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8 Tips for Eco-Friendly Entertaining

8 Tips for Eco-Friendly Entertaining


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Smart, stylish tips for reusing household items and reducing waste when entertaining

Istock/gerenme

Picnic table

This spring, be inspired by the natural world when throwing your next party. Entertaining in an environmentally sensitive way doesn’t have to be devoid of style. In fact, it can be just the opposite!

Think about repurposing everyday items, like glass jars and empty wine bottles, or reusing vintage china plates and bowls you might find at flea markets. Even reducing the amount of waste generated after a dinner party by choosing reusable linens and placemats makes a difference in the long run.

Whether you’re celebrating Earth Day or looking for inspiration when planning your next alfresco meal, we’ve put together our best tips for entertaining with style while minimizing your environmental impact. Our first suggestion: Take the party outdoors. Turn off the lights and set a table on the patio or in the garden. Forget the starched white linens, and instead opt for durable placemats made of natural materials or forget the placemats all together. Instead of invitations, send an email or re-use pretty photographs or blank cards and mail like postcards. And don’t bother with cut flowers for your centerpiece — arrange a variety of small potted edible flowers and herbs down the center of your table.

Click here to see the 8 Tips for Eco-Friendly Entertaining Slideshow.

Click here for all of our Earth Day coverage.


Eco-friendly Recipes and Party Tips

What better way to get into the Fourth of July spirit than with entertaining tips straight from our nation&rsquos capital? Mekdim Yemane, director of sales and marketing at The Melrose Hotel in Washington, D.C., shows her patriotic stripes with colorful décor ideas and playful American pastimes, while Executive Chef Nate Lindsay of the hotel&rsquos Jardenea restaurant dishes on a mouth-watering salad and a frosty cocktail to refresh your guests&rsquo palates this summer. Pair these with an eco-friendly tablescape and you&rsquove got yourself a party. Now, for the fireworks.

Play some games

For outdoor soirées, encourage guests to mingle by scattering large floor cushions on the lawn. Keep with the patriotic theme and buy ones with festive prints, such as bold nautical stripes and playful red polka dots. Another idea: Celebrate America&rsquos favorite leisure activities by filling large containers with decorative green grass and laying sports equipment on top that guests can actually play with, like baseballs and bats, footballs, and red and blue croquet balls.

Set the scene

Start with a colorful runner and build a charming centerpiece by alternating between bowls filled with red peonies floating in water and ice bowls filled with upright red, white, and blue ice pops and pinwheels. Then, create easy place settings by writing each guest&rsquos name on paper cones and filling them with Cracker Jacks. To make your own paper holders, cut a decorative piece of card stock or other sturdy paper to measure 7.5-by-11 inches. Simply twist each into a cone shape and use double-stick tape to hold the shape together.

Punch up your drinks

For an elegant touch, fill the punch bowl with fruit-filled ice and ice rings. Try using blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, rose petals, and edible white flowers to stay with the red, white, and blue theme. Use a bundt pan to make thicker ice rings that won&rsquot melt as quickly in the hot sun.

RECIPES

Blue Harvest Cocktail

  • 2 oz. American Harvest vodka
  • ½ oz. Organic Blue Curacao
  • ½ oz. white cranberry juice
  • 1 lime
  • Hint of agave nectar
  • 1 raspberry
  • 1 American flag toothpick
  • Red sugar sprinkles
Squeeze half of the lime into a shaker and add vodka, Blue Curacao, and white cranberry juice. Fill the shaker halfway with ice and shake for 10 to15 seconds. Rim a chilled highball glass with red sugar. Cut a wedge out of the other half of the lime and dip it in agave nectar. Garnish the glass with the American flag toothpick, lime wedge, and raspberry.

Avocado and Blue Lump Crab Tian – yields 4 servings

Avocado and Blue Lump Crab Tian
  • 2 Hass avocados
  • ½ lb. lump crabmeat, picked through
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ lb. field greens
  • ½ red pepper, diced small
  • ½ yellow pepper, diced small
  • 16 grape tomatoes
  • 4 oz. A L&rsquoOlivier truffle vinaigrette
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
In a small mixing bowl, combine the peppers, mayo, lemon juice, cilantro, 1 oz. of truffle vinaigrette, and crab meat. Lightly toss to combine, then season with salt and pepper. Split both avocados in half and remove the pits. Carefully peel off the skin and slice into thin, lengthwise pieces and fan out. Place a spoonful of crab mix into the center of each avocado half. Add salad greens, tomatoes, peppers, and dressing.
GEAR

1. Rwanda Basket 12-inch New Spirit Fruit Bowl Handcrafted by Rwandan women artisans, this basket is naturally dyed sisal coil sewn over bundled sweet grass ($50).

2. Sailboat Bottle Caddy Made from recycled steel and copper, this whimsical piece holds a wine bottle horizontally on deck ($82).

