Your Eco-Friendly Celebration: A Guide to Producing a Sustainable Event 
glass house event tablescape


Learn how to plan a sustainable event for your next special milestone— creating lasting memories while treading lightly on the planet.

I’m Cab, one-half of the humble proprietors at Mar Vista Farm + Cottages. I have a long career in hospitality, mainly planning events and F&B… That’s food and beverage for Traci out there! In any case, I have a good grasp on what it takes to have a fabulous and sustainable event for any kind of celebration. Here are my thoughts – yours to use, be inspired by, or discard – but I hope you enJOY!

  1. Let Nature’s Beauty Illuminate Your Joyous Occasion: Are you dreaming of hosting a celebration that not only fills your heart with joy but also leaves a positive impact on the environment? Inspired by the principles of Mar Vista Farm + Cottages and our commitment to sustainability, this post will guide you on how to produce your own eco-friendly celebration and some tips on what to look for in any event to make it better.
  2. Define Your Vision: Start by envisioning the type of celebration you want to host. Is it a wedding, a milestone birthday, a family reunion, or a corporate event? Understanding the purpose and scale (especially your budget!) of your event will help you plan effectively and make eco-conscious decisions from the start. At Mar Vista we spend a good deal of time getting a good vision of the event. I say “Paint the picture and we’ll fill in the colors”.
  3. Select the Right Venue: When it comes to sustainability, the venue plays a crucial role. Choose a location that aligns with your values and eco-friendly practices. The venue contact is REALLY important. If you don’t like them to start, it won’t get any better.  And the space should really speak to you. An outdoor setting, like a garden or a beach, can add a touch of natural beauty, feel soulful and also reduce the need for energy-intensive indoor lighting.
  4. Eco-Friendly Invitations and Decorations: Opt for digital invitations instead of traditional paper cards. Electronic invites not only save trees and landfills but also allow for easy RSVP management. We’ve found at Mar Vista that people appreciate the saving of resources. If you need that keepsake, have it copied onto a plate or plaque that you can display. And let nature be your guide when it comes to decorations. Utilize locally-sourced flowers, potted plants, and natural materials like wood, bamboo, or recycled paper. We always offer seasonal florals at events at Mar Vista – keep it minimal, focusing on meaningful decor elements that showcase the season and the venue’s beauty without excessive waste. You can always donate leftover flowers or plants to hospitals, schools churches or community gardens.
  5. Mindful Catering: Food is a central part of any celebration, and you can make sustainable choices here as well. Collaborate with caterers who prioritize organic, locally-sourced, and seasonal ingredients. Opt for a diverse menu that includes plant-based options, reducing the event’s carbon footprint. Research if the caterer ever donates leftovers to local food banks or uses composting practices. Consider easy services like buffets or family style. Not only should you research what uses fewer resources but if there is less staff, your costs should also be less. If you do want table service, be conscious of what/how the staff is paid and if they are fairly compensated. And eliminate single-use items and provide reusable tableware, glassware, and cutlery.  At Mar Vista we used mixed motif vintage + contemporary tableware that feels elegant with a touch of whimsy. 
  6. Share Your Sustainability Story: Educate your guests about the sustainable aspects of your celebration. Use social and tag your venue – Mar Vista loves social media LOVE! Highlight the eco-friendly choices made throughout the event and inspire others to adopt similar practices in their lives.

By following these guidelines and sustainable principles, your celebration will be a harmonious union of joy and environmental consciousness. Let nature’s beauty illuminate your event as you create lasting memories while treading lightly on the planet. Together, we can all show that celebration and sustainability can go hand in hand, leaving a positive legacy for future generations.

Mar Vista is available to host a variety of events from weddings to birthday gatherings, corporate retreats, or family reunions.  Reach out to to inquire about your sustainable event today.