logo
Food Advertising by

How to Have a Waste-Free Party

Want to have a waste-free party? It’s not as hard as you’d think and it can also save you money!

How to Have a Waste-Free Party, eco-friendly party, frugal party #frugal #ecofriendly

Many of us are trying to cut down on or eliminate the waste of disposable products. Some do so to save money, some for environmental reasons, and some for both. I’m in that last category. I’d rather spend my grocery money on organic produce, good coffee, chocolate and wine than on paper towels or plastic wrap.

Over the past few years, I’ve done really well. I never buy plastic wrap or baggies anymore. I’ve had a roll of Seventh Generation paper towels way up in the cupboard for a few years and I buy perhaps one roll of foil every year or two.


But what about parties, you might ask? Don’t you have to use disposable plates, cups, and napkins? Well, not really. Now, I’m not going to tell you that you shouldn’t buy cute plates and napkins that match your kid’s birthday party theme. I don’t have little kids anymore so I’m going to just by-pass that potentially controversial topic. What I’m referring to are adult parties. Even though adults aren’t likely to throw a party with a cartoon theme, most still end up buying disposable plates, cups, and napkins. I used to, as well.

How to Have a Waste-Free Party

Here is how I got away from having to purchase disposable partyware. My first purchase was quite a few years ago when I was still shopping at Walmart. We were having a party and would be serving dessert and coffee. I really detest styrofoam and didn’t have enough coffee cups so I bought 16 matching clear glass dessert plates and coffee mugs. They were not very expensive but the clear glass looks nice even if it’s cheap. We’ve used these many times since.

Our next purchase was two dozen wine glasses from the dollar store. We were having a large party and even if I weren’t opposed to disposables, who likes drinking wine from plastic cups? Yuck. But I certainly didn’t want to risk breaking our expensive wine glasses – and we didn’t have enough anyway – so for a buck a piece we had plenty for our party. Over time we’ve had a few break but because they were only a dollar it’s no big deal and I can easily replace them. Each time it happens I’m glad I can tell my embarrassed guest that I bought it at the dollar store and not to worry about it.

We also have plenty of silverware. Several years ago we were still using the set I bought for my hope chest when I was in high school despite the fact that we were down to only 4 or 5 spoons. (What the heck happens to spoons??) After about 25 years of marriage, we decided we deserved a new set. We have a store here in town which sells all manner of stuff which they’ve bought in truckloads from department stores and such. They had some nice quality silverware for an exceptionally good price. I was just going to buy one set which was a service for 8 but fortunately, my smart husband encouraged me to buy two sets. I put one set in the silverware drawer and put the other away. Whenever we have a party I pull out the extra set.

How to Have a Waste-Free Party, eco-friendly party, frugal party #frugal #ecofriendly

I have 16 large dinner plates which I’ve used for parties when I served food which needed plates but I was lacking enough bowls when we recently had a party to celebrate Mardi Gras. I was making gumbo and that needs to be served in a bowl. Initially, I was going to have my husband go borrow some from our church but he decided to check the dollar store first. He was able to buy 20 plain white bowls for a dollar each so we have now added those to our party supplies.

The one item of which I still resorted to disposables was napkins and we did so at our last large party. We use cloth napkins ourselves but didn’t have enough for big parties. Plus I found that guests are often reluctant to use our cute cloth napkins with roosters on them, or the pretty red and white check napkins. Then one evening when we were out to dinner at our favorite local Italian restaurant, I noticed the napkins. They were black. Stains don’t show on black. Perhaps our guests wouldn’t be as reluctant to use them. So I did a bit of online shopping and found some large, all cotton, black napkins. I bought one set of 6 so I could see if I liked them. This was fairly recently and yes, I like them quite well. Of course, being 100% cotton they do need to be ironed but I was already in the habit of ironing our other cloth napkins so that’s not an issue for me. However, I do understand that many don’t like to iron so a no-iron fabric is certainly another option. I’ll be ordering a couple more sets soon.

At some point, I’d like to buy 16 plain white or glass dinner plates. Something a little smaller than our regular dishes which would coordinate with the white bowls and glass dessert plates we currently have. I’ll keep my eye out for some.

You don’t have to buy all of these things at once. I’ve been adding to our party stock for several years now. If you stick to something plain (like clear glass and white like I’m doing) it shouldn’t be difficult to add to your collection slowly. They don’t have to be exactly the same. In fact, you could also take the opposite route and collect unique, one-of-a-kind dishes for a quirky, eclectic look. In addition to discount and dollar stores, check out your local antique, junk and thrift stores.

