January 31, marks the day of L’Autre Couleur’s official launch, and…an awesome launch party!
This milestone creates a fantastic challenge–-throw an eco-friendly party!
Is it possible to simultaneously host a lot of guests, all the while being mindful of our beautiful earth?
The answer is: yes.
With each new day, we have a chance to dig into our minds and apply more mindful and sustainable elements and practices to our everyday activities as well as to our special events. We are firm believers in alternative, useful, sustainable choices.
Perhaps we can start by discussing the use of paper.
The first, and most sustainable, option is to opt out of paper completely and use e-invites. We understand that a human touch can be of preference, especially for milestone events in your life. In the event that paper is a must for your event try using seed paper or recycled paper.
I’m sure some of you are thinking, “does it really make that big of a difference if I use recycled paper?”
The answer: absolutely.
Paper is excessively used in our everyday lives. A simple switch to recycled paper will absolutely Make. A. Difference.
According the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 397.6 million tons of paper and paperboard were produced worldwide in 2013. Of that amount, an average of 221 kilograms were used in 2013 solely in North America–yikes!
Producing recycled paper requires: 60% less energy, 80% less water compared to virgin paper, and generates 95% less air pollution.
In other words, recycling one ton of paper on average saves 26,500 liters of water, about 318 liters of oil, and 4,100 kilowatt-hours of electricity!
Let’s wrap up with this fact: paper can be recycled five to seven times before it becomes unusable. We encourage all of you (and us!) to really start making the mindful switch to recycled paper, our trees will hug us for it!
Sparkles. Balloons. We’ve been conditioned to use glitter and balloons for years and years. Unfortunately, they really are no bueno for the earth.
The key is to be resourceful and use things you already have in original ways. The idea that one must go to the store and buy disposable decorations is not true.
If you really want to keep and incorporate colourful props, try these feel-good alternatives:
Display recycled paper pom-poms
Play with ribbon dancers
Have a laser light show
Wave ribbon wands
Write with chalk
Incorporate your food into the decorations!
Last, we understand change can be hard, so if you want to have balloons at your next celebration, go ahead but remember to dispose of them properly. Free-flying balloons are so, so, so harmful for wildlife who often confuse it for food. Make sure that not one single balloon floats away!
Buy in bulk at your local zero waste store! (They exist! If you need help finding some near you, please contact us and we will happy to help you locate them.)
Buying in bulk goes hand in hand with minimizing excess packaging. Avoid packaged food as much as possible. Here are a few ideas for great party snacks you can make from bulk:
· Hummus and pita chips
· Trail mix
· Roasted chickpeas
· Baked goods
Buy local. When planning your menu, try to incorporate local elements. Shipping ingredients from the other side of the world requires a lot of fuel. If you don’t know where your local farmer’s market is, please ask us and we will let you know. If you really don’t have a farmer’s market nearby, then next time you are at the grocery store, be sure to check where products comes from.
Having a brunch get together?
All of the ingredients you would use for an omelette or a typical breakfast can be sourced from your local farmer’s market. Or for your sweet tooth parties, treat your friends to locally baked pastries, rolls and muffins.
Having a wine and cheese?
Swap imported Brie for a local artisan cheese from your community, and pair it with a beautiful local and delicious wine. This applies to beer as well! Encourage your local breweries by serving their beer at your next event.
Make your choice mindful and vote with your wallet by bringing wealth to your local economy and enhancing the earth’s health. Your community will love you for it! Especially if you spread the word of their quality products at your event.
Ultimately, serving food in real dishes will always be the most sustainable option, as it creates zero waste. If you’re like us, and only have eight plates at home, don’t be afraid to ask your friends to bring some along, and as a result you can embrace the colours mixes that arise from the contributions!
The next best choice is to use entirely compostable or plant-based products that can be placed in your compost bin at the end of your event. They are sold in more places than you think, look for them the next time you shop!
Finally, you can swap paper napkins for reusable cloth napkins, they are sure to bring a touch of class to your event.
Rideshare, bus, train, bike, skate, walk, or run to your venue! But please do not show up alone in one car. This is the time to transport en masse, look at who’s going to the event, see if your friends are attending and organize a carpooling movement. Encourage your friends with cars to offer other guests a ride!
Group transportation is so beneficial to the earth and to the driver! Think about it, less cars, more time to socialize and it’s much easier to find parking.
Want to be proactive? When you send out invitations, include web addresses of bus schedules and bike paths to help your guests make their way to your party, all-the-while being mindful of the earth!
The most important thing to take-away from all of this advice is: don’t stress and remember to feel good about integrating these changes to your next party. Perception is huge when it comes to adapting and changing, and when you feel good making these changes, it makes all the difference. Keep these things in mind when planning your next party; Mother Nature will be celebrating with you.