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10 Tips For a Green New Year's Party

From all of us at THE GREEN blog, happy holidays! We’d like to take this moment to thank you for your support and interest in our blog and all things green. Together, individual by individual, we can propel the large-scale change that is needed to ensure a sustainable future for ourselves, our children and our children’s children.

We will return with more posts in 2008. In the meantime, we leave you with these 10 tips to green your New Year’s party from Green Living Online [www.greenlivingonline.com]:

1 . Cut down on paper and use technology. Email invitations or call people to invite them to your party.

2. Get organized with your transportation. Encourage friends coming to the party to use public transportation or car pool to cut down on their driving. If you have the room, invite people coming from far away to spend the night.

3. Avoid the paper products and real cutlery, glasses and dishes for the party. You will have dishes to wash but think of the garbage you’ll reduce. If you don’t have enough glasses, borrow from a neighbor or check with local caterers who will rent out glassware at a reasonable cost.

4. If you do need to go disposable, make sure everything is biodegradable [www.sundance.tv]. That means no plastic, styrofoam or foil. There are lots of options available, including disposable dishes made out of potato starch that will decompose. Look for paper napkins that are at least 80 percent post-consumer recycled paper that are naturally brown or bleached. Seventh Generation [www.seventhgeneration.com] sells some great green paper products.

5. Decorate with LED lights and change your light bulbs in the house. Choose organic flowers with the VeriFlora certification and go with soy-based or beeswax candles. They are a bit more expensive but worth the investment. Way Out Wax [www.wayoutwax.com] is a good resource.

6. Lower the heat before guests arrive. You’ll save energy and the extra body heat generated by guests will warm the room.

7. Serve locally grown, organic food whenever possible. If your budget is tight, go potluck and ask everyone to bring their favorite organic snack. Serve finger food so you don’t need plastic plates and cutlery. Veggie dips, fruit and cheese are also great party food.

8. Serve local wine or organic wines that don’t use harmful chemicals during farming. If available, pick up some organic liquor as well. 67 Wine & Spirits [www.67wine.com] offers a variety of selections.

9. Set up recycling areas so people know where to put their cans, bottles and recyclables. Dedicate a garbage can for the task that is clearly labelled. Not only will it make it easier to clean up, you’ll be reducing your garbage.

10. Clean up with biodegradable cleaning supplies that are healthy. Who needs to be exposed to toxic chemicals after a night of partying?

May you and your loved ones have a joyous holiday season and a beautiful, green new year.