3. Paradise Linen Table Runner in Spice/Cherry This hand-printed and -sewn, preshrunk Italian linen is made with eco-friendly, water-based inks ($70).


Eco-friendly Recipes and Party Tips

What better way to get into the Fourth of July spirit than with entertaining tips straight from our nation&rsquos capital? Mekdim Yemane, director of sales and marketing at The Melrose Hotel in Washington, D.C., shows her patriotic stripes with colorful décor ideas and playful American pastimes, while Executive Chef Nate Lindsay of the hotel&rsquos Jardenea restaurant dishes on a mouth-watering salad and a frosty cocktail to refresh your guests&rsquo palates this summer. Pair these with an eco-friendly tablescape and you&rsquove got yourself a party. Now, for the fireworks.

Play some games

For outdoor soirées, encourage guests to mingle by scattering large floor cushions on the lawn. Keep with the patriotic theme and buy ones with festive prints, such as bold nautical stripes and playful red polka dots. Another idea: Celebrate America&rsquos favorite leisure activities by filling large containers with decorative green grass and laying sports equipment on top that guests can actually play with, like baseballs and bats, footballs, and red and blue croquet balls.

Set the scene

Start with a colorful runner and build a charming centerpiece by alternating between bowls filled with red peonies floating in water and ice bowls filled with upright red, white, and blue ice pops and pinwheels. Then, create easy place settings by writing each guest&rsquos name on paper cones and filling them with Cracker Jacks. To make your own paper holders, cut a decorative piece of card stock or other sturdy paper to measure 7.5-by-11 inches. Simply twist each into a cone shape and use double-stick tape to hold the shape together.

Punch up your drinks

For an elegant touch, fill the punch bowl with fruit-filled ice and ice rings. Try using blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, rose petals, and edible white flowers to stay with the red, white, and blue theme. Use a bundt pan to make thicker ice rings that won&rsquot melt as quickly in the hot sun.

RECIPES

Blue Harvest Cocktail

  • 2 oz. American Harvest vodka
  • ½ oz. Organic Blue Curacao
  • ½ oz. white cranberry juice
  • 1 lime
  • Hint of agave nectar
  • 1 raspberry
  • 1 American flag toothpick
  • Red sugar sprinkles
Squeeze half of the lime into a shaker and add vodka, Blue Curacao, and white cranberry juice. Fill the shaker halfway with ice and shake for 10 to15 seconds. Rim a chilled highball glass with red sugar. Cut a wedge out of the other half of the lime and dip it in agave nectar. Garnish the glass with the American flag toothpick, lime wedge, and raspberry.

Avocado and Blue Lump Crab Tian – yields 4 servings

Avocado and Blue Lump Crab Tian
  • 2 Hass avocados
  • ½ lb. lump crabmeat, picked through
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ lb. field greens
  • ½ red pepper, diced small
  • ½ yellow pepper, diced small
  • 16 grape tomatoes
  • 4 oz. A L&rsquoOlivier truffle vinaigrette
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
In a small mixing bowl, combine the peppers, mayo, lemon juice, cilantro, 1 oz. of truffle vinaigrette, and crab meat. Lightly toss to combine, then season with salt and pepper. Split both avocados in half and remove the pits. Carefully peel off the skin and slice into thin, lengthwise pieces and fan out. Place a spoonful of crab mix into the center of each avocado half. Add salad greens, tomatoes, peppers, and dressing.
GEAR

1. Rwanda Basket 12-inch New Spirit Fruit Bowl Handcrafted by Rwandan women artisans, this basket is naturally dyed sisal coil sewn over bundled sweet grass ($50).

2. Sailboat Bottle Caddy Made from recycled steel and copper, this whimsical piece holds a wine bottle horizontally on deck ($82).

3. Paradise Linen Table Runner in Spice/Cherry This hand-printed and -sewn, preshrunk Italian linen is made with eco-friendly, water-based inks ($70).


Eco-friendly Recipes and Party Tips

What better way to get into the Fourth of July spirit than with entertaining tips straight from our nation&rsquos capital? Mekdim Yemane, director of sales and marketing at The Melrose Hotel in Washington, D.C., shows her patriotic stripes with colorful décor ideas and playful American pastimes, while Executive Chef Nate Lindsay of the hotel&rsquos Jardenea restaurant dishes on a mouth-watering salad and a frosty cocktail to refresh your guests&rsquo palates this summer. Pair these with an eco-friendly tablescape and you&rsquove got yourself a party. Now, for the fireworks.

Play some games

For outdoor soirées, encourage guests to mingle by scattering large floor cushions on the lawn. Keep with the patriotic theme and buy ones with festive prints, such as bold nautical stripes and playful red polka dots. Another idea: Celebrate America&rsquos favorite leisure activities by filling large containers with decorative green grass and laying sports equipment on top that guests can actually play with, like baseballs and bats, footballs, and red and blue croquet balls.

