Now that you’re graduating and about to start a new phase in your life, why not start it right by showing your concern for the environment and throwing an eco-friendly graduation party? Here are some tips on how you can celebrate your graduation while still being green.
Instead of sending out paper invitations, why not send out invitations through e-mail or text messages and ask them to RSVP online. You can create your own invitations on your computer and scan it to create an e-invitation or download free ones from various websites that also allow you to manage your invitations online. Some of these sites may even let you to create your own e-invitation using their templates and designs.
If you have to have paper invitations for formal occasions, get ones that are made of post-consumer recycled paper that is produced using old paper.
In the invitations, encourage your guests to carpool to get to the party or use more eco-friendly methods of transportation such as bicycles or mass transportation. You can help by holding your party during early to late afternoon rather than at night when it might be difficult for guests to get transportation home afterward.
Setting and Decorating
Reduce your use of electricity by holding your party outdoors. You can enjoy the good weather in May and June as well as saving money on electricity bills.
If your party lasts until it gets dark, instead of using electric lights, use soy-based candles to provide light.
Instead of buying decorations to serve as centerpieces, use plants such as flowers or baby trees.
Instead of disposable plastic cups, spoons, forks and plates, use biodegradable supplies made of corn or sugar cane. Some of these products can even be tossed in your composting bin after use.
Instead of paper napkins, why not use cloth ones that can be washed and reused? To save money, instead of buying cloth napkins, you can simply buy some cloth and cut your own.
Rather that giving your guests various gew-gaws as party favors, give them small plants instead that they can plant at home.
Food and Drinks
When you’re planning the menu, go for organic foods that you can buy from local farmers’ markets rather than processed foods from the supermarket, since these are grown with minimal use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides. Organic foods are also fresher than the ones you can buy from the grocery as well as not having been transported over long distances, which saves fuel.
Avoid buying foods with a lot of packaging that will have to be thrown away. When shopping, bring your own bags so you can minimize the use of plastic bags.
If you serve meat at your party, choose meat from free-range animals that are grass-fed rather than ones raised in industrial farms that use a lot of steroids to stimulate their growth.
If you have wine at the party, buy organic wines that are healthier since they were produced with grapes or other fruits that were grown without pesticides or chemicals.
If you serve liquor, buy locally-brewed beers from local breweries. Apart from helping local businesses, these beers are fresher and may even taste better than commercially-produced ones.
Having a green graduation is not difficult, it just takes some planning for it to be successful. Here’s to your future! Congratulations!