Hosting Green Written by America’s Host Liza Utter

THE BAD NEWS: The world of entertaining happens to be one of the biggest offenders when it comes to waste.

THE GOOD NEWS: We can easily change that!

It’s hard to feel good about a party when you think about the potential COST to the ENVIRONMENT…and there’s no room for guilt at a party! Here are some of the things you can do RIGHT NOW to have a clean CONSCIENCE and help NOURISH the PLANET while you nourish your GUESTS

Liza’s CHEAT SHEET:  Top 10 things YOU can DO right now!

1. KEEP YOUR GLASS JARS – Don’t throw them out!  These are the perfect replacements for plastic containers.  I use old BBQ sauce glass bottles to store my home made vinaigrette, peanut butter jars are the perfect size for small leftovers, mayo jars for left over soups.  Glass jars also double as votive holders…mix up different shapes and sizes and you have a beautiful display for your table…best part is glass is non-toxic and recyclable!

2. USE CLOTH NAPKINS – If you don’t have any I highly recommend investing in at least 8 to 10 100% cotton, all white cloth napkins – the white is so you can bleach them (with non chlorinated eco-friendly bleach) to get rid of stains.  What you pay will quickly come back to you in what you save on paper towels and napkins.  They also make perfect dust cloths and cleaning rags once you’ve worn them out.
3. At dinner DINE BY CANDLE LIGHT – Turn off all the lights, television, and computer, and light some ambient candles.  Not only does this create a beautiful setting for you and your guests but you are reducing your energy consumption during the peak hours of the day.
4. USE LOCAL PRODUCE – Produce that is local doesn’t have to travel far to get to you, therefore using less gas, energy and resources, and leaving less of a footprint. Support your local growers and shop at your farmer’s market or ask your local grocer who your local suppliers are.

    1. RECYCLE YOUR TIN FOIL – Make sure it’s rinsed clean first and/or BUY RECYCLED TIN FOIL – All the tin foil you’ve recycled comes back to you!
    2. BUY PRODUCTS IN RECYCLABLE CONTAINERS – If you have a choice between a  plastic bag, paper or a glass jar – go for the glass… and of course BRING YOUR OWN SHOPPING BAGS or ASK FOR PAPER instead of plastic at the checkout stand.
    3. REUSE WHAT YOU’VE GOT – Before you run out to buy something new, look around and see what you can reuse that you already have?  One of my all time favorites are tin buckets and pails!  These guys get a lot of use around our house!  I use them for everything from, flower tubs, ice buckets, utensil containers on the buffet table, to bread baskets – even carnage buckets for shucking crab!!
    4. Send out RECYCLED PAPER INVITATIONS or use an ELECTRONIC INVITATION – I have just recently started using the e-version of invites and I must say that not only do they make life so much easier by keeping track of the guest list but they have super creative styles and designs to fit just about every occasion.
    5. GREEN UP YOUR CLEAN UP! – Use Bio-Bag certified compostable trash bags for your food waste – the bags are made of vegetable oil and “breathe” allowing for safe and rapid composting.

Get all of Liza’s fabulous recipes and party planning ideas at her website!  Follow Liza on Twitter @LizaUtter 

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