Hi. Alegre from Ember Living, here today to talk about how to green your party. As with all things eco, it's much easier to have big bang for your buck if you start at the planning stage. So start planning your party with the mindset of how can I make this most eco-friendly as possible? So for instance, you might start first with using paperless invitations.
There's a great website called paperlesspost.com. You can even have custom designs created and uploaded. I've used it many times, and it's beautiful and easy. And I feel like it has a lot of the sentimentality that a written invitation has. Another thing is when choosing your food and drinks, think about can I do an event that doesn't require any utensils. The less utensils you have, the less waste you have. So a lot of times I will have events where all of the food is just finger foods.
I've even served gazpacho in little cucumber shot glasses that are made, so people can have the gazpacho, and then they can eat the cucumber cup. So if you plan in advance like that, it's really easy to come up with food choices that don't require you to have utensils. However, if you need utensils, know that you can go and rent them from a party company, if you need to. So I've had large parties where we've rented all of the utensils and glassware and plates and everything. But if you have close to enough but not exactly enough utensils and cups and plates, you can also just go to a Goodwill and get some used stuff to round out your collection. And you can donate it back when you're done. Also, when you're thinking about your beverages, maybe you can get beverages that are bulk dispensed.
I have a couple of three-gallon beverage dispensers that I use whenever I have an event. I put water in one of them, and I'll put a mixed drink of something in the other one. And it uses a lot less resources to serve beverage that way, rather than getting individual cans and bottles and everything like that. Finally, plan for leftovers. Most parties have leftover food, and that can generate a lot of waste. So have people either bring their own to-go containers, or have takeout boxes or something so that you can easily pack up food for people to take home. They'll appreciate not having to cook, and you'll appreciate not having to waste that food. And finally, if you're really ambitious, I've even gone to parties where I've asked people to bring their own utensils and plates and stuff like that.
For instance, I plan a progressive dinner in my neighborhood. And that is a waste-free event, and everyone just brings their own plate and fork. No big deal. Super easy. And you'd be surprised at how fine people are with bringing that sort of thing to a casual get-together like that. And the reason why you might want to consider some of these options is that each year Americans throw out enough disposable forks and plates and knives and that sort of thing to circle the equator 300 times, and over 86 million pounds of food. So if there's any way you can keep some of those food and knives and forks out of the landfill, I think it's to benefit our planet. So for more tips on how to green your party, visit my website, EmberLiving.com.