Another idea is to borrow some of these items. One of my close friends has glass dessert plates and mugs similar to mine. In fact, seeing them at her house is what gave me the idea to buy mine. Between the two of us, we have a LOT of these so if either of us has a larger party we can borrow additional ones. Many years ago our local grocery store had one of those deals going where you could buy individual pieces of inexpensive china with points from shopping. My mom, aunt and I all did this and at one time, between the three of us, we had enough plates for our very large holiday family dinners. If you have a relative or close friend nearby who doesn’t mind sharing, perhaps you could each purchase several pieces with the idea that you can borrow from one another for parties.



The Clean-Up

How to Have a Waste-Free Party, eco-friendly party, frugal party #frugal #ecofriendly

Now, I’ll bet you’re thinking, “That’s all fine and dandy but someone is going to have to wash all those party dishes”. And you’re right. That is the downside. But I haven’t found that to be enough of an issue for me to go back to disposables. Most of the time at least a few of my guests will take it upon themselves to rinse and stack plates. You could set out a large bowl with hot, soapy water for silverware. Personally, I’m happy if people just bring their dishes to the kitchen. We have a dishwasher, although I do hand wash the wine glasses. But even doing them all by hand isn’t a big deal if you approach it right. I generally try to make sure everything is rinsed and stacked, food put away and counters wiped down before I go to bed. If it’s a late party, that’s all I do and then I tackle the dishes in the morning. Sometimes my husband is around to help and we chat about the party and how much fun we had. If I’m doing it alone, I put on some good music and sing along while cleaning up. It rarely takes more than 15-20 minutes even after a large gathering and I consider that a small price to pay in order to not have a huge bag of trash to take out.

With a little creativity and forethought, you can easily avoid wasteful, expensive disposable items for most parties. It’s easier on the wallet, better for the planet and honestly, wouldn’t you rather eat from real dishes?

SaveSave

Gluten-Free Holiday Treats

A gluten-free diet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy treats during the holidays. Try these gluten-free holiday treat recipes, you are sure to love them!

Gluten-Free Holiday Treats, Gluten-Free Desserts, Gluten- Free Cookies, Gluten-Free Christmas #GlutenFree #ChristmasCookies

The holidays are full of delicious treats, cookies, cakes, pies, and more. If you are avoiding gluten it can be hard to be around all of these treats.


Having gluten-free holiday treats available makes the holidays more fun. Even if you aren’t gluten-free you likely know someone that is and having these recipes on hand is great in case you are going to a party or want to bake a fun treat for your gluten-free friend.

Gluten-Free Holiday Treats

Gluten-Free Holiday Treats, Gluten-Free Desserts, Gluten- Free Cookies, Gluten-Free Christmas #GlutenFree #ChristmasCookies

Gluten-Free Holiday Treats, Gluten-Free Desserts, Gluten- Free Cookies, Gluten-Free Christmas #GlutenFree #ChristmasCookies

Gluten-Free Holiday Treats, Gluten-Free Desserts, Gluten- Free Cookies, Gluten-Free Christmas #GlutenFree #ChristmasCookies

Additional Resources: 6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Holiday Party

Gluten-Free Holiday Treats, Gluten-Free Desserts, Gluten- Free Cookies, Gluten-Free Christmas #GlutenFree #ChristmasCookies

Additional Resource: 101 Christmas Cookies Recipes

Gluten-Free Holiday Treats, Gluten-Free Desserts, Gluten- Free Cookies, Gluten-Free Christmas #GlutenFree #ChristmasCookies

Gluten-Free Holiday Treats, Gluten-Free Desserts, Gluten- Free Cookies, Gluten-Free Christmas #GlutenFree #ChristmasCookies

Having trouble finding gluten-free ingredients? Find them and save money by shopping at Thrive Market

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Eco-Friendly Artificial Christmas Tree

Artificial Christmas trees may not be the most eco-friendly option but if you have one you can make it a bit more eco-friendly with these tips.

How to Green Your Artificial Christmas Tree, Eco-friendly Christmas Tree

There is something magical about a Christmas tree, especially when it’s all lit up at night and you turn off all of the other lights. My brother and I used to love laying under our tree and just looking up at it. We also used to sleep in the living room at least one night during the Christmas season, just so we could sleep with the Christmas lights on.


