If you pay any attention to what’s hip and trendy with food events, you may be familiar with white attire dinners. The biggest one is Diner en Blanc, a pop-up dinner party that happens in public places in cities all around the world. People who score an invite to these soirees don’t know the exact location of the dinner until right before it happens. They have a rendezvous location, and then there is usually a several block walk to the location.

Attendees supply everything — food, beverages, tables, chairs, china (it must be china), candlelight, and it all must be white. The dress code for the evening is white, too. Tickets to these events can be difficult to get, so imitations are popping up. One small community near me is holding its own white attire dinner calling it a “Pop Up Gala” with many of the same requirements – bring your own food, table, chairs, etc.

It can be tempting to go all out for one of these chic picnics and spend a lot of money for new sparkling white items to be the perfect party guest, but there are ways to make these white parties a little greener. Here are a few ideas.

  1. Beg, borrow, (but don’t steal). If you’re walking several blocks carrying your own table and chairs, you’ll need them to be small and lightweight. Instead of heading out to the big box store to purchase new, why not ask friends if they have anything you can borrow? A quick request on Facebook or Twitter is a great way to reach a lot of friends at once.
  2. Thrift stores or antique stores. Old linens can be much more chic than new ones. Search for a used white tablecloth and cloth napkins that have a history attached to them. If you don’t want to take your good wine glasses with you, buy some from a thrift shop that you won’t mind getting accidently chipped.
  3. Local foods. Hit the farmers market or the local food section of your supermarket for the food you take with you. Since these white dinners usually happen in the warmer weather, the local food choices will be plentiful.
  4. Local wine and beer. Visit a local brewpub and grab a growler or a go to a local winery for some bubbly or wine. At these events, the drinks usually flow, and if everyone in attendance brought something local, think of the boost it would give to local producers.
  5. Shop your closet or consignment. What do you already have that is white? Do you really need a new outfit? If you don’t have a whole white outfit that you can put together, try a consignment shop for a gently worn out fit instead of buying new.
Have you been a guest at an all-white-attire dinner? How did you keep your sparkling white affair a little bit green?

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

5 ideas to green your all-white-attire affair
Ideas to green a white attire dinner that is all the rage.