Green Hotels Association
    November 2015  

How to Host a
Sustainable Holiday Party

'Tis the season to be jolly — and green! The holiday season is a time when many give thought to the idea of gratitude. This makes it an appropriate time for an organization to emphasize environmental sustainability during office holiday parties and year-end celebrations, seeking ways to minimize its impact on the environment and maybe even giving back.

Try the following tips to create a sustainable holiday soiree.

• Avoid paper invitations: Stick with electronic invitations if possible, using a service like Evite or Punchbowl. If it's the kind of event that calls for a physical invitation, use tree-free products that are made from 100% post-consumer materials.

• Choose an eco-friendly venue: Planners should look for a space that is known for its sustainable work and will make it that much easier to handle the meeting's logistics in an eco-friendly way. A venue that's either near the office or can be reached with mass transit would also be a good choice.

• Mind your décor: A major decoration to avoid is fresh flowers. Instead choose clay flowers, poinsettias and other reusable holiday flora.

Look around your yard to see what you can transform into holiday décor. Garlands of greenery, pine cones and holly are always a good choice.

Set the mood for the party by dimming the lights — or turn them off — and hang a few strands of LED holiday lights.

Tie bright ribbons around your potted plants.

• Do the dishes: If possible, the holiday party should use actual dishware that can be washed and reused rather than thrown out. Should it be necessary to go disposable, try to use products made from recycled or easily-compostable material.

• Give green gifts: A holiday party almost always includes a little something for the attendees to take home with them and remember the evening by such as organic or recycled gifts, or gifts that benefit the environment in some other way. Small plants such as rosemary or other herbs are good.

A photo booth where attendees can take a photo they will want to keep, or providing services like a 15-minute massage are also great options.

Alderton, Matt,

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Decorative garlands of cranberries, popcorn or nuts are fun to make, and edible when the party is over!




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