We had real Christmas trees the first couple of years of my life. However, my parents figured out I was allergic to the real trees and the rest of my childhood we had an artificial Christmas tree.

There are advantages and disadvantages to real versus artificial. From an environmental point of view live is likely best but from a homemaking point of view artificial likely wins. For me, there is no choice, artificial or an asthma attack. Any surprise that I stick with artificial?

If you go with a real tree be sure to try to get one locally, bonus green points if it’s potted. If you do choose to go with an artificial Christmas tree, there are ways to make it greener.

HOW TO GREEN YOUR ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE

  1. TAKE CARE OF IT.

    The best thing you can do is take care of your tree and get as much use out of it as possible. If you do decide to get a new tree when your old one still has some life in it, donate it. Many can’t afford a tree and would be happy to take your tree, even if it’s not perfect.

  2. VACUUM AND DUST OFTEN.

    Most artificial trees contain PVC which can contain lead and most lights also contain lead. Make sure to vacuum and wet dust the room the tree is in often to reduce lead exposure. Also, don’t let kids touch the tree and wash your hands well after handling it.

  3. CHOOSE A LOW PVC OR PVC-FREE TREE.

    PVC-free trees are hard to find and quite expensive. However, you are now seeing more trees that use more PE plastic in place of some of the PVC. Our tree is mostly PE with just some PVC. It’s from Balsam Hill and we are very happy with it. Look for the trees they call “most realistic.” The realistic branches are the non-PVC ones.

  4. USE LED LIGHTS.

    LED lights use less energy and last longer. They also put off less heat making them much safer. Remember, even LED Christmas lights can contain lead. Wash your hands after using them and don’t like kids handle them.

Want more green Christmas tips and to have a stress-free Christmas? Check out A Stress-Free Christmas: A Complete How-To Guide.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide

Need gift ideas for the people on your list? These eco-friendly gift ideas that are perfect for everyone on your list!

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide, Green Gifts

Christmas can mean a lot of waste but choosing eco-friendly Christmas gifts can help reduce the waste and help the people on our list continue to make a positive impact.


Eco-friendly gifts don’t need to be boring or smell like patchouli, there is a wide range of eco-friendly gifts now and they are anything but boring. Eco-friendly also doesn’t have to mean expensive, this list features a ton of items under $25.

These gifts are online but don’t forget to also shop locally to support your local community. Use these ideas when you can’t find what you want locally.

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide

These gifts are great for everyone on your list and all budgets. Don’t forget to wrap your gifts in eco-friendly wrapping paper.

Stocking Stuffers

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide, Green Gifts

  1. Theo Holiday Organic Chocolate Bars
  2. Liquid Lip Trio
  3. Organic Farm Buddies Plush Toy
  4. Eco-Dough
  5. Upcycled Charm Bracelet
  6. Christmas Tree to Be
  7. S’Well Insulated Bottle
  8. Peppermint Bath Bombs
  9. NibMor Organic Drinking Chocolate
  10. Felt Penguin Ornament

Under $25

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide, Green Gifts

  1. Toy Food and Beverage Set
  2. Recycled Wine Bottle Platter
  3. Salsa Grow Kit
  4. Camping Play Set
  5. World of Tea Collection
  6. Death Wish Coffee
  7. Multicolor Glass Tumbler Set
  8. Ceramic Travel Cup Gift Set
  9. Sari Lunch Bag
  10. Donut Baby Rattle

Under $50

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide, Green Gifts

  1. Plant Therapy Essential Oil Gift Set
  2. NatureBox
  3. GlassDharma Straw Set
  4. Crepe Myrtle Bonsai Tree
  5. Alex and Ani Snowflake Bracelet
  6. Bodum French Press
  7. Organic Cotton Robe
  8. Toy Kitchen and Tableware Set
  9. Recycled Glass Rainbow Wind Chime
  10. Brew-in-Mug

Over $50

Eco-Friendly Gift Guide, Green Gifts

  1. Instant Pot
  2. Play Parking Garage
  3. Wine Tasting Flight
  4. Thrive Market Membership
  5. Blue Apron Sub Subscription
  6. Dollhouse
  7. Phyto-Pigments Makeup Gift Set
  8. All-Clad Cookware Set
  9. Sea Glass Necklace
  10. Kombucha Kit

Looking for homemade gift ideas? Check out these great 20+ Homemade Christmas Gifts.