Set the scene

Start with a colorful runner and build a charming centerpiece by alternating between bowls filled with red peonies floating in water and ice bowls filled with upright red, white, and blue ice pops and pinwheels. Then, create easy place settings by writing each guest&rsquos name on paper cones and filling them with Cracker Jacks. To make your own paper holders, cut a decorative piece of card stock or other sturdy paper to measure 7.5-by-11 inches. Simply twist each into a cone shape and use double-stick tape to hold the shape together.

Punch up your drinks

For an elegant touch, fill the punch bowl with fruit-filled ice and ice rings. Try using blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, rose petals, and edible white flowers to stay with the red, white, and blue theme. Use a bundt pan to make thicker ice rings that won&rsquot melt as quickly in the hot sun.

RECIPES

Blue Harvest Cocktail

  • 2 oz. American Harvest vodka
  • ½ oz. Organic Blue Curacao
  • ½ oz. white cranberry juice
  • 1 lime
  • Hint of agave nectar
  • 1 raspberry
  • 1 American flag toothpick
  • Red sugar sprinkles
Squeeze half of the lime into a shaker and add vodka, Blue Curacao, and white cranberry juice. Fill the shaker halfway with ice and shake for 10 to15 seconds. Rim a chilled highball glass with red sugar. Cut a wedge out of the other half of the lime and dip it in agave nectar. Garnish the glass with the American flag toothpick, lime wedge, and raspberry.

Avocado and Blue Lump Crab Tian – yields 4 servings

Avocado and Blue Lump Crab Tian
  • 2 Hass avocados
  • ½ lb. lump crabmeat, picked through
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ lb. field greens
  • ½ red pepper, diced small
  • ½ yellow pepper, diced small
  • 16 grape tomatoes
  • 4 oz. A L&rsquoOlivier truffle vinaigrette
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
In a small mixing bowl, combine the peppers, mayo, lemon juice, cilantro, 1 oz. of truffle vinaigrette, and crab meat. Lightly toss to combine, then season with salt and pepper. Split both avocados in half and remove the pits. Carefully peel off the skin and slice into thin, lengthwise pieces and fan out. Place a spoonful of crab mix into the center of each avocado half. Add salad greens, tomatoes, peppers, and dressing.
GEAR

1. Rwanda Basket 12-inch New Spirit Fruit Bowl Handcrafted by Rwandan women artisans, this basket is naturally dyed sisal coil sewn over bundled sweet grass ($50).

2. Sailboat Bottle Caddy Made from recycled steel and copper, this whimsical piece holds a wine bottle horizontally on deck ($82).

3. Paradise Linen Table Runner in Spice/Cherry This hand-printed and -sewn, preshrunk Italian linen is made with eco-friendly, water-based inks ($70).


Eco-friendly Recipes and Party Tips

What better way to get into the Fourth of July spirit than with entertaining tips straight from our nation&rsquos capital? Mekdim Yemane, director of sales and marketing at The Melrose Hotel in Washington, D.C., shows her patriotic stripes with colorful décor ideas and playful American pastimes, while Executive Chef Nate Lindsay of the hotel&rsquos Jardenea restaurant dishes on a mouth-watering salad and a frosty cocktail to refresh your guests&rsquo palates this summer. Pair these with an eco-friendly tablescape and you&rsquove got yourself a party. Now, for the fireworks.

Play some games

For outdoor soirées, encourage guests to mingle by scattering large floor cushions on the lawn. Keep with the patriotic theme and buy ones with festive prints, such as bold nautical stripes and playful red polka dots. Another idea: Celebrate America&rsquos favorite leisure activities by filling large containers with decorative green grass and laying sports equipment on top that guests can actually play with, like baseballs and bats, footballs, and red and blue croquet balls.

Set the scene

Start with a colorful runner and build a charming centerpiece by alternating between bowls filled with red peonies floating in water and ice bowls filled with upright red, white, and blue ice pops and pinwheels. Then, create easy place settings by writing each guest&rsquos name on paper cones and filling them with Cracker Jacks. To make your own paper holders, cut a decorative piece of card stock or other sturdy paper to measure 7.5-by-11 inches. Simply twist each into a cone shape and use double-stick tape to hold the shape together.

Punch up your drinks

For an elegant touch, fill the punch bowl with fruit-filled ice and ice rings. Try using blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, rose petals, and edible white flowers to stay with the red, white, and blue theme. Use a bundt pan to make thicker ice rings that won&rsquot melt as quickly in the hot sun.

