sustainable garden party

Planning a Sustainable Garden Party to Welcome the Warm Weather

sustainable garden party

The sun is shining, the weather is warmer and flowers are blooming — spring has finally sprung. It’s an ideal time to host a sustainable garden party for you, your family and friends to enjoy the great outdoors. However, getting ready for a conscious gathering can be challenging. Here are some ideas to jumpstart your planning session:

1. Send Digital Invites

Go paperless to save trees and your time. Using digital invitations has many advantages, including easy RSVP tracking, instant delivery and cost-effectiveness. Websites, like Canva, offer a variety of easily customizable design options. Just create the graphic, download it and send the invite via email. That way, you can save time and money from printing and postage.

2. Use an Electric Grill

If you plan on grilling food, consider swapping to an electric alternative. Although nothing beats the flavor of meat when cooked on a charcoal grill, it’s not the most sustainable solution. Charcoal grills emit harmful pollutants that contribute to indoor and outdoor air pollution. 

An electric grill doesn’t require charcoal and gas. This makes it an ideal choice for a sustainable party. An electric grill can also provide more straightforward temperature control than other types of grills. 

3. Create a Cozy Atmosphere

Warmer temperatures are here, so make your garden as comfortable as possible for your guests. Think of a central theme tying the centerpieces, music, decor and lighting together. Here’s how to do it:

  • Choose a color scheme: Avoid using colors unrelated to your theme. For instance, a coastal charm aesthetic should be homey and neutral, so avoid neon colors.
  • Repurpose materials: Give neglected cardboard, fabric, plastic bottles and papers a second life. Think of creative ways to incorporate them into your design process. Some ideas include signs, table runners, piñatas and confetti. 
  • Use comfortable seats: Make your party a pleasant experience with comfortable seating choices. Ensure you provide enough options for your guests.
  • Add a kid-friendly area: Let your little guests enjoy your outdoor party, too. Providing an area where kids can play, and stay out of the way of grills, will keep parents happy. Add a playhouse, sandbox or swing set.

4. Set up Outdoor Lights

If hosting a nighttime party, install lights to elevate your setting. Outdoor accent lighting is three times brighter than regular lighting, which helps draw attention to specific locations. Install lanterns and fairy lights, if you have a spacious garden and want to highlight particular areas, such as a big tree or your patio. Solar torch lights with flickering flames are also great additions to illuminate pathways.

Consider adding LED lights to improve safety in your garden. Install them on steps, patios, ponds, walls and trees. It adds to the dreamy charm of your garden and also aids accessibility and functionality.

5. Add Colorful Flowers

Fresh flowers make a beautiful statement by bringing nature’s beauty to your table. Nothing says “spring” better than daffodils — place them in a vintage vase or a wooden basket as a centerpiece. Pasqueflowers and crocuses also make colorful additions. Create a natural flower backdrop where guests can take photos and admire your blooms and yard.

6. Provide Sustainable Foods

Food accounts for one-quarter of global emissions, including on-farm production, processing, land usage, transport, production and retail. Help reduce emissions from food production by opting for sustainable alternatives. Consider serving fewer meat dishes and include more plant-based options. Here are some eco-friendly and nutritious ideas:

Plant-Based Tacos

Create vegan beef using jackfruit, which mimics the look of shredded meat. You can buy canned jackfruit or fresh fruit from a local market. All you have to do is mix cinnamon, cumin, black pepper and cayenne. Pair it with mango avocado salsa and wait for your guests to crave more. Use corn tortillas or make flour alternatives.

Green Smoothie

Avoid tossing all your leafy greens into the blender. Follow the 60/40 formula — add 60% fruits and 40% vegetables for a balanced taste. For instance, blend 2 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of almond milk before adding 3 cups of ripe fruit, such as berries and apples.

Spinach Lasagna

Do you have kids coming over? Prepare this vegan dish for them. Simply replace beef with fresh spinach and mushrooms. Top the pasta with ricotta, Romano and mozzarella before baking it in the oven. 

7. Buy Your Needs From Local Sources

Shopping online creates 4.8 times more packaging waste than buying in physical stores. Imagine the plastics and boxes ending up as waste. Choose eco-friendly local sources to reduce your carbon footprint while preparing for your garden party.

Buying from small-business owners helps strengthen communities and reduce total emissions. Consider visiting local farmers when purchasing ingredients for your menu. They’re cheaper and usually healthier than store-bought products, which may have been sprayed with chemicals to avoid spoilage. Remember to bring reusable bags when going shopping.

8. Utilize Reusable Plates and Utensils

Paper plates and single-use utensils mean discarding them after use, which may seem favorable when you don’t have the energy to wash the dishes. However, the trash ends up in landfills, which may take a long time to decompose. 

Choose reusable utensils to save money and the environment. Ensure to empty your dishwashers so guests can put their dishes inside to avoid messy pileups in the sink. If you’re hosting a big party and using disposable plates is unavoidable, look for recyclable and compostable materials.

9. Do a Mini Planting Session

What better way to welcome the spring than with a small planting ceremony with family and friends? Conduct general cleaning in your garden days before the party — take dead leaves and add them to the compost bin, hunt down pests, cut old grasses, and clear beds and borders.

Celebrate the dawn of spring by planting daffodils, petunias and marigolds. You can also start growing vegetables, including peas, spinach and lettuce. Herbs make excellent additions to any garden, too. Take your party as an opportunity to grow basil, parsley and chives.

Invite your guests again after a few months, harvest your planting and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Host a Sustainable Garden Party

While gatherings should be enjoyable, they can also have a lasting impact. Sustainable practices bring you peace of mind, knowing you’re making conscious efforts not to harm the environment. You and your guests can make a meaningful difference by implementing these strategies.

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