By Sonia Faciszewski, Communications Manager

The days are crisp and there’s jingling in the air-the holiday season is here!  Along with the shopping, sweet treats, tinsel, come the party invitations.  Friends, family, even the office! Everyone seems to jump in and throw a festive get together. 

At THRIVE, we’re always thinking about a “greener” solution, be it electronic rental payments, or reusable shopping sacks-we’ve found that in the long run these solutions really do make life easier. 

Here are some tips from our team on how to throw a sustainable (and AWESOME) holiday party, while reducing your hosting stress:

1.     Invitations: Often we find that digital invitations are easier than paper.  Use a service like Paperless Post or Evite, some invite designs are free, RSVPs are tracked, and guests receive the option to download the event into their calendar app.

2.     Plates & Serveware: If you’re having a small party, break out the holiday china!  But if you’re having a larger get together, using china or stoneware might not be a reality.  Look for plates, cups, and napkins that are recyclable or compostable.  You can still use large platters and serving utensils for dishes and appetizers.  (Just make sure you run the dishwasher before your guests arrive so you can load it up again as they leave!)

3.     Encourage guests to carpool or ride their bikes over.  Let’s face it, it’s likely that people will indulge in mulled wine and other drinks infused with delicious winter spices, and there are only so many parking spots at your place.  The fewer drives, the safer your guests will be, and less gas consumed!  (Remember, if you’re asking people to bring something for the event, it might be more difficult for them to walk or ride their bike over and carry a large dish.  One option is to handle it all yourself, or offer to pick up earlier so they don’t need to worry about a car.)

4.     If you anticipate having a ton of leftovers, why not send them home with your guests?  Ziploc containers can easily be ordered online or picked up at your local Walmart or Harps grocery store.  They’re festive, easy to stack, and dishwasher safe.

5.     If you’re looking for some outside help with party elements, there are a ton of great solutions right in Bentonville, AR.  Shindig Paperie can help with party planning, invitations, and more.  Bloom florist has you covered with bouquets, wreaths, and centerpieces.  Don’t forget the Spice & Tea Exchange for your mulling and roasting spice blends!

6.     Feeling creative?  Here are some fun projects we found to spice up your living space for a party! (share them with us via #THRIVEcreate!)

3-D Paper Snowflakes

Recycled Book Paper Wreath

Yarn Ball Wreath 

Happy New Year Banner

Printable Thanksgiving Menu

Whatever “green” solutions you decide to do for your festivities, we hope you and yours have a very Happy Holiday season!