RECIPES

Blue Harvest Cocktail

  • 2 oz. American Harvest vodka
  • ½ oz. Organic Blue Curacao
  • ½ oz. white cranberry juice
  • 1 lime
  • Hint of agave nectar
  • 1 raspberry
  • 1 American flag toothpick
  • Red sugar sprinkles
Squeeze half of the lime into a shaker and add vodka, Blue Curacao, and white cranberry juice. Fill the shaker halfway with ice and shake for 10 to15 seconds. Rim a chilled highball glass with red sugar. Cut a wedge out of the other half of the lime and dip it in agave nectar. Garnish the glass with the American flag toothpick, lime wedge, and raspberry.

Avocado and Blue Lump Crab Tian – yields 4 servings

Avocado and Blue Lump Crab Tian
  • 2 Hass avocados
  • ½ lb. lump crabmeat, picked through
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ lb. field greens
  • ½ red pepper, diced small
  • ½ yellow pepper, diced small
  • 16 grape tomatoes
  • 4 oz. A L&rsquoOlivier truffle vinaigrette
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
In a small mixing bowl, combine the peppers, mayo, lemon juice, cilantro, 1 oz. of truffle vinaigrette, and crab meat. Lightly toss to combine, then season with salt and pepper. Split both avocados in half and remove the pits. Carefully peel off the skin and slice into thin, lengthwise pieces and fan out. Place a spoonful of crab mix into the center of each avocado half. Add salad greens, tomatoes, peppers, and dressing.
GEAR

1. Rwanda Basket 12-inch New Spirit Fruit Bowl Handcrafted by Rwandan women artisans, this basket is naturally dyed sisal coil sewn over bundled sweet grass ($50).

2. Sailboat Bottle Caddy Made from recycled steel and copper, this whimsical piece holds a wine bottle horizontally on deck ($82).

3. Paradise Linen Table Runner in Spice/Cherry This hand-printed and -sewn, preshrunk Italian linen is made with eco-friendly, water-based inks ($70).


Eco-friendly Recipes and Party Tips

What better way to get into the Fourth of July spirit than with entertaining tips straight from our nation&rsquos capital? Mekdim Yemane, director of sales and marketing at The Melrose Hotel in Washington, D.C., shows her patriotic stripes with colorful décor ideas and playful American pastimes, while Executive Chef Nate Lindsay of the hotel&rsquos Jardenea restaurant dishes on a mouth-watering salad and a frosty cocktail to refresh your guests&rsquo palates this summer. Pair these with an eco-friendly tablescape and you&rsquove got yourself a party. Now, for the fireworks.

Play some games

For outdoor soirées, encourage guests to mingle by scattering large floor cushions on the lawn. Keep with the patriotic theme and buy ones with festive prints, such as bold nautical stripes and playful red polka dots. Another idea: Celebrate America&rsquos favorite leisure activities by filling large containers with decorative green grass and laying sports equipment on top that guests can actually play with, like baseballs and bats, footballs, and red and blue croquet balls.

Set the scene

Start with a colorful runner and build a charming centerpiece by alternating between bowls filled with red peonies floating in water and ice bowls filled with upright red, white, and blue ice pops and pinwheels. Then, create easy place settings by writing each guest&rsquos name on paper cones and filling them with Cracker Jacks. To make your own paper holders, cut a decorative piece of card stock or other sturdy paper to measure 7.5-by-11 inches. Simply twist each into a cone shape and use double-stick tape to hold the shape together.

Punch up your drinks

For an elegant touch, fill the punch bowl with fruit-filled ice and ice rings. Try using blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, rose petals, and edible white flowers to stay with the red, white, and blue theme. Use a bundt pan to make thicker ice rings that won&rsquot melt as quickly in the hot sun.

RECIPES

Blue Harvest Cocktail

  • 2 oz. American Harvest vodka
  • ½ oz. Organic Blue Curacao
  • ½ oz. white cranberry juice
  • 1 lime
  • Hint of agave nectar
  • 1 raspberry
  • 1 American flag toothpick
  • Red sugar sprinkles
Squeeze half of the lime into a shaker and add vodka, Blue Curacao, and white cranberry juice. Fill the shaker halfway with ice and shake for 10 to15 seconds. Rim a chilled highball glass with red sugar. Cut a wedge out of the other half of the lime and dip it in agave nectar. Garnish the glass with the American flag toothpick, lime wedge, and raspberry.

Avocado and Blue Lump Crab Tian – yields 4 servings

Avocado and Blue Lump Crab Tian
  • 2 Hass avocados
  • ½ lb. lump crabmeat, picked through
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ lb. field greens
  • ½ red pepper, diced small
  • ½ yellow pepper, diced small
  • 16 grape tomatoes
  • 4 oz. A L&rsquoOlivier truffle vinaigrette
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
In a small mixing bowl, combine the peppers, mayo, lemon juice, cilantro, 1 oz. of truffle vinaigrette, and crab meat. Lightly toss to combine, then season with salt and pepper. Split both avocados in half and remove the pits. Carefully peel off the skin and slice into thin, lengthwise pieces and fan out. Place a spoonful of crab mix into the center of each avocado half. Add salad greens, tomatoes, peppers, and dressing.
GEAR

1. Rwanda Basket 12-inch New Spirit Fruit Bowl Handcrafted by Rwandan women artisans, this basket is naturally dyed sisal coil sewn over bundled sweet grass ($50).

