How to Throw a Booty-Shaking Green Event for Earth Month (or Any Month)

Check out these suggestions for songs, food and drinks, decorations, and more

By Jessian Choy

April 1, 2024

Photo by Peter Berglund/iStock

Photo by Peter Berglund/iStock

The best way to green someone else is to green yourself first. According to a meta-analysis of 430 studies, people are more inspired to be eco-conscious when they see others doing the same. Financial incentives, personal green goals, and data or facts alone don’t have the same persuasive impact. But if you combine those strategies, it can lead to even greater change for yourself and others. One way to have it all is to throw a party that shows people how green you all can be, giving prizes to the greenest guests, and providing edutainment. 

Don't guess what guests want. Ask them!

The secret sauce to throwing a sustainable-minded party is to let guests be the boss. Send out an invite that gives them options for food and drinks, activities, party favors, and more. Then you won’t spend time and money giving them what they don’t want. A kind of “It’s your party and you can dance if you want to” theme that gives them all sorts of other options too. 

Let them know in the invite that this is a zero-waste party, and make it fun: In your party invite, tell guests that you’ll give a prize to anyone who brings their reusable mug, straw, utensils, napkin, and food container(s) for the event and leftovers. 


Show how everyone can be a zero-waste hero with reusable foodware. Single-serve plastic cups, utensils, plates, and other items are mostly made from fossil fuels and end up in landfills and waterways. Some 50 billion plastic water bottles are sold every year. Many of those bottles shed nanoplastics into the beverage, with one study estimating they contain 10 to 100 times more bits of plastic than was previously known. Many disposable plastic utensils and packaging have been found to contain toxic chemicals like PFAS. Your party can be an opportunity to show off all the different ways you (and your guests) can master the art of less-toxic and reusable (and even edible!) foodware options that they can adopt for their own parties in the future.

Offer food and drink with washable cups, plates, and bowls. If you don’t want to do dishes, Bold Reuse will provide and wash them for you in any location in the United States. Other groups that offer the same service include Okapi Reusables and Just Salad. Or you can borrow reusable foodware from neighbors via Party Kit Network. If you are ready to buy new foodware, try dishwasher-safe, recycled, BPA-free options by Preserve

If you definitely want to go with single-serve options, impress your guests with DIY edible alternatives. Make cups and bowls out of citrus, pineapple, watermelon, savoy, red cabbage, or squash. 

You can also ask for food in reusables from green businesses certified by local or state governments or Green America. If you use a full-service caterer, ask if they can provide reusable foodware, servingware, and napkins that aren’t wrapped in plastic, and bins and signs for compost and recycling. 

There are also solid single-serve options made from recycled or compostable materials. For napkins, try Just Honest, made of 100 percent post-consumer recycled waste with no toxic bleach and plastic packaging. GreenScreen and Biodegradable Products Institute certify foodware to have no PFAS (and some other chemicals).

To reduce waste, put a sign and markers next to foodware so people can write their names on them. While your guests are enjoying their snacks or meals, show them your metal or glass container collection for storing leftovers. These are the same containers they can bring to their favorite restaurant for taking out without taking in more to-go container waste. Or bring other food containers to give away. 

What’s on the menu

We can all do our part to be more sustainably minded by eating less meat. Poll guests in your invite to see if they want to eat animal products (and if so, what kind) or whether they’d be open to vegan options. And ask if they want alcohol, coffee, or dessert. You might be surprised by what people pick! And invite them to bring their own water bottles, which you can then refill as needed.

If guests want to drink, see common alcohol brands that happen to be vegan in the Barnivore list. For coffee drinkers, help them avoid single-use coffee-to-go boxes with nonrecyclable plastic pouches. If you can, bring a reusable coffee maker or hot drink dispenser. The upfront cost is about the same as a coffee to-go box. Fill pitchers or drink dispensers with drinking water.

If you prefer to order out for your party, ask the cafes, grocers, or restaurants if they would be willing to serve the food in washable containers that will be collected and washed by companies such as ones below. That might sound like a stretch, but there are places that do it. Find them at Reusables, a directory of such businesses across the United States and Canada. Other shining examples of how this can work include Island Eats MV in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts; Inwit (which serves any private event not just corporate catering), Suppli in Ontario, Canada, Bold ReuseDeliver ZeroHuskee SwapEcho System in Pennsylvania, Full Cycle Takeout in Hawai'i’, Canada’s Bread & Butter Collective in Victoria, Friendlier in Ontario, and Shareware in Vancouver. 

Zero-waste stations

Help guests recycle and compost with bins that make them stop and think. For example, put out a tiny bin for things that can only go to the landfill. And put it next to bigger bins for recycling and composting. Put signs at eye level with pictures of what goes in each bin. 


Get the party started with booty-shaking music on how people can protect their health and planet. Play Hila the Earth’s “Wet Ass Planet,” Gia Mora’s “Take Some Action to Get Some Action,” DJ Cavem’s “Wheat Grass” and “Sprout That Life,” Richelle Gemini and G-Mayne Da Wreck’s “Eat Vegan,” or Grey’s “Vegan Thanksgiving.” 

Green activities 

Give your guests an opportunity to show off their green thumbs. For example, show them how to regrow food from scraps. Or you can set them up at prepared planter boxes at your home with seed starters and invite them to plant away. Or be an Instagram-worthy party animal by hosting your event at a rescued animal sanctuary or other location that speaks to your love for the planet. For example, if you have access to a beach, throw your party there and make it one of the day’s events to have everyone fan out with a bag to collect litter and anything that can be brought back to a recycling bin. Or find a park near a trailhead where you can do the same and make this your litterbug pickup party. Or arrange to have them meet at a local community garden where they can take a plot and work the soil for an hour or two.

Name tags

Try reusable, dry-erase badges that double as raffle tickets. Put a large sign and basket by all exits so people will remember to return them. 

Party favors that people want

Some hosts skip party favors in favor of donating to nonprofits. Studies have shown that a majority of people, when asked, would prefer to donate to a nonprofit rather than receive swag. If you can’t resist giving party favors, try regenerative and organic seeds from your local nursery. Help guests feel they have a green thumb by giving seeds of easy-to-grow edible herbs that grow well in pots indoors like basil, mint, or parsley. If you want to give other party favors, try reusable or PFAS- and plastic-free packaging.


Plants are a common option for parties. And there are alternatives that won’t produce waste. Some plant stores will rent potted plants and flowers to you for the day. You can also try Facebook Buy Nothing groups where people are ready to give away everything from traditional party favors to goofy tchotchkes.