Tis the season for…parties! Whether you’re planning an engagement party, bridal shower, graduation party, or even your dog’s first birthday (yes, that’s a thing)—we’re here to help you stay sustainable along the way. Read on for tips on how to host a low waste bash.
Let’s talk about how to serve your guests first. We know it’s tempting to buy disposable cutlery, plates and cups made from paper or plastic, but those are single-use and are not environmentally friendly. Using your own plates and silverware may also seem overwhelming,especially when it comes to doing the dishes for a larger gathering, so our recommendation is to go for the biodegradable or compostable kind. Nowadays, most local grocery stores have at least one eco-friendly option. For straws, either ditch those all together or get the paper ones.
*Tip: Compostable and biodegradable are two different things! Biodegradable means the item breaks down into natural materials in the environment without causing harm. These products can be thrown out with the trash since it will break down quickly and not cause more landfill waste. Compostable means that a product is capable of disintegrating into natural elements in a compost environment ONLY. Which means those types of plates, cutlery and cups must go into a compost bin in order to be properly disposed of.
We think we can all agree that the best part of a party is the food. We’ve mentioned this before, but whenever possible, it’s best to offer a menu with more vegetarian options, as meat products require a lot of natural resources. This means that meat has a larger negative effect on the environment than produce does! Now, we’re not suggesting you completely eliminate hot dogs and hamburgers from your barbeque, but, we encourage you to be open to serving more meat substitutes and veggie options, as they are a great way to incorporate more variety to your spread while being environmentally friendly.
A few more pointers on food: Try to refrain from overbuying. Food waste is a serious problem and when throwing a party we tend to go overboard here. Really limit what you get! In the event there are a ton of leftovers, prepare some reusable (non-disposable!) containers for your guests to bring home. Or better yet, tell them to bring their own!
We’re willing to bet you already have a ton of awesome stuff in your home that you can repurpose as decor for your big event. Funky drinking glasses or mason jars with fresh flowers from your local florist or farmers market make great centerpieces and will look gorgeous. Encourage guests to take one as they leave—now you’ve got a centerpiece and favor in one!
Another decor item to avoid? Confetti! Most confetti is made from plastic, and you guessed it— it harms our environment. Instead, use paper confetti or make your own from recycled scraps of paper!
It’s also wise to avoid balloons. While they are a staple for celebrations, balloons aren’t eco-friendly. They are a drain to produce, take hundreds of years to decompose, and hurt local ecology as many sea birds mistake popped balloons as food. Decorate with paper streamers or poufs made from tissue paper!
Whatever the occasion, it usually calls for a new outfit. But, why buy new when you can buy second hand, save a ton of money, and give a garment new life? Buying used, or even borrowing from a friend is a great way to be a little more sustainable! If you must shop for something new, always do your best to avoid buying a piece of clothing that will only be worn once for that specific event. Instead, buy items that could work for multiple functions. Get a head start on our clothing and accessories page on BLINQ.com!
If your party goes into the night and you’re outdoors, you’ll need some lights to keep things going. Instead of your standard plug in lights, there are some really cool solar powered options for you to try. Solar powered lights save energy and will help reduce your electric bill— a total win-win!
It’s smart to set up a bin for people’s food scraps so that you can take it to your local compost drop-off bin. No food waste is best! Another great idea is to have separate bins available to encourage proper recycling. It’s good to have one for trash, and ones for recycling all of your glass, metal, and plastic items. Make some fun signs with mini chalkboards so people know where to put their waste and to add some style!
Post party you’ll probably need to scrub down multiple surfaces to get your living space back to where it started. We’ve got a list of DIY, homemade cleaners for anything and everything.
Now you can head into party season with the tips you need for a low waste and eco-friendly event. Do you have any more tips to share for throwing a sustainable get together? Let us know in the comments below!