Five Ways to Host an Eco-Friendly Holiday Party

A sustainable holiday table setting featuring seasonal squash and maaterra plates.

Heidi Worcester, founder & partner of maaterra, a line of eco-chic compostable tableware

Heidi Worcester, founder & partner of maaterra

maaterra Founder Heidi Worcester highlights considerations on how to host a chic, sustainable party during the holiday season.

Hosting a sustainable and elevated holiday party is a choice that should harmoniously blend style and environmental responsibility.”

— Heidi Worcester

LYME, CT, UNITED STATES, December 6, 2023 / — While the holidays can be a wonderful time for gatherings of family and friends, these celebrations can also be quite harmful to the planet. Hosting an elevated and eco-friendly holiday party may seem like a challenging feat, but with thoughtful planning and attention to detail, it’s entirely achievable. Heidi Worcester, Founder of maaterra, a sustainable brand of tableware based in Lyme, Connecticut, explores five ways to throw a soirée that’s just as sophisticated as it is sustainable.

1. Eco-Conscious Invitations: Ditch the Paper for Digital Elegance
Gone are the days of paper invitations clogging mailboxes and cluttering the environment. Elevate the event’s sustainability by sending out elegant digital invitations. Not only do they reduce paper waste, but they also offer endless design possibilities, ensuring invitations reflect the event’s sophistication. Encourage guests to RSVP online, minimizing the need for printed RSVP cards, to further reduce the event’s environmental footprint.

Consider enhancing digital invitations by incorporating interactive multimedia elements, such as videos or animations, to engage recipients and showcase the event’s unique features. Include virtual tours or 360-degree photos of the event venue, saving on printed materials like brochures. Share eco-friendly tips alongside the invitations, educating guests on sustainable practices that align with the event’s theme. Additionally, attach a charitable component to the invitations, pledging to donate to an environmental cause for every RSVP received. These thoughtful touches not only reduce the event’s environmental impact but also demonstrate the commitment to a sustainable, tech-savvy approach, impressing guests with both elegance and environmental responsibility.

2. A Seasonal and Local Feast: Culinary Delights that Support the Earth
Take a party to the next level with a menu that’s not only delectable but also environmentally conscious. Focus on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, supporting nearby farmers and reducing the carbon footprint of the meal. Imagine savoring dishes bursting with the freshest produce of the season, from crisp autumn apples to rich winter squash. If seafood is included, opt for sustainably sourced options from the region’s waters to support responsible fishing practices and protect marine ecosystems. Highlight plant-based dishes featuring seasonal vegetables, grains, and legumes like stuffed bell peppers with quinoa and roasted autumn vegetables or a vegan butternut squash soup. For dessert, consider offering sweet treats made from locally harvested fruits, like a warm apple crisp. By prioritizing seasonal and local ingredients, guests are not only treated to a memorable culinary experience but also contribute to the well-being of the environment and local communities.

3. Sustainable Centerpieces: From Tablescape to Table Soup
Centerpieces are a vital element of any upscale party, but they can be made eco-friendly without sacrificing elegance. Forgo the traditional floral arrangements and opt for a stunning centerpiece made entirely of seasonal squash. After the festivities, upcycle these gourds into a delectable and sustainable soup, ensuring every element of the event serves a purpose, both aesthetic and gastronomic. Also, consider showcasing beautifully arranged potted plants or succulents. These green gems not only add a touch of natural elegance but can also be gifted to guests or replanted to continue their growth, serving as a lasting reminder of the event’s sustainability.

4. Quenching Thirst the Sustainable Way: Eco-Conscious Beverages
When it comes to quenching a guest’s thirst, choose sustainable options that exude sophistication. Offer organic, locally produced wines and craft beers that celebrate the region’s terroir while respecting the earth. Craft cocktails, mocktails, and juices using seasonal fruits and herbs, such as a cozy mulled apple cider. Serve filtered tap water in elegant reusable pitchers instead of bottled water. Take it a step further by using a carbonated water marker to craft sparkling water from the tap instead of a bottle.

5. Enlighted Lighting: Creating Atmosphere Sustainably
The right lighting can transform a party into a refined affair. Opt for energy-efficient LED light bulbs that provide beautiful, warm illumination while reducing energy consumption. Complement these with non-toxic candles featuring sustainable materials such as cotton or wooden wicks, soy or beeswax, and fragrances derived from essential oils or natural botanicals. These eco-friendly candles not only add an elegant touch but also create a cozy and inviting ambiance that your guests will remember.

To further enhance the sustainable lighting design, consider incorporating solar-powered LED string lights to illuminate outdoor areas. These lights charge during the day and provide a soft, enchanting glow in the evening without consuming electricity. Get creative with upcycled materials to craft unique luminaries or lanterns, such as mason jars, wine bottles, or reclaimed wood, adding a touch of rustic charm while repurposing items that might otherwise go to waste. Install dimmer switches for the LED bulbs and candles to easily adjust the brightness, setting the mood from intimate to festive as the evening progresses, while also saving energy. Combining these sustainable lighting choices can create an enchanting atmosphere that enhances the event’s elegance and aligns with a commitment to the planet.

“Hosting a sustainable and elevated holiday party is a choice that should harmoniously blend style and environmental responsibility. By sending digital invitations, embracing seasonal and local ingredients, opting for reusable centerpieces, offering sustainable beverages, and illuminating the event with eco-conscious lighting, it can create an unforgettable experience that does not harm the planet,” explained maaterra’s Worcester.

About maaterra
maaterra is a woman-owned family business that provides elegant, compostable, single-use tableware for every occasion. maaterra’s manufacturing process strives to have a minimal environmental impact. Through maaterra’s certifications and partnerships, the brand demonstrates its unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship, ethical practices, and uncompromising quality: as a partner 1% for the Planet, maaterra is able to minimize and offset its carbon footprint; the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council’s (WBENC) rigorous certification ensures that maaterra is a woman-owned business; and maaterra has received industrial composting certification from the Composting Manufacturing Alliance (CMA).

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