2. Sailboat Bottle Caddy Made from recycled steel and copper, this whimsical piece holds a wine bottle horizontally on deck ($82).

3. Paradise Linen Table Runner in Spice/Cherry This hand-printed and -sewn, preshrunk Italian linen is made with eco-friendly, water-based inks ($70).


Eco-friendly Recipes and Party Tips

What better way to get into the Fourth of July spirit than with entertaining tips straight from our nation&rsquos capital? Mekdim Yemane, director of sales and marketing at The Melrose Hotel in Washington, D.C., shows her patriotic stripes with colorful décor ideas and playful American pastimes, while Executive Chef Nate Lindsay of the hotel&rsquos Jardenea restaurant dishes on a mouth-watering salad and a frosty cocktail to refresh your guests&rsquo palates this summer. Pair these with an eco-friendly tablescape and you&rsquove got yourself a party. Now, for the fireworks.

Play some games

For outdoor soirées, encourage guests to mingle by scattering large floor cushions on the lawn. Keep with the patriotic theme and buy ones with festive prints, such as bold nautical stripes and playful red polka dots. Another idea: Celebrate America&rsquos favorite leisure activities by filling large containers with decorative green grass and laying sports equipment on top that guests can actually play with, like baseballs and bats, footballs, and red and blue croquet balls.

Set the scene

Start with a colorful runner and build a charming centerpiece by alternating between bowls filled with red peonies floating in water and ice bowls filled with upright red, white, and blue ice pops and pinwheels. Then, create easy place settings by writing each guest&rsquos name on paper cones and filling them with Cracker Jacks. To make your own paper holders, cut a decorative piece of card stock or other sturdy paper to measure 7.5-by-11 inches. Simply twist each into a cone shape and use double-stick tape to hold the shape together.

Punch up your drinks

For an elegant touch, fill the punch bowl with fruit-filled ice and ice rings. Try using blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, rose petals, and edible white flowers to stay with the red, white, and blue theme. Use a bundt pan to make thicker ice rings that won&rsquot melt as quickly in the hot sun.

RECIPES

Blue Harvest Cocktail

  • 2 oz. American Harvest vodka
  • ½ oz. Organic Blue Curacao
  • ½ oz. white cranberry juice
  • 1 lime
  • Hint of agave nectar
  • 1 raspberry
  • 1 American flag toothpick
  • Red sugar sprinkles
Squeeze half of the lime into a shaker and add vodka, Blue Curacao, and white cranberry juice. Fill the shaker halfway with ice and shake for 10 to15 seconds. Rim a chilled highball glass with red sugar. Cut a wedge out of the other half of the lime and dip it in agave nectar. Garnish the glass with the American flag toothpick, lime wedge, and raspberry.

Avocado and Blue Lump Crab Tian – yields 4 servings

Avocado and Blue Lump Crab Tian
  • 2 Hass avocados
  • ½ lb. lump crabmeat, picked through
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ lb. field greens
  • ½ red pepper, diced small
  • ½ yellow pepper, diced small
  • 16 grape tomatoes
  • 4 oz. A L&rsquoOlivier truffle vinaigrette
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
In a small mixing bowl, combine the peppers, mayo, lemon juice, cilantro, 1 oz. of truffle vinaigrette, and crab meat. Lightly toss to combine, then season with salt and pepper. Split both avocados in half and remove the pits. Carefully peel off the skin and slice into thin, lengthwise pieces and fan out. Place a spoonful of crab mix into the center of each avocado half. Add salad greens, tomatoes, peppers, and dressing.
GEAR

1. Rwanda Basket 12-inch New Spirit Fruit Bowl Handcrafted by Rwandan women artisans, this basket is naturally dyed sisal coil sewn over bundled sweet grass ($50).

2. Sailboat Bottle Caddy Made from recycled steel and copper, this whimsical piece holds a wine bottle horizontally on deck ($82).

3. Paradise Linen Table Runner in Spice/Cherry This hand-printed and -sewn, preshrunk Italian linen is made with eco-friendly, water-based inks ($70).


Eco-friendly Recipes and Party Tips

What better way to get into the Fourth of July spirit than with entertaining tips straight from our nation&rsquos capital? Mekdim Yemane, director of sales and marketing at The Melrose Hotel in Washington, D.C., shows her patriotic stripes with colorful décor ideas and playful American pastimes, while Executive Chef Nate Lindsay of the hotel&rsquos Jardenea restaurant dishes on a mouth-watering salad and a frosty cocktail to refresh your guests&rsquo palates this summer. Pair these with an eco-friendly tablescape and you&rsquove got yourself a party. Now, for the fireworks.

