your local farmers.  According to VegNews, “For every $100 spent in a local store, approximately $68 is reinvested in the community. Buying locally comes other ethical feel-goods, such as less harm on the environment and a source for jobs.”  Check your local farmers market or health food store for local produce.  

Eating organic foods are not only better for your health, but also for the environment.  Organic animals does not use hormones, GMO feed, or antibiotics.   Organic food also uses less chemicals (and therefore pollutes the environment less), and is GMO free (which preserves plants as nature intended).  If you're shopping on a budget and can't afford to buy all organic, make sure you are familiar with the must-have organics.
 
 5. Eco Friendly Party Favours
image via Tide Water Tulle
 My favorite party favor ideal is not only easy to make yourself but it's also great for the environment.  Seed bombs are fun for both kids and adults and can be made to promote butterflies, native plants, and growing fruits and veggies in urban wasted space.  Check out Tide Water Tulle for the recipe and tutorial for their DIY seed bombs.  
Wheat Grass as a center piece/ favor is great if your guest have cats (wheat grass is actually cat grass!) image via

Another great ideal is to have a plant or tree as a center piece that can work as a favor that guest can plant at home. The cool thing about this ideal is not only are you helping to add more trees or plants to the environment from your event but your guest will always remember the event when they see the tree or plant they received from your party or wedding.  

Another fun ideal for cat owners is to have wheat grass (cat grass) as a centerpiece/favor (pictured above). It's easy to grow and looks so pretty.  Cat grass is fun for kids and owners to watch their cat having fun, and it's actually healthy for them.  Just think about how many people juice wheat grass.  I know Mr Cat loves his (and no he doesn't puke from eating it)!

Recycle and Re-purpose Supplies
upcycle plastic bottles into a beautiful serving dish for your party or wedding via instructables
When it comes to decorations, serving wear, and supplies you would be surprised what you can make with what you already have around the house, estate sales, garage sales, and thrift stores.  If your lacking in imagination just search online or Pinterest for a ton of great ideals.  

Upcycle a Sewing table into a beverage station and cooler tutorial at Sweet C's Designs
Recycle tin cans into a caddy for condiments, utensils, and napkins  via Sow and Dipity

 Party Games With Recycled Materials
 Games and activities are great icebreakers for parties and events and help make the day memorable for guests.  They are a great way to encourage all guests young and old to play together.  You don't need to spend a lot of money to have fun.  Just your imagination and a few items from your home, or local thrift stores or estate sales is all you need.  Since planning a party can be a lot of work, I say keep it simple when it comes to DIY games.  Here are some of my favorite summer backyard games:


Pillow sack race!  Just use old pillow cases around your home or check out your local thrift store or estate sales                   via One Day at a Time
Bobbing for donuts!  Great for any party or wedding.  How easy and fun!  via The Chic
The human bubble!  What kid wouldn't love this?  All you need is a kiddy pool, a hulu hoop, and lots of bubble solution  from One Charming Party

Don’t forget to “likeus on Facebook.  Let’s be friends on Pinterest and we can follow each other on Twitter and Google Plus.  And check out my other blog OhYou Crafty Gal.  
  
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