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Guide to eco-party planning

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Want to celebrate without trashing the planet? Here's an eco-party guide.

christmas party

Credit: iStockphoto

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Traditional Christmas parties have been no party for the planet: guests consuming excessive food and drink, your home guzzling electricity - not to mention all the rubbish thrown out the next day.

Yet throwing an eco-party is simple, and can add ambiance and character, as well as encourage guests to mingle!

Follow these green party tips and your Christmas festivities will help ensure the planet has many happy new years to come.

Food and drink

Food can make a party memorable or it can break a party - and the planet. Reduce the carbon footprint of your catering and the amount of waste you throw away the next day by following these steps:

  • Make sure your food hasn't traveled too far by buying local produce, wine, beer and soft drink.
  • Reduce the number of herbicides and pesticides seeping into the ecosystem and buy organic where you can.
  • Purchase items that come with as little packaging as possible, and are recyclable.
  • Further cut down on wasteful packaging by buying in bulk.
  • Reject paper and plastic, and serve food and drink in real plates and glasses. It's a green thing, and it's also a style thing.
  • Similarly, don't spoil a party with paper napkins. Simple cotton serviettes are inexpensive and can be used over and over.
  • Telephone local homeless shelters and ask about their policies of accepting left over food. Some won't accept pre-prepared dishes or opened packages but will accept things like bread, unopened jars and packets of food and soft drink.

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