Guest post by Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson, mother and daughter co-authors of Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, available at their website, Celebrate Green.
As summer winds down, you might be thinking of an end-of-summer celebration with your office. Here are a few tips for eco-friendly company parties. (Many of these ideas are inexpensive too!) If you are looking for more in depth information, just contact Lynn and Corey at their website.
- Avoid choosing paper anything unless it’s treefree or 100% recycled and printed with vegetable inks.
- If you are giving gifts, make them earth-friendly. Potted plants make great centerpieces and can be given away.
- Instead of centering the party around food and drink, come up with some fun activities that may include poking gentle fun at management.
- Provide drinks in pitchers, punch bowls or glass bottles. Avoid disposable cups and plates.
- If you’re having the party catered, seek out one who emphasizes sustainable, local and organic food.
- Giving out awards? Choose from recycled glass awards, fair trade picture frames, organic chocolate bars etc. You can find these and others at Recycled Products and Green With Envy Gifts.
- Have your party early enough in the day so that lights are not necessary. If you use decorative lighting, ensure that it is LED or solar.
- Serve fair trade, organic coffee (shade grown if possible) and/or tea.
- Plan carefully. Avoid overpurchasing food. If you have leftovers, compost, send home with guests or donate if you can. Unopened bags, boxes and cans can be taken to a local food bank.
- Consider having your party or celebration benefit a local cause. Invite guests to bring books for local book drives, coats for a coat drive, school supplies or whatever else your local community needs.
- Clean up with eco-friendly products and be sure to place recycling bins where guests will use them.
If you like these suggestions and want to read more about greening events, check out our guest series from eco-event planner extraordinaire Lori Hill.
As always, we love to hear from you! What creative ideas have you tried for your company celebrations?
Maryland Online Farmers Market
is where you can buy, sell and trade locally grown food. Their website has a list of members that are able to post what they’re selling and how to connect. You’ll be able to find everything from eggs to okra.
Kephri of Conscious Alchemy offers 100% organic, vegan, fair trade, and paraben-free hand-crafted products. Specifically soaps, body butters, and other herbal mixes all made responsibly and consciously. And as their site states, all the “herbal infusions are created by solar energy, during the full moon cycle to harness the energies of our cosmos.”
Located right next to the Route 83 exit with Baltimores emphamis crocodile mural, the Mill Valley Center offers only locally grown produce from the Chesapeake Bay Watershed area and garden supplies sourced from the U.S. You can also find fair-trade coffee, plants from local nurseries in addition to a host of other environmentally conscious small businesses.
Eco-Green Living , located on NW Church Street in Washington, D.C., is an ideal stop for anyone looking to be a bit more green-minded in their home or personal purchases, offering a wide range of products from bamboo flooring to organic bedding to fair trade chocolate. They feature products from multiple lines of green vendors, like natural light systems from Solatube , tankless and solar water heaters from Rheem , and body products from Perfect Organics .
Earth Alley , located off the Avenue in Hampden, offers a wide varity of home, garden and personal accessories. Fairly traded and often made with recycled materials, you’ll find bowls made from telephone wire, angels crafted from discarded tin roofing, and handbags fashioned from inner tubes. Earth Alley also offers rolling worksops in household composting, gardening and much more.
Three Stone Steps offers fairly traded accessory items like laptop bags, scarves and necklaces handcrafted in small workshops or from peoples homes. Although selling imports may not seem very eco-friendly chief executive, Ellen Reich is committed to minimizing each trip when possible and using recycled materials in the work place. Reich doesn’t just look to ‘fair trade’ and being "green" as devices for clever marketing. Having worked in the U.S. labor movement for 15 years, and holding a masters degree in Labor Studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she is keenly aware of the issues involved with justice in the workplace.
Read their press release……