Today’s topic is: The decor.
Floral and Plants
Make selections based on what is in season and work with a florist who utilizes local growers (support that local economy!). If you can, choose organic options – it’s better for the workers and the environment.
Traditional candles are petroleum based (there’s that evil word again). Choose beeswax or soy-based candles instead. These days, you can get them in tea light and votives sizes.
Linens, tables, chairs
Renting linens, tables and chairs is eco-friendly because items get used over and over again and these days, companies are offering eco options for the equipment they rent. Most rental companies I know have limited options when it comes to eco friendly table linens. Why? Because these companies re-use linens on such a large scale that they need a fabric that will hold up through multiple uses and washings. Don’t despair. Ask your rental company if they have chairs or tables made of eco friendly materials like bamboo or reclaimed wood. Also, check if they rent recycle bins and see if they provide fabric bags in which to place your soiled linens (vs. using a plastic trash bag).
(Julie here: I’ve been working with the Greening Committee at my son’s school to green their events. We have a big holiday fair in December, and serve lunch to about 500 people. In the past, they used plastic tablecloths to cover the tables, which was so incongruent with the values and image of the school. We started asking around and were able to find a catering company that graciously donated some of their old, but still very serviceable, cloths to us.)
Lighting can make such a big impact on an event and doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, but if you use it, talk to your lighting vendor about using LED (light emitting diode) lights. They use less energy (which makes them very eco!) and are safer to use because they are light to the touch and not hot. Also, they can change colors throughout your event which really adds to the ambiance of any event!
Read the final installment: the venue.