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Linnea Johansson is an New York based chef & event planner and the author of; "Perfect Parties - Tips and Advice from a New York Party Planner". As an event planner Linnea has thrown parties for companies such as, Cartier, Gucci, Prada, Rolex, and PlayBoy. On the blog Linnea writes about the latest trends in food, cocktails, design and much more from the event scene. When she doesn't plan events, Linnea also writes about food and entertaining for ELLE magazine.
Green Is the New Black

Hosting a party can be extremely wasteful, and we all feel guilty when lugging big garbage bags filled with leftovers and paper and plastic waste after a bash. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to lighten up the load. The motto is “RRR”—reduce, reuse and recycle. “Green is the new black,” says Linnea, and nowadays big mammoth parties like the Oscar’s are doing their very best to be friendly to the environment. Linnea shares some eco-friendly party tips.

1. Green Invitations
An invitation in the mail box makes everyone’s day, but they can be quite wasteful. So make your own ones out of recycled paper. You can easily spruce them up by using beautiful images from old books and magazines you have lying around the house. Another way is e-mails or e-vites. If you feel that is not personal enough pick up your phone and make a few calls. It’s more personal, you save the forest, and you find out right away if someone can come or not.

2. Green Water
One of the best things we all can do for the environment is to stop drinking bottled water. Not only is it extra plastic, the water has to be transported far distances using tons of unnecessary energy. Glam up your party tap by serving it with ice cubes with berries frozen in it, or eatable flowers. If you think it taste off, filter it before serving or add cucumber slices for a fresh taste. Serve it in pitchers or in wine bottles that you have cleaned out and dipped in boiling water to easily remove the label.

3. Green Food
Try to go organic, but organic or not, buy what’s in season. You get better tasting food for a cheaper price, and it is not imported and transported from who knows how far away. Ask your local farmers market which ingredients that are in season when you plan your party menu, or find out online and plan at home. You can find good local providers at at http://www.localharvest.org/index.jsp

4. Green Flowers
Flowers can many times be shipped from all over the world and only really last for a few days. So always call your florist and check what is in season in your local area. Also think outside of the box. Nuts, fruit, and pumpkins during this season, can all make great center pieces when placed in vases or plates and lit the right way.

5. Green Lighting
It’s impossible to create a great party atmosphere with bright full on overhead light blasting. By installing dimmers in your home, you not only get a cozy atmosphere, but also save energy. Use energy saving light-bulbs to save even more energy.

And don’t forget, Recycle! (Put up different bins for different type of waste at the party.)

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