Throwing an eco-friendly party offers an excellent way to get everyone together but keep your impact low. Use waste-free as a party theme to create a unique and sustainable gathering that everyone will love. Get creative with different party elements to foster an eco-friendly party atmosphere.
The easiest way to reduce waste for your next party is to choose reusable cups, plates, utensils, and more. Say no to paper plates, plastic cups, and other disposable items to drastically reduce the waste at your shin-dig. Instead, snag a party set-up of reusable dish items specifically for parties. You can store these items in canvas storage bins when they aren’t in use. Before the party kicks off, be sure you have a cleared sink and empty dishwasher. Enlist friends to help you with clean up after the party to resist the temptation to buy disposable items.
Stop investing in one-time-use party decor. Instead, use what you have. Interesting throw blankets and even seasonal throw pillows make for quick-and-easy party decor. Clip a few flowers from the garden for your centerpieces. Alternatively, you can make your party decor DIY with crafting supplies you already have at home. Even consider not decorating at all. Instead, set the mood with music, a reusable table cloth, and candles for mood lighting. You don’t have to get fancy party decor, it’s more about the company anyway.
When you do buy party supplies and even reusable dishware, pay attention to the material. Avoid buying plastics. Instead, use glass, porcelain, or other more natural materials. Actively choosing to avoid synthetic materials like plastic, poly bags (layered paper, tin, and plastic), cling wrap, and other harmful materials make your party more eco-friendly. If you do choose to buy a few party decorations, think about purchasing items from a thrift store. That way, you’re extending the life of an item, instead of choosing to buy new.
One of the biggest contributors to plastic in the waste stream is food. Finding party food that’s not covered in single-use plastic isn’t easy, but with a little sleuthing you can purchase eco-friendly party food the whole block will enjoy. Instead of plastic bottled water and soda, opt for filtered ice water from your tap and canned drinks. Aluminum cans can be recycled over and over, unlike plastic which degrades in quality each time it’s recycled. For snacks, consider buying in bulk to cut back on plastic waste. You can even use your own cloth bags for bulk items, which completely takes plastic out of the equation. Shop for fresh veggies, buy meat directly from the butcher, and make your party food from scratch. Don’t bag your veggies in plastic because you’ll be washing them anyway. You can also re-use plastic bags from bread to store your produce at the grocery store.
Did you know that up to 40% of the food is wasted in America? Do your part to clear your plate. One great way to reduce food waste at a party is to give away leftovers. Have all your guests bring their food storage and pack them a meal to-go. If you still find yourself with leftover dips or other small, snacky items, make a salad or have a taco night to get rid of the rest. The result is an eco-friendly, zero-waste party that not only helps the Earth but also lets you take a break with your grocery budget too.
Party cleanup is a breeze with eco-friendly cleaning ideas. First, ditch the paper towels and use cloth towels instead. If you’re short on dish towels, you can always use small hand bath towels in a pinch. Try to pick darker colors for easy stain removal. Otherwise, microfiber dish towels make quick work of messy surfaces. Recycle your cans at the end of the night, but try not to line your recycling can. Just dump the contents into your larger bin and wash out your can at the end of the night. One less plastic trash bag in the waste stream!
With a little bit of pre-planning, you can host your own waste-free party. The first step is to make a conscious effort from the start to reduce your party waste. Make eco-friendly choices, get creative with waste-free party alternatives, and have the bash of the year. From birthdays to BBQs, follow these eco-friendly party tips for a gathering that’s a little kinder to the planet.