Sustainable Holiday Party Planning Tips


As winter break approaches and the chill of finals sets in, the days are getting shorter and darker. Maybe you’re out of flex, you’ve been struck down by the Claremont cold, or you tried and failed to get Taylor Swift tickets. Regardless of the reason, many of us are in need of a morale boost. The solution? A gift-exchange holiday party with friends to ward off the cold and end the semester on a good note. Here are our tips to make your holiday party eco-conscious this year.

To make gift-giving parties extra meaningful, make a rule that none of the gifts can be purchased. Instead, think of gifts like homemade jewelry, personalized poetry, or a donation to an organization that has meaning to your friend. On December 8th, the Eco-Reps will be hosting a Sustainable Gift Making Workshop – stop by to make gifts for your friends and enjoy some snacks. At the Walker Flea Market on December 4th, there will also be a holiday card making station where you can make homemade cards to supplement your gifts! If you decide to go the purchased gifts route, you can also try a white elephant gift exchange to reduce the number of gifts being given and the total amount of waste.

Once you have your gifts, all that’s left to do is make the drinks! If you need any dishes for cooking or serving food and drinks, you can borrow them using Pomona’s greenware program.

Homemade Hot Chocolate


  • ▢ 4 cups milk (preferably whole or 2%)
  • ▢ ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ▢ ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ▢ ½ cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate bar
  • ▢ ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Place milk, cocoa powder and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium/medium-low heat, whisking frequently, until warm (but not boiling). Add chocolate chips and whisk constantly until the chocolate chips melt and distribute evenly into the milk. Whisk in vanilla extract, serve immediately.

Hot Apple Cider


  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 5-10 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 cup cloves - whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg


Add all ingredients in a large pot and simmer as long as you need prior to serving.

Jonna is a sophomore at Pomona College majoring in International Relations