Lifestyle and Living

Green Get Togethers: Tips for Sustainable Summer Celebrations

Jul 2023 | By Christine Brown

Summer is a time for family gatherings, celebrations, and special events. Whether a wedding, seasonal party, or holiday event, we must be mindful of the impact our activities have on the environment. Hosting an eco-friendly summer event can be fun and memorable while reducing our impact on the planet. In this article, we will explore a range of eco-friendly summer party ideas that promote sustainability, conservation, and green living.

The Venue – Natural is Calling!

It’s summertime!  Choosing a natural setting like a local park, beach, or your own backyard, ensures your guests have a chance to relax, enjoy the fresh air, and connect with nature. Where possible, choose a location that is close to your guests and/or public transportation to minimize travel and environmental impact.

Eco-Friendly Invitations

Reduce paper waste and forgo postage in favour of digital invitations. Customize e-invitations adding your personal touch with images, video, or music. Use social media like a Facebook page to invite guests, communicate information, and celebrate with post party pics!  If you prefer physical invitations, use recycled paper, printed with natural inks, or even seed paper. These invitations can be planted afterward to grow flowers or herbs, it’s a party that just keeps giving!

Sustainable Decorations

When it comes to decorating your green event, simplicity and sustainability are key. Avoid single-use plastic decorations and opt for reusable or biodegradable accents.

Let nature inspire with seasonal plants or flowers purchased from local markets.  Use potted plants and flowers as centerpieces, then replant or gift them after the event. Repurpose items from your home or visit the thrift store for vases and unique pieces to dress the tables. Incorporate driftwood, pinecones, seashells, and chalk board signs. Use your imagination and get creative with some of these great ideas.

Fabric napkins, runners, and tablecloths like linen are a great option instead of paper or plastic. Linen is a sustainable fabric choice that is absorbent, luxurious and will ensure your party décor looks fabulous!

Green Menu Options

an image of a cake on a platterIt’s not a party without an amazing menu! Start with a plan to ensure you avoid waste. Know how many people will be attending, be aware of food allergies and sensitivities, and consider a plated meal instead of a buffet. A plated meal is a bit more work, but buffets require lots of food and can be wasteful.

Consider offering plant-based or vegetarian menu options.  Vegetarian and vegan diets can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Here are some wonderful vegetarian summer recipe ideas to try anytime! Shopping close to home and emphasizing organic ingredients supports local farmers and reduces your carbon footprint.

Lastly, donate leftovers or send everyone home with the extra food in reusable containers. Who doesn’t love leftovers for next day lunches?!

an image of a set table at nightSustainable Table Settings

Nothing beats a beautifully set table with plates, cutlery, and glassware. Instead of using disposable plastic cutlery, glasses, and plates, choose biodegradable or compostable alternatives. If you are like me and prefer the reusable option, gather supplies from family and friends or even better, rent them from a party rental service, reducing your environmental impact and your clean up time!

And speaking of clean up…

Set up recycling and composting stations for your party guests to ensure proper disposal of bottles, cans, and paper.

Cleaning up is easy with  plant based, cruelty free cleaners like Mrs. Myers and Method cleaning products, or try these amazing natural cleaning alternatives available right in your home!

Light it up!

Light up your evening event with beeswax or soy candles. Avoid paraffin wax candles, these candles are made from petroleum, coal, and oil shale.

Solar-powered or LED string lights create a magical ambiance while reducing energy consumption.

If you will be using a sound system, choose energy-efficient speakers, or opt for acoustic or unplugged music for the evening entertainment.

Eco-Friendly Party Fun!

an image of white daisies in a vintage pottery vaseFinally, including eco-friendly activities in your summer event will entertain and educate your guests. Arrange a nature walk or scavenger hunt of the area. Organize a tournament with your favourite board, or outdoor games.

Lead a gardening activity for guests to plant seeds or saplings, or facilitate a craft activity using natural materials to create a special memento of the event.

Hosting a sustainable summer party or event not only creates memorable experiences, but reminds us that with a little thought, living green is easy. By trying these eco-friendly ideas, you can enjoy wonderful summer parties while minimizing waste and reducing your carbon footprint. Let’s embrace green choices and inspire others to do the same!

Christine Brown is the founder of Bobbie Broon Home and an accredited member of the Decorators & Designers Association of Canada. Read more at Bobbie Broon Home.