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My challenge for you this year? Take the next event on your calendar and use these eco friendly hosting tips.

Hosting an event or party doesn’t need to mean bags of bags of garbage heading out the door. It doesn’t have to mean paper plates, plastic cups, and junky plastic party decor. 

I’ve rounded up my favorite eco friendly hosting tips so you can enjoy the party, and not feel bad about the waste.

I’m changing A LOT about how I host this year. And I’m not giving into the pressures of what people “expect” at a party anymore.

Are you doing the right thing for the planet this year?

Eco Friendly Hosting Tips to Try at Your Next Party

1.  Use Eco Friendly Invitations

For some eco friendly hosting occasions an email or text is enough. But for your fancier parties and events, make sure to choose an eco friendly invitation options.

You can send digital invitations through sites like Paperless Post, or choose an eco friendly printed option from Paper Culture.

easy eco friendly hosting tips paper culture recycled invitations

We ordered our holiday cards through Paper Culture and loved every single thing about it. Their cards are made entirely from post-consumer recycled materials, plust they plant a tree for every order placed.

The ordering experience was exactly the same as other big online retailers, but so much better.

There are almost always more eco friendly options out there, you just have to look for them.

2.  Ditch Red Solo Cups

One of the first things we all do when hosting a party is grab a huge stack of red solo cups. Heck, there are even SONGS after red solo cups. That being said, the goal this year was more eco friendly hosting, so I needed to find a replacement.

My original through was just to put my glassware out. Between regular cups, wine glasses, and beer mugs we probably had close to enough. But, my gut told me that people don’t love using glass glasses at a party because they are nervous to break them.

Plus, people are really obsessed with red solo cups. I’m honestly not really sure why because they are flimsy and easy to tip over, but what can you do?

One of the things I’ve noticed when gently urging people to make better choices for the environment is that baby steps are important.

That’s why I ended up getting these heavy reusable red solo cups from Amazon. I figure, give the people what they want, but make it last.

eco friendly hosting tips reusable red solo cups

These red solo cups will last for the rest of our party days. They are a heavy sturdy materials and I should never have to buy another plastic single use solo cup again. Hooray!

FYI I still plan on putting out our wine and beer glasses. The more options the better!

Other reusable cup options?

  • Use the glassware you have, if you have enough!
  • Get compostable cups (but make sure you actually compost them)

eco friendly hosting tips compostable cups

3.  Invest in Reusable Straws

You knew I was going to talk about straws next, right? 

There are SO many eco friendly hosting options when it comes to reusable and sustainable straws. You can choose metal, bamboo, or you can even get straws made from noodles.

I really don’t care how you do it, just get the job done!

We love these reusable metal straw sets from Oath Essentials. They come in three colors (silver metal, rose gold, and metallic rainbow). You get a variety of straw types and heights so anyone at your party should be able to find something that works for them. Plus, they come with reusable silicone tips to protect your teeth from hot or cold drinks, AND a cleaning brush.

eco friendly hosting tips reusable metal straws oath essentials

My pro tip? Avoid the paper straws. Let’s just be honest, but about everyone hates those.

The goal is to dazzle with your eco friendly hosting planning, not disappoint.

4.  Offer Drink Markers

Offer up some cute drink markers at your event. What in the world does this have to do with eco friendly hosting

When guests lose their drinks, they get a new one. Stop guests from wasting their drink, and wasting another glass!

Giving them drink markers will ensure they know exactly which beverage is theirs and make sure they aren’t being unnecessarily wasteful.

Personally, I have drink markers from previous years of purchasing. So I’ll just keep reusing those for parties moving forward.

If you’re in need of some. Choose something sustainable!

eco friendly hosting tips silicone drink markers

These silicone drink markers are a simple, classic option that will work for any type of event. Have more beer drinkers? They make silicone beer glass drink markers too.

eco friendly hosting tips silicone beer glass markers

5.  Get Reusable Dinnerware

 My goal this year was to avoid buying any kind of plastic or paper plates. Yes, there are pretty cool compostable and recyclable options these days, but it still seems like a waste of money, and also creates extra garbage we don’t technically need.

I did a lot of looking around for an affordable reusable dinner plates option. Why not literally just use my own dinner plates? I don’t have nearly enough! The holiday event we host usually has between 35-40 people. I needed something I could buy a lot of, and sorry, I wasn’t ready to invest hundreds and hundreds of dollars. 

What I needed was something sturdy, decent looking, that I could reuse and reuse for all parties and events to come.

I ended up going with Target’s room essential plastic plates. The downside? They are plastic. Ie. I’m buying another plastic item. That part didn’t feel great, because one of my biggest goals right now is to reduce our plastic consumption and replace with items that will stand the test of time and are made from more sustainable materials.

eco friendly hosting tips target room essentials reusable plates

That being said, this was just the best (affordable) option I could find in a time crunch. I also feel better about it knowing I will literally use these forever, for all parties we have. And we have two young daughters, so lots of parties to come. 

I actually plan on handwashing them even though they are technically dishwasher safe, because I want to make sure they last.

I grabbed some of the bowls while I was at it, because who doesn’t love having a cohesive set.

6.  Rent Table Coverings

When it comes to table coverings, all I can say is please stop buying the cheap party table covers. Please, please, stop buying them. One, they don’t look that nice, and two, they rip and tear so easily, and three, they are going to sit in a landfill for the rest of time!

My suggestion? Rent your table cloths. Of course, if you just own enough cloth table coverings then by all means, use those. If you don’t, rent them.

It’s actually insanely cheap. Other eco friendly hosting benefits of renting tablecloths? You don’t even have to worry about cleaning them! The local business we rent from just asks that you return them in a bag and they handle the rest. This eco friendly hosting tip literally could not be easier.

PS. You can rent linen napkins too!

7.  Choose Classic Reusable Decor

Instead of buying the cheapy plastic disposable decorations, get a little more creative. Use items you have around the house to decorate and transform your space.

Last year, I purchased three gold accent lantern holders like these and three candles to put inside each one. I knew that with that base, I could change the decor I put inside for any type of party of holiday. They could even be regular decor in my house. Plus, they are glass and metal, so totally recyclable for the far future.

For the Christmas holiday party we host, I added some red wooden strings of beads to surround the candle and make it a little more festive. Festive, classy, simple. You don’t need a ton of disposable plastic decor to make an event a party.

If you have to buy some decor, try looking at used options, or just think smarter about the materials you are buying, and the longevity it could have in your home.

Is it something you could use again? Or will you throw it out immediately after the party?

8.  Make Recycling Bins Obvious

Set our a clearly labeled recycling bin so guests know where to throw their cans and bottles.Most of your guests probably WANT to help recycle, they just don’t know where you keep everything. Move a clearly labeled bin or basket somewhere guests can easily find it.

This year, I’ll be putting a large labeled box in our laundry room. I’ll keep an eye on it during the party and empty in our large bin outside periodically as needed.

This goes for composting too. If you compost, ask guests let you handle the food disposal, or put a few clear directions out so they know what to do. Remember, not everyone composts, so it’s not their fault they don’t understand how your personal system works.

As you can see there are tons of small changes you can make to your events to keep them eco friendly. Something as simple as using what you have instead of buying new disposable products is a great place to start!

Want even eco friendly living tips? Check out these 25 Easy Eco Friendly Lifestyle Changes and Natural Cleaning Products: How to Make the Switch.