Creative and Clever Ways to Throw a Smashing Eco-Chic Party Entertaining is a theatrical experience that should dazzle the senses. The experience should be clever and well thought out, no matter what your budget. Here are a few sustainable tips to get your next shin dig off the ground. Go one step further and send out a digital invite instead – eliminating paper all together.
Get off on the right foot - First thing’s first: the invites. Make sure you use invites made from recycled paper. Contrary to ecologically-challenged perceptions, recycled paper can look and feel just like high grade paper, but minus the guilty conscience. If ordering them from a professional, ask whether they use recycled paper.
Centerpieces – Gone are the days of deplorable fake flowers you could spot a mile away – usually collecting dust in some over-crowded knick-knack filled nook and cranny in your grandmother’s house. These days, if you know where to look, fake flowers can pass for the real thing.
Aside from standard silk flowers (which are still using silk worms), there’s the option of clay flowers. Deco Clay flowers are absolutely gorgeous and look just like the real thing – except that they cost a fraction of the price, are environmentally safe, and last forever.
The even better upside is they’re reusable so you’ll save money in the long run, plus you’re not contributing to flower butchery nor the very unsustainable flower industry, which has to shower flowers with pesticides – a factor that’s damaging to both you and the environment.
However, if faux is not your thing, then get flowers from the local farmers market. You can even get great arrangements and settings out of potted plants and flowers. A personal favorite is the clever use of moss as decorative center pieces. Moss is not only cheap, sustainable, and uber chic, but it can also be planted afterwards with next to no effort.
If you’re a wine drinker, you’re in a powerful position.
Viticulture (the science, production and study of grapes) is a branch of the science of horticulture. “Sustainable viticulture” goes vital steps further and views the vineyard as a whole system which creates a high level quality fruit production reducing reliance on synthetic chemicals and fertilizers to protect the growers, the consumers and the environment. Many conscientious vintners ascribe to this method and produce some very fine wines while pursing a responsible higher goal. Universities and private organizations responsibly teach and encourage these practices.
All of us greenies know its better to buy directly from the small farmers at the farmers markets, then to buy from big business farming, right? Well, in most cases I would say that is true, but not always. I just came across Benziger Family Winery here in California and I am blown away. They not only grow all their grapes organically and Biodynamically, they also have built an sustainable water system. They save all the water used in production, clean it in their man made wetlands, and then re-use it again. Almost a closed loop system. Why isn’t everyone doing this?
Mike Benziger Talks About The Water System: “Winemaking can be a pretty water-intensive business. Preventing the conditions where bacteria could thrive means being meticulously clean. And that takes water. How do we to reconcile our commitment to environmental responsibility with our need to keep clean? How about a recycling system, built right into the property.
We pump gray water, which is the water used in winemaking production, into the first of two ponds. The water then flows through an embankment of water plants into the lower pond. By the time the water reaches the lower pond, about 3 days, the root systems of the plants have acted like a filter, and cleansed the water of impurities. Once clean, the water in the lower pond can serve as an irrigation resource during years as dry as we expect this one to be.”
Below is a featured video from the Sundance Channel about the Benziger water system.
Who knew making wine was such a large factor in global warming? Apparently those in the Bordeaux region did. And luckily for us they’re doing something about it.
Reading this reminded me of the time I realized that leaving home meant losing my allowance. Something I once took for granted was now being turned into something for which I had to become responsible. So of course, I wanted to learn more about this unexpected splash into my glass.
Created by Joe McCanta; organic mixologist, bar consultant for rawchef and organic sommelier for the LifeCo international. Joe McCanta has served his organic drinks to such celebrities as Stella McCartney, Claire Danes, Steve Martin, Ashley Olson, Al Gore, Dianne von Furstenberg, Matt Groening, Bebel Gilberto, Danilo Perez, Dustin Hoffman, Lawrence Fishburne, Cecil Taylor, Shirley Horn and Woody Harrelson.
For the Mulled Wine:
1 Bottle of high quality Organic Red Wine (I find Argentinian Malbec works best).
I love the Staglin Family. Not just because they produce some of the best wine in the world, but they are honestly people to admire. The Staglins are a tight knit family of 4 who all share the same intense fascination for wine, amazing work ethic, and passion for travel and life. They do what they love and do it well!
Why is Staglin Family Wine Green? First of all, for the record, wine produced in the US cannot be Certified Organic if it contains sulfites. This is why many Organic wines don’t taste as good as their non-organic counterparts. Wines from Europe however can be considered Organic despite their sulfite content.
The Staglins grow their own grapes using Organic farming practices and actually make their wine on their private vineyard.