Catherine De Orio
How to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle While Partying Like a Rockstar
The idea of eco-friendly entertaining no longer has to conjure up images of Birkenstock-clad
granola types sitting around a bonfire. Throwing a sustainable soirée that is posh and ecoconscious
is as easy as following these five steps — and is sure to make your friends green with envy.
Evite is the obvious choice. If, however, you are planning something more formal or that just isn’t your
style, there’s no need to feel guilty about going postal. Instead, choose invites made from 100 percent
recycled paper. To keep the memory of your party alive long after it’s over, use biodegradable paper
composed of recycled paper and flower seeds (Flowerseedpaper.com). When torn up and planted,
these invites produce a patch of wild flowers. Lastly, think when choosing ink. Petroleum-based inks
can release pollutants into the air, create toxic waste and make recycling more difficult, so opt for
non-toxic vegetable oil — or soybean oil-based inks when printing your invites.
Seasonable, Sustainable Spread|
If you don’t cook and quite frankly want to
reserve some of your own energy resources,
throw a swanky, sustainable cocktail party
instead. Treat your guests to a caviar bar
from The Little Pearl (Lapetitepearle.com),
which harvests its delicacies from sustainable
fisheries and environmentally sensitive farms.
A selection of American artisanal cheese
is also sure to please: cowgirl creamery’s
mellow, full-flavored Pierce Pt is a standout at
Cowgirlcreamery.com. It is made from organic
whole milk cheese, washed in moscato wine
and rolled in dried herbs grown around the
creamery. Another favorite is the clean and tart
Humboldt Fog chevre from Artisanalcheese.
com. more delectable cheeses, as well as
all-natural, preservative-free paté, can be
purchased at Murrayscheese.com.
For dessert, let eco-forward cocoavino lead
you into guilt-free temptation at Cocoavino.com.
Not only are all of their ingredients organic
and/or fair trade that have been regionally
or locally sourced, they use only eco-friendly
cleaning products in their facilities, which run
on 100 percent wind-generated electricity. The
company’s “Drunken Figs” are irresistible:
Whole organic figs are filled with a luscious
blend of dark chocolate, fig and sustainably
produced port-style wine encased in organic, fair
trade chocolate. If you need another reason to
place these on your dessert tray, they pack and
ship all orders in biodegradable materials.
If you are the chef, be creative and incorporate
seasonal, organic foods from local farms or
your city’s green market. If you are still a little
green with choosing seasonal produce, go to
Ferryplazafarmersmarket.com for a helpful
chart. For menu inspiration, turn to Alice Waters,
the grand dame of seasonal cooking, in her
new book The Art of Simple Food (Amazon.com).
Then, head to one of Summerlin’s two farmers’
markets, Gardens Park Farmers’ market any
Tuesday or Bruce Trent Park any Wednesday;
check Lasvegasfarmersmarket.com for details.
By buying local, you help reduce the energy
spent on refrigeration and transportation of food
products and excess co2 emissions. And best of
all, you will be able to taste the difference while
making a difference.
It can be difficult to buy local when
purchasing meats, poultry and fish. Instead, look
for hormone and antibiotic-free, grass-fed beef
and pork, as well as organic free-range poultry,
which is juicier than those that are conventionally
raised. Eatwild.com provides a great guide to
Set the Scene Green
Bring the outdoors in; use stones, pinecones or
shells as place cards, and natural objects such
as branches and flowers from your garden to
create a centerpiece. If a dead plant in the corner
of your loft is the only garden you’ve ever known,
order flowers from Organicbouquet.com. It aims
to improve farm working conditions, minimize
damage to eco-systems, conserve biodiversity
and enhance environmental quality.
Gear up for washing instead of tossing by
setting the table with the china that hasn’t been
outside its cabinet since your wedding shower.
or, save vintage-modern pieces of serving ware
at Hiandlomodern.com from ending up in a
landfill. If dishwashing is not your thing, use
dishes, cups and flatware that are 100 percent
biodegradable or made of 100 percent recycled
content, like those available at Branchhome.com.
Bambu home (Bambuhome.com) offers chic
options made from 100 percent organic bamboo,
making it versatile, renewable, sustainable and
Replace your standard incandescent bulbs
with compact fluorescent light bulbs for
responsible lighting. These use 50 to 80 percent
less energy and last up to 10 times longer. If
you’ve already taken that step toward helping the
environment, turn off the light and burn those
candles bright. Avoid toxin emitting, petroleumbased
paraffin wax candles and choose soy or
beeswax candles, like those from 3Rliving.com.
Added benefit: we all look better by candlelight.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
Set up clearly labeled recycle bins near the trash
so guests can separate as they go, but check
through it once, as sometimes a few too many
drinks might leave an unsorted (non-recyclable)
mess. Don’t let the food go to waste by simply
sending it home with guests in (100 percent
biodegradable, of course) doggie bags, or
arrange for a local homeless shelter to pick it up.
compost what is left, and wipe down the house
with naturally derived, chemical-free cleaning
supplies like those from method (Methodhome.com) or Shaklee.com.
No, the fact that imbibing too many cocktails results in your body automatically recycling them does
not count toward helping the environment. Deciding on red or white wine is completely up to you, but
do always choose green by stocking your bar with organic (and when possible, local) wines and beers.
Looking for something a bit more heavy hitting? Serve cocktails made with 100 percent organic 4
copas Tequila (4copas.com) and Square one Vodka (Squareonevodka.com). These spirits are free of
pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Since producing fertilizer is an energy-intense process, drinking
organic beverages helps in the effort to reduce global warming.