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EcoTops } Green Options for Tabletop Settings & Décor

Posted Jul 07 2008 7:16pm


More lovely weather! Everything is popping out in bright, beautiful colors. Time to match that with your event décor! Today, I’m going to talk about tabletops.

What DO you put on a tabletop anyway? You might find:

  • Linens
  • Place settings
  • Guest favors
  • Place cards
  • Centerpieces

There are a number of ways to do your place settings and table tops eco-style, without sacrificing style or color. So whether you are in the market for bright and bold, mild and modern, or classic and conservative, there is a style and a way for you!

Delightfully Disposable

If you need or want to go with disposables, the market now carries several awesome eco-friendly options.

Paper Tablehas products made of recycled, synthetic and completely reusable materials. Their patterns are fabulous with color and style in assorted patterns.

My favorite feature of their website is setting the table where you can try out the different color and pattern combinations to find the right style for your event - super fun! Here is a sample table I set on their site. The boxes on the left represent the options Paper Table carries for your table settings.

Green Party Goodsis another great option. They carry utensils, plates, bowls, and cups in plain and colorful materials made from bamboo, corn, sugar, and of course, biodegradable, forest-friendly paper. Their home page has a slide show sampling some of their beautiful, biodegradable paper and bamboo tableware settings.

Green Party Goods also has an assortment of favors, gift and goodie bags, and decorations!

Coordinated Collage

The Coordinated Collage is an assortment of products consisting of what you already have, borrow from a friend or buy new-to-you at yard & estate sales, second hand, consignment and antique shoppes. The Coordinated Collage option is the best way to set a non-paper table in whatever your desired style is, without breaking the bank. One place setting can run you as little as $5. For as little as $10 - and maybe even less - you can add linens, a centerpiece, and guest favors.

Here are some sample settings I have done using items I have acquired through purchase and family inheritances.

  • Place mats are wicker and cork - yes, as in the cork tiling you put on your wall!
  • The first centerpiece is bamboo shoots in rocks, water and votive holders, the same design which could also be a favor, as in the next image. The second centerpiece are statues placed on rice on a candle plate.
  • The bottled beverage holder is a plant container and mirror tiles placed on top of cork hot mats are a nice embellishment to the solo cork.
  • Consider putting silverware somewhere other than at the side of the dishes, such as inside the glass in the second image.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and create a new use for something’s original intention!

The best thing about buying new-to-you for an event is that you can recycle after an event by donating to your favorite charity, selling or giving away onCraig’s Listor giving away onFreecycle. If you donate your items to charity, that’s a tax write-off! Bet you didn’t think you could write off the costs from your wedding or other big event, did you?

Of course, if you buy new, you can donate or give away too. However, if you buy new-to-you, you’ve saved that many more resources from being used for production, packaging, transportation, etc.

If you have to buy new, also consider buying things made of sustainable or recycled materials such as bamboo, wicker, glass, etc. Places likeNatural Spaceshave some gorgeous place setting, serving dish and accessory options. Do a for recycled glass place settings, serving dishes and accessories. There are many great places to choose from and it’s really quite amazing - the recycled glass designs that are out there.

Renting Revelry

Renting is a form of re-use that is great for high attendance events, if you cannot not find enough of what you need new-to-you or the creative thing just isn’t your bag. Look for a rental service that has eco-friendly practices like using eco-friendly cleaning products, dry cleaning services, etc.BBJ Linenhas a great environmental commitment and they have been around a long time as well.

For a really outrageous and unique table setting, tryTotally Tabletops. Whilst they have no posted commitment to the environment on their website, they are at least in the practice of re-use.

That gives you a good jump off point for creating an eco-friendly event!

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