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5 Great Shops for Eco-Friendly Entertaining Essentials

by Katie Hawley

Oct 3, 2018

Reduce, reuse, recycle—and shop stylish autumn entertaining essentials designed with the environment in mind.

Rows of compostable wooden forks from Sucre Shop
Photo by: Sucre Shop

Grab your dancing shoes, prep the punch bowl, and start styling your charcuterie spreads—peak entertaining season is almost here. You know the drill: Potlucks. Cocktail parties. Dinner parties. Thanksgiving. Friendsgiving. And then, before we even blink, it's holiday go-time. Exciting, to be sure—especially for the die-hard hosts and stylish party animals among us—but also potentially taxing, both for our social calendars and for the planet we call home. Good news for everyone, including Mother Earth: It's easier than ever to go green with your seasonal entertaining supplies, thanks to an impressive array of environmentally conscious options from eco-friendly makers around the world. From surprisingly elegant compostable plates to chic double-duty centerpieces (and everything in between), some of the most on-trend entertaining essentials topping party-pro lists this year have also been designed with the environment in mind. So whether you're the hostess with the mostess or just a guest extraordinaire, read on to discover some of our favorite sustainable party finds.

Compostable plates

We get it: Nobody likes doing the dishes, especially after a fun-filled night of catching up with friends and family. But before you reach for a single-use option that's destined to end up in a landfill, consider an eco-friendly alternative that's equally disposable, like these pretty palm-leaf plates from Wild Leaf Tableware. Made from fallen leaves (a renewable raw material!), the sturdy, heat-safe dishes can be composted after use. Palm leaf plates from Wild Leaf Tableware, $20 for 25

A reusable wine tote

A good guest never shows up to a party empty-handed, and transporting your go-to bottle of wine in something other than a plastic bag from the liquor store not only saves some waste, it also makes even a last-minute contribution seem considered. Enter Aplat's reusable canvas wine tote. Crafted from organic, sustainable fibers and lined with surplus chambray sourced from San Francisco factories, this clever carryall boasts three side pockets perfect for stashing snacks (and bringing home leftovers). Navy wine tote from Aplat, $52

Cloth napkins

No one could blame you for wanting to keep your breakable glassware and plates safe in the cabinets during those casual, come-and-go shindigs when guests are roaming the room and accidents inevitably happen. But there's no comparable argument for cloth napkins, so we suggest investing in a few extra matched (or coordinated) sets to see you through the next season's gatherings. Thanks to their deep mustard hue (good for masking stains) and hardworking cotton composition (washing machine–friendly), these screen-printed napkins from Softer + Wild are more than up to the job. Just toss them in the laundry when your last guest leaves and pat yourself on the back for sparing a disposable paper pack. Even better, this fall-themed set comes with a bonus tea towel, perfect for wiping up dining room (or dance floor) spills. Tea towel and napkin set from Softer + Wild, $33 for four napkins and one matching tea towel

Biodegradable utensils

By the time you've put the finishing touches on your party's showstopper snack station, it can seem like you've managed to use every formerly clean fork and spoon in the house. We've all been there—which makes disposable silverware for guests a totally sane entertaining choice that can be green to boot. Case in point? Sucre Shop's single-use wooden forks, which are compostable, made from sustainably forested and harvested birch, and hand-stamped with cheerful, mod monochromatic flowers. Biodegradable wooden forks from Sucre Shop, $8 for 20 

A multipurpose centerpiece

When it comes to looking out for the planet, buying vintage might just be the ultimate Earth-saving move. Double down on the reduce, reuse, recycle mindset by repurposing a treasured vintage find as a table centerpiece—and skip buying a brand-new, hyper-specific something you'll hide in deep storage for the next 364 days. Our pick? A classic vintage ceramic pitcher, like this one from Mod Rendition. Fill it with your signature party punch, or style it as a vase with pretty dried flowers for extra oomph—and leave it on your dining table year-round. Vintage ceramic pitcher from Mod Rendition, $45

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Katie Hawley

Katie Hawley is a senior editor at Etsy. She's also an aspiring weaver, a perpetual snacker, and head-over-heels obsessed with her dog.