Throwing a Garden Party: Best Eco-Friendly Tips and Tricks

Oh, we love this time of year and the way it heralds in outdoor festivities. Sharing food, drinks, and laughs outdoors with a garden as the backdrop means you'll all get to enjoy a little fresh air (and spend practically nothing on decorations). Here are our favorite tips for hosting a splendid garden soiree. When throwing a garden party, feel free to riff on the theme. We have a couple planned for this summer, and here are things we're keeping in mind:

• Shop for in-season foods at the farmer's market (or reach into your own garden). Plan your menu accordingly; for example, we're having a small group over for homemade pizzas complete with tomatoes and basil from our own garden. Doesn't get much more local than that.

• Use compostable or reusable plates, cutlery, and cups. If you have a compost bin, invite guests to add their own compost to the bounty (but be sure they know where to put non-compostable items). If you're hosting a garden brunch, consider shopping at the thrift store for tea cups that guests can then take home as a party favor.

• Encourage guests to bring their own plants to share and create a garden swap party! Everyone will go home with a new plant for their own garden.

• Use the garden as the backdrop. No need for fancy decor! String up some lights, put out citronella candles, and enjoy the natural surroundings. Use fresh leaves and flowers for centerpieces.

For more tips and links to resources, check out this post about Eco Entertaining: Throwing a Garden Party. There are tips about serving food sans plates, offering guests garden-inspired drinks, and sending them home with seed packets as favors.

And be sure to share your own garden-inspired party ideas!

(Image: Lee & John's natural modern patio.)

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