Throwing a baby or bridal shower, birthday party or family gathering can be stressful. To make matters even tougher, the after-party cleanup often involves picking recyclables out of your trash can, removing litter from your lawn and disposing of guests’ leftover gift wrap and food packaging.
You don’t want to be rude to your guests, but you’d like them to embrace your green way of living while visiting your home. So, what’s a planet-friendly party planner to do? Earth911 spoke with Suzanne Bertani, the eco-conscious mom behind Green Planet Parties and the green parenting blog MommyFootprint, to get a few tips on how to inspire your guests to go green – without sounding preachy or pushy.
Homepage Image: Flickr/Mystic Country CT
1. Choose one thing to green
“My best tip is to state in the invitation and tell people ‘we are excited to be hosting a green event and would love your help,’” Bertani suggests. “Then pick a topic where you want to green – something that is close to your heart as the party host.”
While some hosts may be tempted to direct guests with a simple “this is a green event” statement in their invitations or e-vites, Bertani warns that being too general could overwhelm or confuse your guests, especially if going green is unfamiliar them.
“Being a greenie, [an eco-friendly lifestyle] really makes sense to you and your world, but it might be new for your guests,” says Bertani. “So, try to think about that and minimize confusion by focusing on one area.”
Start by identifying a goal for your green celebration, like zero waste, all-local or plastic-free. And be as clear as possible in your invitations to help your guests participate, suggests Bertani, who first got started hosting green events when throwing birthday parties for her four children. For example, if you are hosting a zero-waste potluck, specifically ask your guests to pack food in reusable containers and avoid disposable packaging.
“Focus on doing one thing well, and your guests will walk away noticing a difference,” the eco mom says.