10 Tips for Reducing Waste During Christmas

Christmas is a fun and wonderful time but it can also come with a lot of waste. These easy steps can help reduce Christmas waste. 

Reduce Christmas Waste, How to Reduce Christmas Waste, Eco-friendly Christmas

From the extra energy expended to keep the Christmas lights on to stacks of Christmas cards, the holidays inevitably generate a lot of waste.


It is estimated that from Thanksgiving to Christmas, an additional 1 million tons of waste fill our landfills each week.  However, being mindful that our Earth is one of the greatest gifts doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice fun or the holiday spirit. This Christmas, try to keep these 10 simple waste reduction tips in mind as you are wrapping presents and trimming the tree.

10 Tips for Reducing Christmas Waste

Reduce Christmas Waste, How to Reduce Christmas Waste, Eco-friendly Christmas

1. Use less ribbon or no ribbon at all when wrapping presents. If every household in the US alone used 2 ft. less ribbon this year, we could save approximately 43,470 miles of ribbon waste – more than enough to tie a bow around Earth’s 24,901-mile circumference.

2. Use wrapping paper that is recyclable, or made from recycled products, or think of innovative ways to wrap presents. For example, you can purchase wrapping paper that is made from recycled paper. You can use also fabric or cloth bags to wrap presents.

3. Recycle your live Christmas tree. Or better yet, purchase a potted tree and plant it after the holidays. Here is a link for various contacts in the metro area for recycling your tree after the holidays. You can also purchase an artificial tree and reuse it year after year.

4. Make sure you are using LED Christmas lights. Try to limit the time the lights are actually are at night by putting them on timers.

5. Send a few less Christmas Cards – or better yet, make them an e card. According to Hallmark, approximately 1.5 billion cards are sent out each year.  That’s enough to fill a football field 5 stories high. Here are some great, free, online e card resources: 123Greetings, Care2, and American Greetings. If you do send Christmas cards, use paper made of recycled material. Here are a few interesting resources for recyclable wrapping paper: Boomin, Botanical Paperworks, and Greenfield Paper. These companies produce paper with flower, herb, and vegetable seeds. Once used, it can be planted to grow! Make sure you recycle the cards you do receive or reuse them for a craft project.

6. Buy rechargeable batteries with your gifts. Even consider purchasing a battery charger with your gift. Approximately 40 percent of all battery sales happen during the holidays.

7. Don’t throw away leftover food and compost scraps if you can. If you can’t compost, check out this website to see if you can actually use your food scraps in a recipe.

8. Recycle, recycle, recycle.

9. Be creative in your gift giving and avoid potential waste. For example, consider giving the gift of an experience or event – a concert or lessons for a new hobby. Consider giving a charitable donation in someone’s name.

10.Donate Christmas gifts you received that you don’t want – don’t just throw them away.

Following these tips will mean a less wasteful but just as wonderful of Christmas.

Want to get more tips like this delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to our mailing list below. 

SaveSave

SaveSave

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide

Looking for some great homemade Christmas gift ideas? People will love these gifts and they are all eco-friendly. 

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Christmas is a magical time but sometimes the magic is lost when we are stressed about our budgets and finding gifts. Homemade gifts come from the heart and can save us money. It’s also a great way to reduce waste this holiday season.


There are so many great homemade gift ideas out there, you are sure to find some you would like to make and give this year. All of these ideas can use eco-friendly materials, many can even use upcycled supplies.

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Additional Information: 25+ More Homemade Christmas Gifts

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Additional Information: 8 Reasons to Shop Locally for the Holidays

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Additional Information: A More Meaningful Holiday Season

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Want to get more tips like this delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to our mailing list below. 

SaveSaveSaveSave

Lead Exposure and Christmas Photos

Christmas photos of kids, pets, and families wrapped in lights are cute but they may not be safe.

Could your Christmas photos be dangerous? Lead and Christmas lights, lead poisoning, lead exposure

This time of the year you will see photos of kids, pets, and couples wrapped in Christmas lights. Sure these photos are cute but are there hidden dangers?


One big danger is the fact that most Christmas lights contain lead. According to one CNN analysis, four common brands of Christmas lights contained lead levels that are considered to be dangerous to children. And many experts say no level is safe.

“There is no level at which lead exposure is safe,” Dr. Trasande said. “Even at one microgram/deciliter — the lowest level in a person’s blood stream that we can detect — that level has been associated with cognitive impairment in children.”- read more

A quick search on Pinterest and you will find hundreds of photos of babies wrapped in lights, some with the lights in their mouths. This is very concerning given the amount of surface lead found in Christmas lights. Also in many of the photos, the lights are plugged in, adding an extra danger to the situation.

