Below is a list of potential tips for throwing a sustainable or eco friendly party.
These tips cover invitations, gifts/presents, food, party supplies, and more.
The tips could be applied to different types of parties and celebrations, such as birthday parties, and other special event celebrations (like New Year’s celebrations, just as one example)
1. Consider Sustainable Party Invitations
Physical invitations (made of paper or another material) may end up becoming waste after the party.
To prevent this waste, e-invitations might be an option, whereby you send the party invitations to recipients digitally/electronically.
Sending the invitation to an email might be a common way of doing this.
2. Consider Hosting The Party Outdoors, Or In Nature
If practical and possible, some parties might be held outdoors or in nature.
Having a children’s party in a park, or at a reserve with a playground, might be one example of this.
If doing this though, make sure to plan ahead and make sure the weather is suitable, as well as making sure that the space will be available on the day you need it.
When hosting a party outside, also make sure to be mindful of waste on the day so that it doesn’t become litter.
3. Consider A More Sustainable Gift/Present
In the instance that someone is celebrating a birthday, or a gift will be involved, consider how the gift can be more sustainable.
A few options to do this might be:
– Buy a gift that you know the person will definitely need or use
This is so the gift doesn’t get thrown out soon after receiving it, or to prevent it sitting there not being used
– Consider potentially more sustainable ways to wrap physical gifts and products
– Consider buying an experience as a gift, instead of a physical product
– If you’re unsure of what that person wants or needs, consider giving the person an e-gift card or voucher
This is so they can buy something they want or need, and to prevent the gift from getting wasted or going unused
4. Consider More Sustainable Wrapping Paper & Wrapping Materials
If the gift will be a physical product or item, consider using more sustainable wrapping paper and wrapping materials
This could involve using:
– Pre used wrapping paper, upcycled or downcycled paper, or some other type of more sustainable paper, such as paper with recycled content in it
– Avoiding the use of packaging tape that has plastic in it, and using materials like string instead, that can tie the paper in place around the present
– Instead of using wrapping paper, use a reusable gift bag instead
Bags come in different sizes, and can hide the present from the recipient
They can be used again after the gift is received
5. Consider Being More Sustainable With Party Supplies
A few ways to potentially be more sustainable with party supplies might be:
– Rent or hire instead of buying where possible
Some party supplies are used once, and then either not used again, or thrown out
One example might be a party outfit or costume
It may be possible to hire or rent some party supplies instead of buying, so that they can be used again
– Consider selling or donating leftover usable supplies
Some supplies might be leftover and can be used again
Consider selling or donating these supplies if they are reusable
– Use more sustainable alternatives to traditional glitter or confetti
There are ‘eco friendly’ glitter and confetti products you can buy that are biodegradable or dissolvable for example
Other alternatives though might include colored rice granules, colored flower petals, or even the use of bubbles instead
– Reduce the use of balloons
Balloons are often made of polymers, and after they are used, they generally become waste
Adding color to a room or venue can be achieved in other ways, such as with the use of flowers, or different recyclable materials
– Consider other eco friendly party supplies where possible
Some party supply stores and sellers have whole ranges of more eco friendly party supplies
It’s worth checking out these ranges to see what is available
– Reduce or avoid the use of other single use party supplies
Such as single use cups, cutlery, plates, straws, and so on
Try to use safe (i.e. non breakable) and reusable/washable cups, cutlery, plates and straws instead
Gifts bags or go-home party bags are another example of party supplies that can become single use waste. Asking guests to bring reusable bags instead might be one way to avoid this
6. Avoid Food Waste
Parties usually involve food, and/or some type of catering
You can be more sustainable and prevent food waste by only preparing food that you know will get eaten (either at the party, or afterwards)
You can take home leftover food from the party in reusable and washable food containers
7. Manage Or Dispose Of Party Supplies, Materials & Waste Properly Afterwards
This might be done in several ways, such as:
– Collecting or packing up reusable party supplies and storing them away
– Disposing of disposable party supplies properly
One example might be collecting recyclable bottles and cans, and making sure they get put in the recycling bin
– Picking up any waste from the ground to prevent litter
1. Various ‘Better Meets Reality’ guides