Monday, January 28, 2013

Design Tips: Last Minute Party Decor Ideas - Go Green

Go 49ers! oh, I mean Ravens! Whoo hoo team! No matter who you're cheering for, you can decorate  for a fun party. The 49ers are gold and red, the Ravens, gold and purple. So, if you're impartial, gold, black and white are a great start. Add purple or red if you care about the teams, or choose green if you care about the planet.

Many retailers will have team pillows, cups, napkins and other items for sale this week. If you can't find your favorite team, choose generic items in the right colors.

Or, you can go green. Yes, the Packers lost to the 49ers, but if you choose truly compostable or reusable party ware, then everyone is a winner, including the planet. If possible, use your own plates, bowls and glasses and clean as you would normally in your dishwasher to reduce waste in general. Washable cloth napkins that you can reuse are the greenest option as well.

Many major cities have composting programs that accept food waste and napkins, they also may take paper plates. Check with the city, though, to be sure. Look for soft, non-plastic coated and/or certified compostable plates or bowls. Or, use edible bowls to reduce your cleaning efforts like chili served in bread bowls.

Plastic utensils may be recycled at some places, check to make sure. But, plastic ware actually may survive the dishwasher for a few washings in your dishwasher if it's a fairly new model. Metal silverware that you already own is the best option first. For a cheap solution, shop at restaurant supply stores or secondhand for additional place settings. In the long run, that will save you money over plastic utensils.

For example, this pictured flatware set is a nice looking Mikasa set from Costco. This new eight-place stainless steel set is $49.99 and will last a very long time. Compare that with one-use plastic or "compostable" ware, and no matter how inexpensive they seem at first, the savings will add up over time with the stainless.

Counter-intuitively, stay away from plant-based utensils and plates, I have yet to find a place that will recycle those. The plant-based polymers will ruin a batch of recycled plastic, and they won't compost very fast, if at all, even in a commercial composting facility. Even if the packaging says it is "compostable," that needs to be verified. Wood or bamboo utensils and plates may be a better option.

Go team, and go green!

Until next time!
Elaine Bothe

Photos courtesy of Costco.

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posted by Jennifer Adams Design Group Blog @ 12:01 AM 


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