Throwing a party can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a lot of work. And if you're not careful, it can be a lot of waste.
One of our core values is sustainability. And while many of our products are used during celebrations, the last thing we want to do is add to the world's waste. That is why we bake to order only; as food waste is truly criminal (in our view). And we use recycled, recyclable, compostable materials for our packaging solutions.
Parties though, are all about food. Many of our deepest connections are centred around food during parties. It begs the question, how does one throw a sustainable party? Below we offer a 10 tips.
1. Educate your guests
If sustainability is important to you then this first tip is the important one. Let your guests know that you're throwing a sustainable party and ask them to help out. You can include a sustainability message on your invitations and even have a table at the party with information about how guests can reduce their own impact.
2. Send digital invitations
Paper invitations are a major source of waste, so why not send digital invitations instead? There are plenty of free and easy-to-use invitation services available online.
3. Disposable cutlery
Plates, cups, and utensils are a major source of single-use plastic waste. Instead, opt for reusable options that you can wash and reuse after the party. You can find reusable plates, cups, and utensils at most party supply stores.
4. Make your own decorations
Decorations are a great way to add to the festive atmosphere of a party, but they can also be a major source of waste. Ask yourself in the first instance if you actually need them. After all it's the people that make the party not the props. Instead of buying new decorations, ask friends if they have any left over party props. Visit local charity shops to see if they have anything that works with your theme. Or try making your own from recycled materials. You can use old cardboard boxes, newspapers, or even plastic bottles to make festive decorations. If you have kids you can rope them in for this activity!
5. Serve food that is in season and locally sourced
Food that is in season and locally sourced is better for the environment because it doesn't have to travel as far to get to your table. It's also often fresher and tastier than food that is imported from other countries.
6. Hire a sustainable caterer
If you're not able to cook all of the food yourself, hire a caterer who uses sustainable practices. Places such as Surplus2Purpose offer great catering services all from intercepted food that is still good to use, but that would otherwise have been thrown away.
One of the best ways to be sustainable at a party is to reduce food waste. Plan your menu carefully so that you don't make too much food. And if there is any food that is leftover, be sure to freeze it, give it away to guest at the end of the party or if all that fails, compost it.
7. Encourage guests to bring reusable containers
If you're serving food that is meant to be taken home, such as leftovers or desserts, encourage guests to bring their own reusable containers. This will help to reduce the amount of single-use plastic waste that is generated.
8. Have a plan for recycling and composting
Make sure you have a plan for recycling and composting all of the waste that is generated at your party. This will help to ensure that as much of the waste as possible is diverted from landfills.
9. Give useful products
Instead of giving out plastic toys or trinkets, give guests something that they can actually use, such as reusable water bottles, canvas tote bags, or seed bombs.
10. Choose sustainable transportation
If you're having a large party, encourage guests to carpool or take public transportation.
We think that by following these tips, you can throw a party that is both fun and sustainable. Your guests will enjoy themselves, and you'll feel good knowing that you're doing your part to protect the environment.
Do you have any other recommendations? We'd love to hear them in the comments.