Celebrating going green

March 31, 2008 9:00:00 PM PDT
The next time you plan a party or event, you might want to consider how to make it environmentally friendly.Eyewitness News reporter Lauren Glassberg has more on the trend of green gatherings.

And what better place to get tips than the Natural Resources Defense Council's annual fete, which is honoring Mayor Bloomberg for his efforts to make New York City a greener city. From the venue to the goodie bags at the end of the evening, the event celebrates all things green and eco-friendly.

The event has flowers that were grown in Duchess County and tulips from Orange County. And that's why they'll be front and center at the Natural Resources Defense Council's gala, held at Cipriani on 42nd Street.

"Every year, we've tried to make it as green as possible in keeping with the NDRC's broader mission and philosophy," the NDRC's Kate Sinding said. "This is the greenest we've ever made it."

So the flowers are pesticide-free and from farms within a 100 miles driving distance from the venue.

"The goal is to minimize the impact on the environment," Phoebe Crary, of Opalia Flowers. "Given the time of year, the best option was to source the flowers locally."

As for the food, it's all organic.

Chef Roberto Deiaco was charged with creating a seasonal and organic menu, from appetizers to dessert.

"Apple crisp, also made, all organic with organic apples and organic ice cream," he said.

The NDRC chose Cipriani because it's opposite Grand Central Terminal and encourages the use of mass transit.

The programs and invitations are made from recycled paper. Also, the tote bags given at the end of the evening are made of organic cotton and promote the use of reusable bags.

And all these ideas can be used at your next party.

"We do hope this is something that people can look at not only for planning large galas like this party, but even a small wedding shower," Sinding said. "There are lots of ways that you can, even doing one thing at a time, make it a little more of a green event."

They are even drinking organic wine at the event. And for those who didn't take mass transit, the event was offering hybrid town cars.

Green party ideas used at the event include:

  • A menu featuring seasonal, organically grown and sustainably harvested ingredients.
  • Invitations and programs made of 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper.
  • Flowers sourced locally following the "100-mile diet" philosophy.
  • Organic cotton tote bags given to each guest to promote the use of reusable bags.
  • A venue close to Grand Central Station to encourage the use of mass transit.
  • No plastic-bottled water served at the event.
  • Event is powered by renewable energy credits.
  • Global warming emissions associated with guest travel offset.