Updated: Apr 9
Who doesn’t love a fun party full of laughs, gifts, and games? Parties make great memories, so of course, hosting a party or attending one is always a good idea. But what is also a good idea is considering how much waste you create and what impact several hours of fun have on our planet. Here are some tips on how to host a fun party without harming the environment.
Have a sustainable feast
Limiting your consumption of meat and dairy is one of the best ways to be more sustainable in your day-to-day life while also taking good care of your health. At parties, many of us tend to overindulge in sweets, alcohol, or other treats. To help your guests enjoy themselves without any post-party guilt, prepare an eco-friendly feast. There are many crowd-pleasers that don’t require any meat or dairy and won’t take much of your time. For a starter, serve some hummus with bread and carrot sticks or some guacamole with tortilla chips (preferably homemade). There are plenty of recipes for vegan casseroles, pizza, and pasta that will please even meat-lovers. And for dessert, consider some banana “nice-cream”, fruit, or vegan cake.
Don’t send paper invitations
I must admit that paper invitations and postcards are very cute, and getting them always makes me happy. But especially if you’re inviting many people, the invitations will only create unnecessary waste and clutter. With digital invitations, you can be sure that all the recipients will get them on time, and the letters won’t get lost on the way. And it’s cheaper too, which is always a good bonus.
Ditch single-use plates and utensils
Unfortunately, paper plates and plastic utensils are still a thing in 2020, but let’s just all admit they are pure evil. No one likes using them as they are not very sturdy, and our planet sure doesn’t appreciate all that unnecessary waste. And don’t even get me started on paper knives that never work. If you have enough regular plates for all of your guests, it’s always a prettier and more sustainable option. Rinsing (or sharing) a plate is not that hard. For really big parties, consider limiting yourself to finger food with toothpicks or renting all your required materials.
Opt for zero-waste decorations
Party decorations are one of those things that we only use once, put them away, forget about them, and keep buying new ones over and over again. Not only is it not sustainable, but it can also get pretty expensive. There are a few ways to end that vicious circle. If the weather works in your favour, have your party outside. Those of us who don’t have a backyard might consider having a picnic in a local park or a forest — just make sure to pick up your trash and be respectful to the nature. A pretty sunset, a lake, or some beautiful trees are excellent decorations. If you’re hosting a party at home, decorate the rooms with flowers and your kids’ artwork. Take out your pretty blankets and cushions so that your guests can sit on them. If you still decide to buy some decorations, consider investing in high-quality recycled or recyclable items. Even better make the decorations yourself. I have made very colourful garland flags with left over fabric scraps. You could do something similar. Don’t buy something that you know for a fact you won’t use ever again. And finally, try avoiding balloons and fireworks — they are just awful for the environment.
Have a clear garbage sorting system
Cleaning up is always the worst part of the party. It can take a good amount of time and leave you with huge bags of trash. To avoid all that waste and to save your precious time, place your recycling bins in a place where they would be visible and attach little notes with instructions about what goes where. For kids, it can be a fun little game. Most adults will probably know what to do, but if they don’t, it’s never too late to learn.
Ask for sustainable gifts
Many people love giving gifts. So even if you tell your guests not to get you anything, they will probably end up getting something for you anyway (read here some tips). That’s why instead of shying away from gifts altogether, let your guests know what they can get to make you happy. There are many eco-friendly alternatives to unsustainable household items appearing on the market every day. Local brands are always a better choice, and gift cards are the best way to make sure your gift will be used and appreciated. But in the end, getting unnecessary eco-friendly things is also not that sustainable. Consider asking for experience gifts or even donations to a charity of your choice.
Play simple games
If you have kids at your party, you should definitely plan some games and activities for them. Avoid buying new games and toys that you might never use again. Most of the kids have plenty of games and toys already. Help them pick out the ones they would like to play with their little guests. If you’re feeling creative, think of some new games you can introduce them to. For example, games with balls are usually fun, simple, and still very popular among kids. If you want to throw a bigger party, you could always opt to rent something.
Don’t buy, borrow
There are so many great things in the world already that in most cases, there’s really no need to buy anything new. When it comes to parties, there are many services that can let you rent some beautiful decorations, furniture, or anything else you might need. And if you don’t have enough chairs, cups, or plates, just ask your guests to bring their own.
I hope you find these 8 tips useful and will help you create a more sustainable party the next time you want to celebrate.