Ah, summer.

Graduations, the Fourth of July and Labor Day are right around the corner.

So too are all the parties that come with them. Maybe you’ve been invited to a few already.

You may have even planned some of your own as well.

And with any party planning, the process can be stressful. That doesn’t mean you have to put any of that stress on the environment, though.

In fact, there are ways to host an eco-friendly party that will keep your guests – and Mother Nature – happy.

Tip #1: Go Paperless With Your Invites

One of the first steps to planning any party is sending out invitations. But don’t waste paper and money on stamps to mail them out.

Blog_Moram“When it comes to invitations, why not send out a fancy email, an Evite, create a Facebook event or even simply pick up the phone and invite your friends and family.”

Stephanie Moram I Good Girl Gone Green

Tip #2: Minimize Disposable Items

Did you know that the amount of paper and plastic cups, forks and spoons disposed annually in the U.S. is enough to lap around the equator 300 times? While not always practical for large groups, avoid disposable items such as paper plates, napkins and plastic cups. Instead, use eco-friendly party supplies, such as real plates, utensils, cloth napkins and stemware whenever possible. Furthermore, you can opt for tableware that is made from renewable and biodegradable sugar cane.

Tip #3: Use Energy-Efficient Lighting

Planning an all-night event? Consider using energy-efficient lights that will keep your party going while benefitting the environment at the same time. Solar lights burn cooler, use less energy and give off a brighter glow. In addition, they’re simple and can easily be placed in the ground around your home.

Tip #4: Eat Right, Feel Right

It wouldn’t be a party without food, right? As good as pizza and chips sound, opt for whole foods with brighter colors that contain more nutrients and antioxidants. Visit your local farmers market for organic items that are free of unhealthy, environment-damaging chemicals.

Tip #5: Set Up Recycling Stations

Recycle as much as possible by setting up recycling stations that clearly state what items can go inside. This will not only help people who aren’t familiar with local sorting rules, but it will also save you time by not having to sort through all the items later.

Planning an eco-friendly event doesn’t mean it has to have a nature theme. It just means that the choices you make while planning the party should have a positive impact on the environment. Now that you know how to plan an eco-friendly summer party, you can do just that.

Take a look at the Green Living section of our blog for more tips on living sustainably and making a positive impact on your environment. Have a few eco-friendly party ideas? Share them in the comments below!