Play some games

For outdoor soirées, encourage guests to mingle by scattering large floor cushions on the lawn. Keep with the patriotic theme and buy ones with festive prints, such as bold nautical stripes and playful red polka dots. Another idea: Celebrate America&rsquos favorite leisure activities by filling large containers with decorative green grass and laying sports equipment on top that guests can actually play with, like baseballs and bats, footballs, and red and blue croquet balls.

Set the scene

Start with a colorful runner and build a charming centerpiece by alternating between bowls filled with red peonies floating in water and ice bowls filled with upright red, white, and blue ice pops and pinwheels. Then, create easy place settings by writing each guest&rsquos name on paper cones and filling them with Cracker Jacks. To make your own paper holders, cut a decorative piece of card stock or other sturdy paper to measure 7.5-by-11 inches. Simply twist each into a cone shape and use double-stick tape to hold the shape together.

Punch up your drinks

For an elegant touch, fill the punch bowl with fruit-filled ice and ice rings. Try using blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, rose petals, and edible white flowers to stay with the red, white, and blue theme. Use a bundt pan to make thicker ice rings that won&rsquot melt as quickly in the hot sun.

RECIPES

Blue Harvest Cocktail

  • 2 oz. American Harvest vodka
  • ½ oz. Organic Blue Curacao
  • ½ oz. white cranberry juice
  • 1 lime
  • Hint of agave nectar
  • 1 raspberry
  • 1 American flag toothpick
  • Red sugar sprinkles
Squeeze half of the lime into a shaker and add vodka, Blue Curacao, and white cranberry juice. Fill the shaker halfway with ice and shake for 10 to15 seconds. Rim a chilled highball glass with red sugar. Cut a wedge out of the other half of the lime and dip it in agave nectar. Garnish the glass with the American flag toothpick, lime wedge, and raspberry.

Avocado and Blue Lump Crab Tian – yields 4 servings

Avocado and Blue Lump Crab Tian
  • 2 Hass avocados
  • ½ lb. lump crabmeat, picked through
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ lb. field greens
  • ½ red pepper, diced small
  • ½ yellow pepper, diced small
  • 16 grape tomatoes
  • 4 oz. A L&rsquoOlivier truffle vinaigrette
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
In a small mixing bowl, combine the peppers, mayo, lemon juice, cilantro, 1 oz. of truffle vinaigrette, and crab meat. Lightly toss to combine, then season with salt and pepper. Split both avocados in half and remove the pits. Carefully peel off the skin and slice into thin, lengthwise pieces and fan out. Place a spoonful of crab mix into the center of each avocado half. Add salad greens, tomatoes, peppers, and dressing.
GEAR

1. Rwanda Basket 12-inch New Spirit Fruit Bowl Handcrafted by Rwandan women artisans, this basket is naturally dyed sisal coil sewn over bundled sweet grass ($50).

2. Sailboat Bottle Caddy Made from recycled steel and copper, this whimsical piece holds a wine bottle horizontally on deck ($82).

3. Paradise Linen Table Runner in Spice/Cherry This hand-printed and -sewn, preshrunk Italian linen is made with eco-friendly, water-based inks ($70).


Eco-friendly Recipes and Party Tips

What better way to get into the Fourth of July spirit than with entertaining tips straight from our nation&rsquos capital? Mekdim Yemane, director of sales and marketing at The Melrose Hotel in Washington, D.C., shows her patriotic stripes with colorful décor ideas and playful American pastimes, while Executive Chef Nate Lindsay of the hotel&rsquos Jardenea restaurant dishes on a mouth-watering salad and a frosty cocktail to refresh your guests&rsquo palates this summer. Pair these with an eco-friendly tablescape and you&rsquove got yourself a party. Now, for the fireworks.

Play some games

For outdoor soirées, encourage guests to mingle by scattering large floor cushions on the lawn. Keep with the patriotic theme and buy ones with festive prints, such as bold nautical stripes and playful red polka dots. Another idea: Celebrate America&rsquos favorite leisure activities by filling large containers with decorative green grass and laying sports equipment on top that guests can actually play with, like baseballs and bats, footballs, and red and blue croquet balls.

Set the scene

Start with a colorful runner and build a charming centerpiece by alternating between bowls filled with red peonies floating in water and ice bowls filled with upright red, white, and blue ice pops and pinwheels. Then, create easy place settings by writing each guest&rsquos name on paper cones and filling them with Cracker Jacks. To make your own paper holders, cut a decorative piece of card stock or other sturdy paper to measure 7.5-by-11 inches. Simply twist each into a cone shape and use double-stick tape to hold the shape together.

