With huge bowls of food, bottles popping and lots of present wrapping to rip off, parties are fun, but they can very wasteful. Here are 7 ways to reduce waste, plus ideas on how we can all do our bit to throw a fabulously planet-friendly party!
1. Choose Biodegradable Balloons
Balloons are a party staple, right? Wrong. Balloons are awful for the environment and take typically up to 4 years to degrade. Before they do degrade, wildlife could become entangled in the balloon shreds and even end up inside their little tummies.
Stick to biodegradable balloons or choose some recyclable decorations like natural crepe paper strings and unbleached tissue paper garlands to decorate with.
2. Decorate With Reusable Decorations
Do you actually need the single use decorations and balloons as I mentioned above in section 1? Or is it time to invest in some well-made reusable decorations like organic or recycled cotton bunting instead? You could make use of generic “happy birthday” banners party after party, or have fun creating decorations out of materials you’ve already got at home.
Children especially like to use their imaginations to create brightly coloured decorations with paints and the insides of recycled cereal boxes or even things like dry pasta garlands threaded onto strings or threads are really effective for decorating rooms and party areas.
3. Invite People Digitally
Instead of using paper and potentially harmful inks to create party invites, go digital instead.
Canva is my favourite, low-skill design app and they have lots of party invitation templates you can use for free. You then download them and create a WhatsApp party group, text message, or simply email the invite file to your friends and family.
Encourage your recipients to save the invite into a special folder on their smartphone or computer so they don’t need to print it.
4. Offer Biodegradeable Plates, Cups And Cutlery
Hands up who doesn’t want to wash up a bazillion plates, cups and cutlery after the party is over! Most people, right?! Well, think before you serve, because all that virgin plastic and cardboard is a waste and bad for the environment when not disposed of properly.
Instead of using the traditional options for single-use crockery and cutlery, think about using amazing alternatives such as these palm leaf dinnerware items from Foogo Green photographed above.
Here’s what Foogo Green they have to say about their range:
“Our exquisite Palm Leaf Dinnerware range is nothing but a drop of nature in its pure and unadulterated form. Areca Palm trees are found in plenty in many Asian countries and naturally shed their dry leaves all year. These leaves are inherently strong and highly durable and are what makes our beautiful palm leaf plates and bowls.”
“The fallen leaves are collected and cleaned in fresh water before they are put through a hot compress. The heat magically transforms the humble leaf into elegant dinnerware, ready to add a touch of magic to any dinner table. The finished products have a natural woody texture and every plate and bowl is uniquely different just like the tree it came from. Sturdy and durable, our dinnerware can withstand moderate temperatures in the microwave and the chilly racks of the refrigerator.”
Try Foogo Green’s Palm Leaf range and we doubt you will ever go back to using plastic dinnerware.
5. Choose Party Bag Contents Wisely
I love giving party bags to adults and children alike, so I well aversed to thinking up eco-friendly party bag ideas!
Instead of the plastic rubbish that shops offer in the way of party bag fillers for children, swap them for little books, sweets in biodegradable packets, packs of seeds or wooden toys.
For adult party gifts, think natural beauty products in bio-packaging, wooden brainteasers or colouring books with pencils.
6. Sip Drinks Through Biodegradeable Straws
Plastic straws are pretty much a no-go now, which is great progress, but they’re still gatecrashing parties across the land!
Instead of using virgin paper or plastic straws, think about offering alternatives such as biodegradable wheat straws or bamboo reusable straws with drinks.
7. Portion Your Food
You don’t have to provide your guests with a MOUNTAIN of food for them to feel welcome. Food waste is not cool, so think about portioning up your food.
Serve little recycled paper bags of popcorn and crisps, fruit cocktail cups, pots of houmous and veggies, and cupcakes. For children’s parties, it’s a great idea to provide each child with a lunch pack so they don’t take more food than they can eat. You can count out the packs and cutlery and ensure that minimal waste is being produced.
Reducing Waste At Parties
Parties are traditionally expensive and wasteful, but with developments in biodegradable dinnerware, reusable party decorations and eco-friendly party gifts, we can all do our bit to throw a fabulously planet-friendly party!