Keep your party green

Whether you are hosting a birthday party or a bridal shower, you'll likely want a theme for the celebration. But regardless of the motif you select, the gathering doesn't have to be a burden on the environment. In fact, throwing an eco-friendly bash can be easy.

Instead of stocking up on disposable supplies, use washable dishes and flatware. If you don't have enough china to accommodate a large party, ask pals to contribute and borrow some dishware. A variety of plates, cups and bowls will create a charming and eclectic decor.

Before you create your menu, go to a local farmer's market to see which foods look best. You'll be supporting your community and selecting the freshest ingredients will ensure that the dishes taste phenomenal.

When selecting the party favors, opt for items that guests can reuse, such as personalized shot glasses or magnets. These favors are fun but practical, so guests will surely enjoy using them for years to come.

Remember, a shindig can often require a lot of electricity to power lighting and entertainment. Use candles or look for energy-efficient light bulbs, and purchase an mp3 player that runs on rechargeable batteries. Your energy bills will stay low, but your party's energy level is sure to skyrocket!