Protect Yourself from Lead Christmas Lights

  • Don’t let children handle the lights.
  • Wash your hands after handling lights.
  • Wear gloves while handling lights.
  • Choose Made in the USA lights when possible, generally, they have lower levels of lead than imported brands.
  • Buy lead-free lights.
  • Vacuum often with a HEPA filter vacuum and/or wet mop.
  • Dust often with a wet rag.
  • And of course, skip the photos with people and animals wrapped in Christmas lights.

Artificial Christmas trees often contain lead as well, so use the same caution with the tree. Also look for trees that use PE tips, it reduces the amount of PVC and lead.

Be sure to share this post to help prevent lead exposure this holiday season.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

8 Reasons to Shop Locally for the Holidays

Christmas will be here soon. While buying gifts give back to your community by shopping locally. 

8 Reasons to Shop Locally This Holiday Season, Buy Local, Small Business Saturday

The holidays are fast approaching. There is so much to do, including gifts to buy. This holiday season you can help support your community by shopping locally. Here are eight reasons why it’s important to shop locally.

Reasons to Shop Locally for the Holidays

  • Create Jobs – “If every American spent $64 on something made in America, we could create 200,000 jobs right now.” [source]
  • Keep Money Local – Sales taxes help fund vital services in our communities. Also, local businesses are also more likely to spend money locally, keeping more money in the community.
  • Creates a Diverse Community –  Shopping locally encourages people to businesses that are unique and an alternative to chain stores.
  • Better for the Environment – Many locally owned businesses also offer local products which require far less transportation.
  • Better Customer Service – Local businesses owners are passionate about their businesses and connected to the community. This often contributes to better and more personal customer service.
  • Helps Your Community Grow – Keeping tax dollars in your community and creating demand will help encourage new businesses and help your city grow.
  • More Support for Nonprofits – Studies show that nonprofits receive 250 percent more support from small businesses than larger businesses.
  • Connect with your Community – Shopping locally helps you connect with people in your community and learn about more things going on around you.

Encourage your friends and family to shop locally this year by sharing this post and this graphic.

shop local

Consider supporting Small Business Saturday instead of Black Friday this year as well. It’s a great way to save money while supporting local businesses. It also gives you more time with family for Thanksgiving before going out shopping.

Be sure to also follow us on Facebook to learn about great local shops and gift ideas. 

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

Looking for vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes? These are delicious and perfect even for your non-vegetarian friends. 

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

No matter if you are vegetarian, flexitarian, or just trying to reduce your meat intake, these recipes are perfect for your Thanksgiving meal.


Many of these recipes are also vegan-friendly. None of them are short on flavor. Everything from main dishes to a tasty dessert is on this list.

Many are also gluten-free so everyone at your Thanksgiving meal will have something delicious to eat.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Additional Resource: Thanksgiving Planning Guide

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Additional: How to Freeze Mashed Potatoes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Looking for even more meatless recipes? Check out Meatless Instant Pot Recipes

SaveSave

Recycled Halloween Crafts

These recycled Halloween crafts are adoreable and easy to make. Many are easy enough for kids to make.

Recycled Halloween Crafts, Upcycled Halloween Crafts, Halloween DIY

Looking for some easy Halloween craft projects? We have gathered some great ones that use materials from your recycling bin!


It’s a great way to save on craft supplies and be a bit greener this Hallowen. It’s amazing what you can make with things that were headed to the landfill.

These recycled Halloween crafts are perfect for different ages and skill levels. They would also be fun to do at a school Halloween party.

Recycled Halloween Crafts

Recycled Halloween Crafts, Upcycled Halloween Crafts, Halloween DIY

Additional Resource: How to Have an Eco-Friendly Halloween

Recycled Halloween Crafts, Upcycled Halloween Crafts, Halloween DIY

Additional Resource: Have a Greener Halloween

Recycled Halloween Crafts, Upcycled Halloween Crafts, Halloween DIY

Additional Resource: Things to Do This Fall in Oklahoma

Recycled Halloween Crafts, Upcycled Halloween Crafts, Halloween DIY

Start saving up your recycling to use in these great crafts. It’s a great way to upcycle your trash and help the planet.

Interested in more green living tips? Sign up for our mailing list below.

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave