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iStock_000019150364Medium (2)How to host an eco-friendly event

You’ve got a special celebration in mind, but you’re mindful of the environment and your guests’ desires for a green event. No problem! Just follow these five easy steps:

1. Have a vision. Go with one green course or decide to make your entire affair eco-friendly. Your strategic vision could also include preparation and take-down, even food delivery by electric vehicles. Choose a venue that cuts down on travel time, whether by car or plane. Make sure you let your guests know your green plan.

2. Source locally-grown foods. More and more, catering clients want to know where the food comes from, how it is produced, and what will happen to food not eaten. Work with your caterer to take advantage of Bay Area farms and artisans for produce, dairy, and breads, and purveyors of responsibly produced proteins, including responsibly caught seafood. From a simple green salad with organic produce to free-range chicken with organic haricot-verts, you can please yourself and your guests with flavorful, good-for-the-earth options. And when the food comes from local sources, share that with your guests. They’ll know you took the time to care about the environment and their health, and the local businesses will appreciate the shout-out.

3. Choose eco-friendly party decorations. Reusable or recycled decorations can include paper or freeze-dried flowers for centerpieces. Consider beeswax candles and paper lanterns. Goodie bags offer many options for the environmentally-concerned host.

4. Use energy-efficient cooking, convenience, and entertainment options. Even recyclable or compostable plastic and paper products can make a difference in the sustainability factor of your event. Other popular choices include fine china and linen napkins. Or, you could opt for sugar cane plates and potato-starch utensils, which can be tossed into compost heaps. Bamboo is another attractive alternative. Consider energy-efficient lighting, too, which could also lower air conditioning expenses, and asking your caterer about using energy-efficient cooking appliances. Vegetable inks can be used in invitations, menus, and seat placement cards.

5. Use sustainable options and recycle. Some clients decide to involve their guests in clean-up as a group activity. Homemade tablecloths can be turned later into napkins. Leftover food can go to a local food bank.

Going green is a trend that is here to stay. From weddings to corporate events, you can choose to make the world a better place, one course at a time.

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