Are you one of the millions of Americans trying to make your dollars stretch by taking a “staycation” this summer? Hanging around the house can be a good thing. You get to tackle projects you don’t have time to get to during the year, and you can invite friends over who you never see—even though they’re local. You invested in all that patio furniture, in your deck, in your barbeque—so show it off by making a nice dinner for friends and serving it outside in the backyard.
We’ve got a couple of recommendations for green products that’ll help you entertain in style, without sacrificing your environmental values.
Light up the evening with the Soji Modern Solar Lantern. These elegant lanterns have a solar panel that collects sunlight during the day, stores it in a rechargeable AAA battery, and then lights up the night with very efficient LED lights. They’re portable and freestanding–they don’t require extension cords running across the grass into the house or garage! Comes on automatically at dusk unless you turn it off. They’re made from hard plastic, so they’re durable, and they’re pretty affordable, too.
Whether you’re serving chili, grilled vegetables, burgers and chicken, or old fashioned corn on the cob, make your clean-up job easier by using these cool disposables. Nope, they’re not paper or plastic. Wasara plates, bowls, and cups are made from 100% tree-free rapidly-renewable materials: sugar cane fiber (bagasse), bamboo, and reed pulp. They’re much more elegant than anything you’ll find in your local supermarket, and they fit comfortably in hand. Strong, oil- and water-resistant, good for hot and cold foods, and best of all: fully compostable. Available in multiple sizes and types.
Use cloth napkins as an alternative to throw-away paper. These fair trade, 100% organic cotton napkins are hand woven by rural women in Guatemala using centuries-old techniques and looms. Income from weaving helps support their families and maintains ancient cultural practices. After the party, just throw them in the laundry with your colors.
Finally, bag spending money at the florist, and consider this cool alternative “plant in a bag” for your table centerpiece: Woolly Pockets Freestanding Islands. They’re made of 100% post consumer recycled plastic felt, and they’re lined so they won’t leak all over a nice table. Fill them with lush plants during the summer, and bring them indoors in the fall to enjoy year-round. Made in New York by a very cool company.
When the party’s over, remember to compost your leftover food! Corn cobs, soggy salad, watermelon rinds, and stale buns can all be enjoyed by worms or bacteria and fungi. Check out the Worm Factory, and the NatureMill composter that fits under the counter in your kitchen. And several months later, you’ll have an excellent, nutrient-packed soil amendment to use in your garden outdoors, or on your houseplants.
Enjoy the rest of the summer!