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If you’re anything like us, you know that the best part about the holidays is the holiday parties. The holiday season and parties go together like peanut butter & jelly, like eggnog & rum, like turkey & cranberry sauce. The only thing we love more than partying is… um… well, nothing really. But one thing we love more than a regular party is a green party! So we are here with some seasonal inspiration of how to make your holiday shindigs more fun and more eco-friendly! Whether you choose to adopt a single recommendation or all of them, you’re on your way to a more sustainable event, and a happier earth.

All About That Place

Choosing a venue with sustainability credentials and infrastructure in place will greatly help in improving just how green your event turns out! It would be preferable to find a building that has already complied to a Green Building Standard (such as LEED). However, there are several decisions that you, as the host, can make that will impact the sustainability for the event. Opt for a venue that:

  • Sources from local suppliers
  • Includes linens, dishware, and serviceware to minimize rentals and associated waste
  • Meets minimum requirements for water usage and carbon emissions
  • Engages in additional sustainability practices, such as renewable energy usage

Additionally, many hosts are unaware that one of the largest contributing factors to an event’s carbon footprint can be in the travel of attendees to and from the venue! You can make a huge difference simply by selecting a venue accessible by public transit, bicycle, or by foot.

What’s Greener than a Mojito?

It’s very rare for a host to do his or her own catering. However, this does not mean you don’t have a say in the sustainability of your catering company and the food that you choose to prepare and serve! In fact, there are many ways a catering company can reduce its environmental footprint.

  • Make sure you are familiar with the journey your food has been through, from farm to table. The chef at Ravishing Radish Catering  is constantly checking in with the Monterey Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program for the latest on sustainable fishing practices.
  • Choose a caterer that participates in sustainability practices such as locally sourcing food and using seasonally available ingredients. The culinary team at Kaspar’s Special Events and Catering makes their own jams, pickles, vinegars, and more all from scratch when ingredients are in season so that they have them available year-round.
  • Serve beer and wine from kegs. Did you know you could save roughly 26 wine bottles per keg? Multiply that by your friends’ propensity to drink a few too many at every party, and that’s a lot of savings!

Making Your Greenery Greener

Floral arrangements and ‘natural’ decor elements are often comprised of flora that is out of season, shipped from far away, grown with pesticides, herbicides, or in other environmentally detrimental fashions. To help make your greenery greener:

  • Try to be conscious of what is in season where your event is located. can assist in selecting seasonal blooms, and the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers can help you find “pick your own” flower options near you
  • Locate a sustainable florist who sources local plants and greenery to supplement a standard arrangement. Lola Floral, one our local Seattle favorites,provides gorgeous and sustainable decor that complements the season without offending Mother Nature
  • Get creative and use painted branches, potted plants, or alternative non-plant based decor (Here at Greenvelope, we are fans of the electronic fireplace)

Green Light To Party

No holiday party is complete without a little festive entertainment or activity. Whether you choose to go with a White Elephant gift exchange or a spirited pinata bashing, you can always add an eco-friendly element to the fun.

  • Create a homemade pinata from papermacheting old newspapers instead of purchasing one from the store.
  • Have a “re-gift” exchange, where people bring in trinkets and treasures that they have never (or barely ever) gotten any use out of. There is truth in the age old adage “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” and this will prove it.
  • Hire eco-friendly entertainers, such as Bamboo Beats, a local Seattle DJ who not only participates in renewable energy programs throughout the city, but will even go as far as to purchase a renewable energy certificate on your behalf to help fund the fight against global warming.

Bonus Points

There are many other ways to greenify your party, you just have to know where to look! Some bonus ideas include:

  • Set your eco-friendly theme for your guests from the very beginning, by sending digital invitations from
  • Incorporate philanthropic donations in the invitation. *BONUS* Offer a special prize or incentive for if a certain amount of money is raised, like that everyone gets an extra day off or your boss will breakdance
  • Instead of throwing away unused ingredients or leftovers, donate or compost
  • Use cloth napkins and other reusable decor instead of disposables
  • Send your guests off with some sustainability-inspired parting gifts, like plant seeds to grow in their home or garden

What ideas (either listed here or not) do you love for making an event more eco-friendly?

Take the first step in greening your event with 10 free digital invitations here.