When hosting a dinner party it is important to remember Eco-friendly practices as well as to save money. Here are some tips that should help you do both.
Send emails or text and call rather then sending a letter. This saves paper that now no longer has to be purchased or wasted. If you still want your invitation to be old fashioned and fancy just change your email font setting to something more ornate. Most email services also allow you to put a background into your email so if you would like to write your invitation out like a card you can feel free to do so.
Holiday decorations are important but often are either disposable or expensive. Try buying a few flowers to set around. Tie your Christmas bows to any banisters or poles. If you would like more of a winter theme try making a Christmas wreath and hanging it either over your door or mantle.
Try buying your meat from a butcher shop. They don’t wrap it in plastic and cellophane beforehand so it is much more Eco-friendly. Also try buying any vegetables without plastic. If you need the same ingredient in several dishes try to cook it all at once. This saves on your stove bill and saves energy. Also as it is winter and food is unlikely to spoil if you prepare your food ahead of time try just storing it on the counter in covered dishes. The refrigerator will not have to work as hard to cool the extra food and it will not take quite as long to warm back up.
If you are serving wine then look for the large cardboard box in stores. You only have to buy one package and cardboard is more recyclable than glass. Also the serving is easier as you don’t have to worry about guests dropping glass bottles. For juice try making it yourself. It will taste better as well as save a few bottles or boxes.
Make your own and not the kind out of a box. Bags for flour or sugar are far more Eco-friendly and cheap than a box of cake mix. This also provides bragging rights to that you made the desert. For pie please try to use a standard pie pan rather than a disposable aluminum one. The cost is only slightly higher and you can use it for a long time in the future.
Setting The Table:
While it is often much easier to just set out disposable cups and plates this is costly and not very good for the environment. Try using your china or porcelain plates and silverware. The clean-up will be more difficult but you can save money. Also try using fabric napkins rather than disposable paper ones. Just throw them in the wash when done and you can use them again.
Try doing the washing by hand. This will take longer but saves energy and saves on the energy bill. Rather than washing dishes in the dishwasher try filling your sink about halfway with warm water and add soap. Scrub them clean in this. Dry with a towel rather than rinsing. This saves water but be sure to have at least two towels handy if there are a lot of dishes.
Brandy Cross, Host An Eco-Friendly Money Saving Dinner Party, Associated Content