Punch up your drinks

For an elegant touch, fill the punch bowl with fruit-filled ice and ice rings. Try using blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, rose petals, and edible white flowers to stay with the red, white, and blue theme. Use a bundt pan to make thicker ice rings that won&rsquot melt as quickly in the hot sun.

RECIPES

Blue Harvest Cocktail

  • 2 oz. American Harvest vodka
  • ½ oz. Organic Blue Curacao
  • ½ oz. white cranberry juice
  • 1 lime
  • Hint of agave nectar
  • 1 raspberry
  • 1 American flag toothpick
  • Red sugar sprinkles
Squeeze half of the lime into a shaker and add vodka, Blue Curacao, and white cranberry juice. Fill the shaker halfway with ice and shake for 10 to15 seconds. Rim a chilled highball glass with red sugar. Cut a wedge out of the other half of the lime and dip it in agave nectar. Garnish the glass with the American flag toothpick, lime wedge, and raspberry.

Avocado and Blue Lump Crab Tian – yields 4 servings

Avocado and Blue Lump Crab Tian
  • 2 Hass avocados
  • ½ lb. lump crabmeat, picked through
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ lb. field greens
  • ½ red pepper, diced small
  • ½ yellow pepper, diced small
  • 16 grape tomatoes
  • 4 oz. A L&rsquoOlivier truffle vinaigrette
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
In a small mixing bowl, combine the peppers, mayo, lemon juice, cilantro, 1 oz. of truffle vinaigrette, and crab meat. Lightly toss to combine, then season with salt and pepper. Split both avocados in half and remove the pits. Carefully peel off the skin and slice into thin, lengthwise pieces and fan out. Place a spoonful of crab mix into the center of each avocado half. Add salad greens, tomatoes, peppers, and dressing.
GEAR

1. Rwanda Basket 12-inch New Spirit Fruit Bowl Handcrafted by Rwandan women artisans, this basket is naturally dyed sisal coil sewn over bundled sweet grass ($50).

2. Sailboat Bottle Caddy Made from recycled steel and copper, this whimsical piece holds a wine bottle horizontally on deck ($82).

3. Paradise Linen Table Runner in Spice/Cherry This hand-printed and -sewn, preshrunk Italian linen is made with eco-friendly, water-based inks ($70).


Eco-friendly Recipes and Party Tips

What better way to get into the Fourth of July spirit than with entertaining tips straight from our nation&rsquos capital? Mekdim Yemane, director of sales and marketing at The Melrose Hotel in Washington, D.C., shows her patriotic stripes with colorful décor ideas and playful American pastimes, while Executive Chef Nate Lindsay of the hotel&rsquos Jardenea restaurant dishes on a mouth-watering salad and a frosty cocktail to refresh your guests&rsquo palates this summer. Pair these with an eco-friendly tablescape and you&rsquove got yourself a party. Now, for the fireworks.

Play some games

For outdoor soirées, encourage guests to mingle by scattering large floor cushions on the lawn. Keep with the patriotic theme and buy ones with festive prints, such as bold nautical stripes and playful red polka dots. Another idea: Celebrate America&rsquos favorite leisure activities by filling large containers with decorative green grass and laying sports equipment on top that guests can actually play with, like baseballs and bats, footballs, and red and blue croquet balls.

Set the scene

Start with a colorful runner and build a charming centerpiece by alternating between bowls filled with red peonies floating in water and ice bowls filled with upright red, white, and blue ice pops and pinwheels. Then, create easy place settings by writing each guest&rsquos name on paper cones and filling them with Cracker Jacks. To make your own paper holders, cut a decorative piece of card stock or other sturdy paper to measure 7.5-by-11 inches. Simply twist each into a cone shape and use double-stick tape to hold the shape together.

Punch up your drinks

For an elegant touch, fill the punch bowl with fruit-filled ice and ice rings. Try using blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, rose petals, and edible white flowers to stay with the red, white, and blue theme. Use a bundt pan to make thicker ice rings that won&rsquot melt as quickly in the hot sun.

RECIPES

Blue Harvest Cocktail

  • 2 oz. American Harvest vodka
  • ½ oz. Organic Blue Curacao
  • ½ oz. white cranberry juice
  • 1 lime
  • Hint of agave nectar
  • 1 raspberry
  • 1 American flag toothpick
  • Red sugar sprinkles
Squeeze half of the lime into a shaker and add vodka, Blue Curacao, and white cranberry juice. Fill the shaker halfway with ice and shake for 10 to15 seconds. Rim a chilled highball glass with red sugar. Cut a wedge out of the other half of the lime and dip it in agave nectar. Garnish the glass with the American flag toothpick, lime wedge, and raspberry.

