My Turn

Hosting an Earth Day 'power out party'


Earth Day is upon us (April 22) and it is a great time to remember that we need to be mindful of our actions as they can either help us contribute to the care or destruction of our planet. A great way for us to celebrate Earth Day is to show our support by attending public and local activities in our area, but we can also create special events of our own. One fabulous idea would be to host a "power out party," as nothing says "let's honor our planet by reducing our impact today" than actually doing it. A power out party is a great way to spend time with loved ones and friends, while sharing ideas that will help us reduce our waste, and promote environmental responsibility.

The primary idea behind a "power out party" is to create a "power hour" which would include a specific time frame dedicated to fasting or minimizing activities and items that require electricity or other non-renewable power and energy. We can create a simple event or turn it into a party. A few suggestions to inspire a fun and fabulous time are:

Food - vegetarian or vegan organic whole foods are healthiest for the planet as they usually use less fossil fuels, water, and energy during the production process than meat and processed foods. Serving uncooked fresh foods will not only reduce fossil fuel usage but is also a great way to enjoy food with maximum nutritional benefit. An excellent snack idea would be guacamole or homemade hummus served with veggie slices such as sliced carrots, cucumbers or celery. It is a great way to enjoy fresh vegetables and always makes a healthy snack that any "body" will appreciate. Cut up fresh fruit can also make a great healthy snack that comes in its very own biodegradable packaging. Fruit trays can be as simple as apple slices with cinnamon, or sliced oranges, grapes and strawberries.

Party ware - Encourage friends to bring their own plates, cups, forks, etc. eliminating the need for disposable items. This can even turn into an opportunity to hold a contest with a prize offered for the most unique, colorful or oddest shape. You can also make washing dishes part of the fun by encouraging a game where everyone washes their own dishes trying to use the least amount of water. If disposables are a must, choose paper or other earth friendly products.

Fun - recycled art projects and games that encourage environmental awareness can be found all over the internet. A few topics to look up may be water and energy conservation, how to reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink. Give your guests a few ideas about this subject and encourage everyone to come up with their own ideas to share with the group. Guests can also discuss how they will commit to environmental responsibility, by sharing things they do or will do to be responsible.

Party favors - earth friendly cleaning products, fruit baskets, reusable coffee mugs, water containers or shopping bags all make great gifts that support environmental friendliness.

However we choose to observe Earth Day, let us remember that we can celebrate it all year long by including sustainable habits into our everyday routine.

Fernandez is an environmental advocate.


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