Saturday, April 22, 2006, will mark the 36th annual Earth Day. Why not resolve to spend the day in the most Earth friendly way possible. Lead the way by throwing an Earth Day party to show your support for protecting the environment. Here are some ideas on how to throw a party for the planet:
Start with eco-friendly invitations. Instead of using paper, send your invitations online to as many people as you can. Evite.com donates a portion of each membership to World Wildlife Fund and the Nature Conservancy. If you want to make your own, recycling old Christmas cards into new invitations can be a fun project for kids. Use cards depicting animals and nature scenes, or consider sending invitations on "paper you can plant." If you decide buying invitations is necessary, look for invitations printed non-bleached, recycled paper using soy-based inks.
Help Arrange Green Transportation
Encourage attendees to walk, bike, and carpool or take public transportation to your party. Riding the bus can be fun with a group of friends. Make sure you include information on bus schedules in your invitations.
Blue and Green Color Scheme
Why not use nature's décor for your backdrop? A nature center, a park or your own backyard makes an ideal setting for a party. Blue or green sheets make great tablecloths or blankets to sit on. Party supply stores often sell inflatable globes or small globes on key chains that are inexpensive in large quantities and can serve a dual purpose as party favors. Old outdated maps and atlases can be found at used bookstores. Cut them up and use them as "place maps." Afterwards, guests (especially children) can take them home and learn more about a different part of the world.
Potted plants and seedlings make great decorations that can be given to guests to take home and plant. Put them in recycled decorated coffee cans, yogurt cups or glass jars. Dried seasonal plants or fresh organic flowers also make great centerpieces. For music, why not make an Earth Day CD of songs having Earth in their title or songs with lyrics promoting the earth or nature. There are many wonderful CDs featuring relaxing nature music. Check them out for free at your local library.
Earth Friendly Entrees
Eating green has less of an impact on the environment. Earth Day is a great time to experiment with foods many people don't normally eat. Why not try interesting new dishes using tofu or tempeh? Enjoy an Earth Day picnic with tofu hotdogs, vegetarian baked beans and organic potato chips. Serve soy cheese wedges and a fresh veggie tray with fresh fruit or soy ice cream sandwiches for dessert. Kids will love chocolate soymilk and organic cookies!
Keep the veggies and fruit organic while helping local farmers by shopping at an area food co-op. Check your local library or online for simple vegetarian recipes. And of course, don't forget that Earth is the water planet! Serve ice-cold water dressed up with fresh lemon or lime wedges. If serving alcohol, most liquor stores offer selections of organic wide or locally brewed beer.
Make is Easy For Guests to Be Green
Reduce paper waste by providing guests with cloth napkins, regular silverware, glasses and plates. If you're having a picnic, ask guests to bring their own utensils. Make sure everyone knows where the recycling bins are located and have your guests compost kitchen waste. You might also suggest that attendees bring a canned good to donate to your community's food shelf.
Green Games and Activities
Earth Day activities are a great way to have fun and leave people feeling great about helping protect the planet. Start an Earth Day tradition by participating in any number of eco-friendly activities: Organize a neighborhood clean-up, tour a nature center, have a tree planting party, build a compost bin, make homemade paper, adopt a beach or trail, have an endangered species parade in your neighborhood, do an energy audit on everyone's house, go on a nature hike, make an Earth Journal, play Earth bingo, visit a local zoo or aquarium, or go on an Earth treasure hunt.
Make a day of it and arrange to volunteer your group's services for the day helping out a local environmental organization. Ask people what environmental issues concern them most and have the group write letters to legislators asking to support their cause. Supply a sample letter, some paper (recycled of course) and pre-addressed stamped envelopes! Organize a sign up sheet where people can list what service they need (gardening, mowing lawns, etc. and what they have to offer in trade, painting, carpentry, sewing, piano lessons, etc,). Play games and give away earth friendly products for prizes (CFLs, Earth friendly soaps, stationary, etc.). Most importantly, have fun while protecting the planet!
About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com
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