10 Ideas for "Green" Get-Togethers
Earth Day-inspired parties to spread the eco-friendliness around
Berry-Picking Party at an Orchard
In some places, berry season starts as early as March. Many berry picking farms like Shelburne Farm in Stow, Mass., or Sweet Berry Farm near Austin, Texas, have picnic tables and facilities, so after the party is picked out, guests can sit down for the delicious spread you cleverly brought along. It gets sunny out there so have sun hats and sunblock on hand.
Pack up some classic picnic dishes like fried chicken along with creative sides like a Red Quinoa Salad and a Panzanella Salad with Spicy Anchovy Vinaigrette. Wash off the freshly-picked berries for dessert. (Photo courtesy of Stockxchng/anitasweb)
Homemade Playdough Play Date
Young children can get in on the Earth Day fun, too, and experience playtime without extra packaging and waste. A playdate for a few kindergarteners becomes environmentally conscious with a variety of multi-colored balls of homemade playdough. Give them some kitchen utensils like a garlic press, potato masher, or ricer. (Later, soak them in hot, soapy water to get any dried playdough off).
Leftovers Potluck Party
Like a leftovers version of Iron Chef, this type of party requires some thinking on your toes. Each guest brings one dish of leftovers — whatever they happen to have at the time — and together the party must create all-new dishes from them. Copy down the new recipes to email them to guests later.
Homemade Beauty Products Makeover Party
A girls’ night in is a way to connect with friends, save a few bucks, and learn some new beauty tricks. Having an arsenal of beauty products requires only a cupboard stocked full of items like avocados, oatmeal, yogurt, lemons, and, yes, beer (makes hair shiny). Get homemade beauty product recipes from PlanetGreen.com.
Go as girly as you want with cocktails like the Lei Maker or Tea Rose Martini. A menu of light and healthy snacks feels right. Serve Salmon Sliders with Curry Remoulade, spicy Popcorn with Sriracha Butter and Parmesan, veggies with Svelte Green Goddess Dip, and some Sexy Low-Fat Cupcakes with Fresh Berries.
Bike Ride Brunch
For an all-ages bonding experience sans carbon footprint, plan a group bike ride followed by brunch back at the homestead. MapMyRide.com lets you create a route map that can be emailed to invitees. A leisurely five to seven-mile ride will take about 45 minutes to an hour so the group should meet at a starting point early in the morning. Riders will be ready to chow down afterward so assembling brunch ahead of time is key.
Before the ride, make a large fruit salad and set up the slow cooker for Irish Oatmeal so there's food ready to serve as soon as you return. Also before the ride, fry up some bacon and assemble the components for Baked Eggs with Spinach and Tomato. Then all you have to do is crack the eggs into the casserole dish and pop in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Mix up some classic Bloody Marys or creative Blood Orange Mimosas to go along with the feast. (Photo courtesy of Stockxchng/evobrained)
Farmers Market Barbecue
The idea here is to support local produce and products as a group. Each guest brings something from a farmers market that can be grilled, like sausages, fish, asparagus, zucchini, even watermelon. To prep, fire up the grill — it’s as simple as that.
It might be a good idea to have some olive oil or melted butter and a brush at the ready for easy basting. For cocktails, see what’s in season and available at the market, but two ideas are the Rhubarbarella Cocktail and the Black ‘n’ Stormy with early summer fruits.