Earth Day party ideas
Mama Earth turns 42 -- time to turn over a new, eco-friendly leaf
Still a few shades shy of going green? An Earth Day party is a fun way to turn over a new, eco-friendly leaf. (NOAA)
Keep your Earth Day decor au naturel. The color scheme should reflect tones found in nature so opt for shades of brown, gold and green.
Tablecloths in a natural fiber such as unbleached muslin are an airy touch and keep the party from looking too polished or austere. Scatter candles made of natural beeswax or infused with citronella across tabletops for added light and ambience.
Don't forget that this holiday encourages everyone to recycle, reduce and reuse. Decorations like streamers and balloons that will get trashed after your party don't exactly say "earth-friendly."
Set up plenty of recycling bins for paper, plastic and aluminum waste instead of general trash cans. (If you're really crafty, why not bring out some of last month's non-shamrock-shrouded St. Patrick's Day decorations? They're green and recycled!)
Send guests home with party favors that encourage them to conserve. An energy-efficient light bulb and a list of local curbside recycling services can be reminders to help jumpstart a greener lifestyle.
Earth Day clearly lends itself to a party outside, but don't fret if your abode doesn't have plenty of outdoor space. Just have your guests meet at a local park. Keep in mind that Earth Day is prime time for activities in public recreation areas. Check with your city's Department of Parks and Recreation to ensure that your chosen destination won't be overrun with a large event.
Remember to have some insect repellant on hand to keep Earth's bounty of bugs and mosquitoes at bay. Echo your party's all-natural theme by selecting a bug spray that's paraben- and DEET-free.
Be sure to keep in mind that April's weather can be a bit of a loose cannon. Add an alternate indoor location to your Evite invitation so guests know where to go if the forecast hinders your alfresco bash.
Some Earth Day games are a fun way to reiterate the importance of protecting the environment. Here are some activities that will have your guests seeing green:
• Test your guests' knowledge with an Earth Day trivia game. Know how hybrid cars manage to conserve gas? How many tons of waste Americans produce each year? A little pre-party research and you'll have plenty of facts to entertain and spread a little eco-awareness.
• Plan an outdoor scavenger hunt. Send your guests out to retrieve a list of items found in nature, such as acorns, pinecones, even an earthworm. Add litter to the list and the game doubles as a neighborhood beautification project.
• See which guest can turn trash into treasure. Use milk jugs, grocery bags, aluminum cans and other recyclables to create sculptures that can be used as centerpieces.
Host a earth-friendly spa party
Ladies this is for you: Guests can create natural beauty remedies with things you probably already have around the house. Try these beauty tips:
• Wash hair with lemon juice or beer for shine
• Cleanse skin with egg whites, which are known for their clarifying properties
• Combine oatmeal and honey for a naturally gentle face scrub
• Make your own body scrub with coconut oil and sugar
Let ingredients found at your local farmers' market inspire the menu for your fete. But supermarket fare can easily be jazzed up as well.
Fresh herbs, diced tomatoes and a little minced garlic take store-bought hummus from simple to savory. Serve this earthy dip with crudites and toasted pita wedges.
Green tea punch:
1 cup simple syrup
1 pint lemon juice
1 quart strong green tea
2 quarts white grape juice
1 block of ice
2 quarts chilled club soda
Combine all ingredients except soda and refrigerate for at least an hour. Pour over ice in a punch bowl and add the club soda. Makes about 45 servings when using four-ounce punch glasses. Cheers!
Also select environmentally friendly ingredients when shopping for your food. Some key words and phrases to look for include:
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.