Women's Health JAN/FEB > GREEN your GATHERING/ENTERTAINING
HOSTING A GREEN GATHERING
Renée Loux, Womens Health Mag Eco-Guru
Be a more eco-conscious entertainer with these stylish and sustainable finds.
1/ SNACK RESPONSIBLY
Totally Bamboo's chip-and-dip set - made from bamboo, a naturally renewable material - is the perfect way to serve up organic party eats. Fill it with tortilla chips (try Garden of Eatin's multigrain tortilla chips with sea salt) and fresh salsa or black bean dip. $30, totallybamboo.com
2/ GOOD SPIRITS
Not only is Square One organic vodka made from pesticide-free American rye and minimally processed, but the sleek bottles are meant to be reused as vases once they're empty. Mix up some conscientious cocktails with the orginal vodka or cucumber-flavored version. $34, squareonevodka.com for buying info
3/ GLOW ON
Set the mood with OXO Candela DemiGlow rechargeable candles. The LED bulbs glimmer softly just like the real thing and run up to eight hours on a single charge. $70 for a set of four, oxo.com
4/ GLASS ACT
Toast Mother Earth with The Green Glass Co.'s Cobalt Collection tumblers. Each cool-blue cup is made from the lower half of a reclaimed vino bottle and still bears the original markings on the bottom. $44 for a set of 4 glasses, greenglass.com
5/ CLEAN UP NICE
For the main event, dress your table with Kyoto organic napkins, made from 100 percent organic Turkish cotton and low-impact dyes. They are pretty and natural, and best of all, won't end up in a landfill after dinner. $8.25 each, bambeco.com
3 More Earth-Friendly Ideas
> Grocery Shop Close to Home
Plan the menu around what's available in your area. Find a place to buy locally produced food at localharvest.org; locate nearby microbreweries at brewpubzone.com.
> Put a Cork in It
Instead of tossing old wine corks into the trash, save them to reuse as place-card holders. Cut each cork in half, make slits in the rounded sides, and slip in cards bearing your guests' names.
> Ditch the Dishwashing
At worldcentric.org, you can find disposable dishes made from sugar-cane fiber (called bagasse) and utensils that are made from biodegradable plastic.
Q & A
Is there anything I can do to be a more environmentally friendly driver without buying a hybrid? – Liz B., Manchester, CT
Make your car greener by using a driving technique called hypermiling, which maximizes your miles per gallon. To do it, ease up on the gas and brakes, and coast whenever you can, use cruise control to maintain a steady speed on the highway, and avoid complete stops (when it's possible without breaking traffic laws!). Hypermiling saves gas money and can help you squeeze 10 to 12 more miles per gallon out of your tank. Some other tips: Keep tires properly inflated and the engine tuned up, take the most direct driving route when running errands, and carpool whenever you can.
Ask the Expert
ECO-GURU RENEE LOUX IS THE AUTHOR OF EASY GREEN LIVING. VISIT HER AT RENEELOUX.COM