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The green-eyed event planner - Moving on and moving up

Summer's here and many of you will be moving on and/or moving up. Moving to your first home or apartmentis an exciting time.

Summer's here and many of you will be moving on and/or moving up. Moving to your first home or apartmentis an exciting time. Moving from your first home to a larger,new home is exciting too! Friends and family will be anxiouslywaiting for the invitation to a housewarming party sothat they can get a tour of the new home and maybe bringyou a little something.

Here are some tips for throwing a stress free housewarmingparty!

Change of address cards can double as invitations. Sendout postcards with your change of address, directions toyour new home and the time and date of your housewarming.Personalize the postcard by taking a photo of yournew home and print them out on 4 x 6 stock. On thereverse you can provide the details. Only use traditionalmail for those few individuals who live out of town andaren't connected via the internet, as there are definitely"greener" options.

"Facebook" them with the details. For your facebookfriends, create an event on your facebook page with all thehousewarming details, directions, etc.

E-vite them! If the majority of your friends and familyare connected via email, send them the information via anemail message. You can still attach the photo, directions,etc.

No need to decorate, your new home is the decoration!You can create a welcoming atmosphere with candlelightand fresh flowers (never leave a candle unattended).

Set up a no-host drink station so that guests can servethemselves. (You will be too busy giving tours) Don't gooverboard with the choices. Why not come up with a signaturecocktail and call it the new "Hometini"? The mixcan be prepared ahead of time and sitting in pitchers. Havea little index card with instructions on how to create thecocktail. Beer and/or coolers can be sitting in buckets of icefor easy access. Always ensure you have something nonalcoholicavailable for guests who are driving.

Create a coffee station that is extraordinary. Brew both apot of caffeine free coffee and of regular coffee and setthem out in pump pots or carafe's clearly labeled. Rim yourcoffee mugs by dipping them first in either a simple syrupor a liqueur, then press the rim into a mixture of cinnamonsugar (just like the kind you would put on your toast in themorning) Provide coffee cream and milk for the coffee aswell as a selection of sugars (including splenda, equal, etc).If you wish, you can also set out a selection of coffeeliqueurs such as Irish Cream. Tip: Rolo candies are deliciousdropped into hot coffee and stirred!

High Impact low effort appetizers. No one has toknow it is takeout! Order an assortment of sushi from alocal restaurant and display it beautifully. When you placethe order, drop off your own serving platter(s) and askthem to use them instead of takeout containers. This willsave time for you and be more eco-friendly.

Lollipop's are fun! We are all kids at heart and can'tresist anything on a stick. Make Rice Krispie treats, moldthem into small balls, insert a lollipop stick and dip in meltedchocolate. Display them by inserting one end of thestick into a watermelon (you can have watermelon the nextday)

Are you invited to a housewarming party? Here are justa few ideas for gifts that will set the new homeowners onthe right "green" path:

Purchase recycling bins and print out instructions onwhat is recyclable and how to sort.

Sign them up for curbside recycling pay for the first6 months

Water saver faucet attachment for kitchen sink

Water saver attachment for shower

A bucket filled with an assortment of green cleanerssuch as Seventh Generation and a collection of "pre-loved"rags

A compost collection container for under the sink (providea cheat sheet on what is acceptable for compost)

A backyard compost container.

If they have teenagers, purchase a shower timer thatsticks to the shower stall (4 minutes!)

Purchase them a replacement shower curtain that isnot made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

Judy Kucharuk is owner of Footprint ManagementSystems Inc. and specializes in Green Meetings and Events.For more info log onto or checkout her Facebook page, the "Green Eyed Event Planner"

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