Avocado and Blue Lump Crab Tian – yields 4 servings

Avocado and Blue Lump Crab Tian
  • 2 Hass avocados
  • ½ lb. lump crabmeat, picked through
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ lb. field greens
  • ½ red pepper, diced small
  • ½ yellow pepper, diced small
  • 16 grape tomatoes
  • 4 oz. A L&rsquoOlivier truffle vinaigrette
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
In a small mixing bowl, combine the peppers, mayo, lemon juice, cilantro, 1 oz. of truffle vinaigrette, and crab meat. Lightly toss to combine, then season with salt and pepper. Split both avocados in half and remove the pits. Carefully peel off the skin and slice into thin, lengthwise pieces and fan out. Place a spoonful of crab mix into the center of each avocado half. Add salad greens, tomatoes, peppers, and dressing.
GEAR

1. Rwanda Basket 12-inch New Spirit Fruit Bowl Handcrafted by Rwandan women artisans, this basket is naturally dyed sisal coil sewn over bundled sweet grass ($50).

2. Sailboat Bottle Caddy Made from recycled steel and copper, this whimsical piece holds a wine bottle horizontally on deck ($82).

3. Paradise Linen Table Runner in Spice/Cherry This hand-printed and -sewn, preshrunk Italian linen is made with eco-friendly, water-based inks ($70).


Eco-friendly Recipes and Party Tips

What better way to get into the Fourth of July spirit than with entertaining tips straight from our nation&rsquos capital? Mekdim Yemane, director of sales and marketing at The Melrose Hotel in Washington, D.C., shows her patriotic stripes with colorful décor ideas and playful American pastimes, while Executive Chef Nate Lindsay of the hotel&rsquos Jardenea restaurant dishes on a mouth-watering salad and a frosty cocktail to refresh your guests&rsquo palates this summer. Pair these with an eco-friendly tablescape and you&rsquove got yourself a party. Now, for the fireworks.

Play some games

For outdoor soirées, encourage guests to mingle by scattering large floor cushions on the lawn. Keep with the patriotic theme and buy ones with festive prints, such as bold nautical stripes and playful red polka dots. Another idea: Celebrate America&rsquos favorite leisure activities by filling large containers with decorative green grass and laying sports equipment on top that guests can actually play with, like baseballs and bats, footballs, and red and blue croquet balls.

Set the scene

Start with a colorful runner and build a charming centerpiece by alternating between bowls filled with red peonies floating in water and ice bowls filled with upright red, white, and blue ice pops and pinwheels. Then, create easy place settings by writing each guest&rsquos name on paper cones and filling them with Cracker Jacks. To make your own paper holders, cut a decorative piece of card stock or other sturdy paper to measure 7.5-by-11 inches. Simply twist each into a cone shape and use double-stick tape to hold the shape together.

Punch up your drinks

For an elegant touch, fill the punch bowl with fruit-filled ice and ice rings. Try using blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, rose petals, and edible white flowers to stay with the red, white, and blue theme. Use a bundt pan to make thicker ice rings that won&rsquot melt as quickly in the hot sun.

RECIPES

Blue Harvest Cocktail

  • 2 oz. American Harvest vodka
  • ½ oz. Organic Blue Curacao
  • ½ oz. white cranberry juice
  • 1 lime
  • Hint of agave nectar
  • 1 raspberry
  • 1 American flag toothpick
  • Red sugar sprinkles
Squeeze half of the lime into a shaker and add vodka, Blue Curacao, and white cranberry juice. Fill the shaker halfway with ice and shake for 10 to15 seconds. Rim a chilled highball glass with red sugar. Cut a wedge out of the other half of the lime and dip it in agave nectar. Garnish the glass with the American flag toothpick, lime wedge, and raspberry.

Avocado and Blue Lump Crab Tian – yields 4 servings

Avocado and Blue Lump Crab Tian
  • 2 Hass avocados
  • ½ lb. lump crabmeat, picked through
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ lb. field greens
  • ½ red pepper, diced small
  • ½ yellow pepper, diced small
  • 16 grape tomatoes
  • 4 oz. A L&rsquoOlivier truffle vinaigrette
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
In a small mixing bowl, combine the peppers, mayo, lemon juice, cilantro, 1 oz. of truffle vinaigrette, and crab meat. Lightly toss to combine, then season with salt and pepper. Split both avocados in half and remove the pits. Carefully peel off the skin and slice into thin, lengthwise pieces and fan out. Place a spoonful of crab mix into the center of each avocado half. Add salad greens, tomatoes, peppers, and dressing.
GEAR

1. Rwanda Basket 12-inch New Spirit Fruit Bowl Handcrafted by Rwandan women artisans, this basket is naturally dyed sisal coil sewn over bundled sweet grass ($50).

2. Sailboat Bottle Caddy Made from recycled steel and copper, this whimsical piece holds a wine bottle horizontally on deck ($82).

3. Paradise Linen Table Runner in Spice/Cherry This hand-printed and -sewn, preshrunk Italian linen is made with eco-friendly, water-based inks ($70).



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