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How to Throw a Sophisticated, Sustainable Brooklyn Rooftop Party

Updated: Jul 26, 2022

Sophisticated rooftop gatherings have become a social staple in many Brooklyn neighborhoods, particularly Crown Heights and Park Slope. The borough offers a quiet, elegant respite from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, making it the perfect backdrop for any private function.

Additionally, finished rooftops are among the most in-demand home features in the area for buyers. A trend that skyrocketed during quarantine, people relish in the idea of an amenity-rich building with private, elevated outdoor space.

From a sustainability standpoint, there can be a lot of considerations that come into play when planning your rooftop function.

As someone who is passionate about green living, I’ve compiled some benchmarks below based on my own experience planning a party for 1007 Bergen Street in Crown Heights.

The building’s finished rooftop and views made it easy to envision a function there. Furthermore, it was built with sustainability in mind! It is solar-powered, with paneled awnings outside offering shade while helping power residents’ day-to-day lives.

Even if you don’t live in a sustainably built building, however, there are still ways to ensure your party’s footprint is as small as possible. Here are a few worth considering!

1. Support Local Businesses

This is perhaps the easiest benchmark to meet. Areas like Brooklyn are home to a wealth of local, family-run catering companies with the utmost quality of products and services. For 1007 Bergen, for instance, I ordered delicious tacos, empanadas, and elotes Chavela’s. Supplies for our signature cocktails were purchased from Food Garden Market, and dessert (mini cupcakes) came from BCakeNY.

Need music for your event? There is plenty of talent in Brooklyn! Hire a local DJ or musician to entertain your guests.

2. Sustainable Furnishings

As any New Yorker will tell you, furniture is a currency in this city that is alive and thriving! Every day people move and give away furniture and home décor to lighten their loads, and the quality you can find is outstanding. There are also groups like Recycled Brooklyn and @stoopingbklyn on Instagram.

You can even get creative and upcycle, using simple materials like jars and corks to create beautiful centerpieces. Finding furnishings and décor these ways will prevent waste and could save you money in the long run!

3. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!

When gathering supplies for your event, try to focus on plates, cups, and straws that can easily be recycled or reused. There are also these biodegradable bamboo utensils, which are both elegant and environmentally friendly!

Having a simple recycling bin at the bar or near the catering table will also encourage your guests to do so as well.

4. Alternative Energy

Look into products like these solar-powered string lights to decorate your party while avoiding unnecessary use of electricity. There are even solar-powered fans you can use to keep your guests cool, as we all know Brooklyn can be quite warm in the summertime. If your roof our outdoor space is limited in terms of outlets, this is also a great option!

(P.S., Consider adding a fashion theme like “wear white” to keep your guests looking chic and cool on summer days; glowing well into the evening!)

Leigh Wallace is a Licensed Real Estate Agent with Brown Harris Stevens who is passionate about environmental welfare and sustainability. You can connect with Leigh here.

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