This series is brought to you in partnership with Lightlife, Live long. Travel light. To learn more, click here. We were invited to host an eco-friendly party in conjunction with the new Lightlife frozen veggie patties.
Fall arrived last Saturday. This is my favorite time of year in Utah. The mornings and evenings are cool and the afternoons are warm and sunny. It’s the perfect weather for a little eco-friendly outdoor get-together with friends. We invited our good friends over for a Kick n’ Black Bean Burger and a fun art project as we enjoyed the gorgeous fall weather.
When they arrived, we gave each of the kids a paper bag to take along on a nature walk around the yard while I finished preparing the food.
The black bean burgers have a delicious little kick to them. I topped the burgers with a thick slice of extra sharp cheddar cheese and a few slices of green zebra tomatoes from my garden, and finally a smear of roasted red pepper sour cream. (Just dice a roasted red pepper and mix with about 1/4 cup sour cream.)
The kids came back with all sort of sticks and twigs, rocks, leaves, pine cones and pine needles, and bark to use in their art projects. And after we ate, they got busy creating.
My oldest really got into her projects. I think she made three that day and another two or three the next day. She’s very creative and loved using nature in her art.
If you’re looking to host a more eco-friendly party, I have a few tips for you!
REUSABLE AND BIODEGRADABLE PARTY SUPPLIES
1. Use reusable or biodegradable plate, cups, and utensils.
We like melamine plates because they are sturdy and I’m not afraid to let the kids use them outside. We have also started using glass jars as cups. They are the perfect size. Whenever possible, I prefer to use utensils made of bamboo or other eco-friendly, biodegradable materials. You can also find really great inexpensive flatware at IKEA.
2. Cut waste by using cloth napkins and tablecloths.
I always use cloth tablecloths and napkins whenever I can. Look at thrift stores for inexpensive tablecloths and napkins rather than buying new ones. They are also easy to toss into a bag when taking the party on the road and can double as a picnic blanket if necessary.
GO LOCAL + MAKE YOUR OWN
3. Serve local, in-season and homemade food.
Stop by the farmers market when you plan your menu. Locally food tastes better and is good for your body, your community, and the earth. I also make things from scratch whenever possible. I made whole wheat buns for the veggie burgers–no packaging and much less money than buying them from a store.
PARTY LIGHTS + DECORATIONS
4. Use energy efficient lighting.
There’s no better energy efficient lighting than the sun. Hold your party during the day, outside, when possible. Switching to CFL or even better, LED lights in your home is a great way to conserve energy when your party moves indoors. Beeswax candles are also a greener alternative to traditional wax candles.
5. Use eco-friendly decorations.
Use fresh flowers from the garden, small branches with fall leaves, reusable paper lanterns, or other homemade decorations from nature. This is something to involve the kids in. I like to let my kids go on a nature hunt to see what they can find to decorate for the party. During the fall and winter, use bare branches or pinecones.
6. Give green party favors.
We recycled our old crayons to give to our friends after the party was over. Other ideas–a small plant or packet of seeds, a small wooden toy, a homemade treat, homemade play dough, etc.
AFTER THE PARTY
7. Fill up the recycle bin and compost pile when the party’s over.
Recycle whatever you can’t reuse and put any leftover veggie and fruit scraps into a compost pile. If you send your guests home with leftovers, use earth-friendly glass jars or containers rather than plastic bags.