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Sustainable party-planning for the holidays

Catering may be a bit out of your league this year, but the organic produce at your local supermarket isn't cost-effective either.

For a holiday party packed with impact, why not serve up platters with ingredients from local farmer's markets?

The Canadian Press recommends going local this year to keep things deliciously simple with a parsnip dish or a potato tortilla, both of which contain winter root vegetables that can be grown in your backyard.

The news source also recommends spacing out the appetizers, with about 6 to 8 bite-sized pieces per guest each hour. Most importantly, though, you should be ready for fun when guests arrive, and with simple homegrown recipes, you shouldn't have to put in any overtime in the kitchen.

You can extend this idea to your decor and holiday party favors as well. Guests will love holiday gift box keepsakes, which promise to be useful even if they're empty. Personalized holiday honey jars or mini glass candy jars can also be re-used once your friends finish snacking on the treats inside.