In the future, when you plan and host an event, there are a number of things you can do to be more eco-friendly than in the past. If you're worried that eco-friendly entertaining implies settling for bland, minimalist decor and supplies, don't sweat! Fabulous Living turned to Matthew David Hopkins for advice on how to host a chic, eco-friendly event. Hopkins is creative director of 360 Design Events as well as the soon-to-launch Matthew David Celebrations. Here are three of his recommendations for throwing an eco-friendly event with style.
Choose eco-friendly materials
Hopkins says, "When I start to envision a party, I look for materials that are already eco-friendly. For food and flowers, try to go local. Supporting local vendors also keeps shipping distances and costs down. Select food that is local, fresh and organic where possible. It's usually tastier, and your guests will be grateful."
Create fun and stylish ways to use those materials
Hopkins says, "Try using recycled materials in ways that they weren't originally designed for. I push and pull at ideas until I find the right way to use items in a fresh way."
Reuse or donate
Hopkins says, "The idea here is to keep as much as possible out of our landfills by giving the materials used another use. I recommend keeping a closet or area where you store event elements for use throughout the year. You may find a great deal on wine glasses and purchase a lot of them. Store them in your event closet and reuse them whenever you entertain. On the other hand, some event elements may be a one-time use. Maybe you threw a fabulous party for a friend and bought fabric of a specific color. It worked great for this party, and you don't see a future for it in your event closet. Find an organization to donate it to instead of throwing it out. I donate tons of materials to a local organization called Materials For The Arts. They recycle materials onto our NYC Public School System. It's a win-win!"
In addition to these tips from Hopkins, an important guideline for hosting an eco-friendly event that looks fabulous is to get creative. Don't be afraid to use unconventional decor, supplies and materials to achieve your overall look. Display these items in ways that may surprise your guests. In addition to doing the environment a favor, you'll be treating your guests to an event that looks unlike any other they've already attended.