When you are new to a zero-waste lifestyle or trying to take up the Plastic-Free July challenge, throwing a party can be a bit overwhelming. To make your lives easier, here’s a guide to help you throw a zero-waste party in a few simple steps. All you need to do is pay attention to every aspect of the party with a planet-friendly lens. So, let’s get started on planning a sustainable party.
1. Shop consciously for a zero-waste party
Planning is the key to throwing a successful zero-waste party. It’s best to list down things you want to do, including things you want to buy. When you are listing down things to shop for, always ask yourself these questions before shopping to minimize waste –
- Do I really need to buy this?
- If yes, how much waste will it generate?
- Is there a low-waste alternative?
Once you have the list of things you need, it’s best to look for them in the local market or zero-waste stores. Buying locally-made will not only save you money but will also help you get handmade, fresh, and probably low-waste items. You can easily find packaging-free options at zero-waste stores.
Once you know the number of guests, then shop at bulk stores where you can take your own containers. This will again help you minimize your packaging waste. Similarly, avoid the temptation to buy more by sticking to your list. This will ensure you do not end up buying things impulsively.
Related Article: 14 Zero-Waste Shopping Tips To Follow On Your Next Grocery Run
2. Send paperless invites
Invites are the first impression of any party (or, in this case, any zero-waste party), and we all want them to look beautiful. The best part is you can skip physical invites entirely. Instead, go paperless with e-invites by sending emails or even video invites on social platforms to your guests. This is one of the most fun zero-waste ideas of all. By doing this, you can make the e-vite to your sustainable party unique and personal by adding more creativity to it and, at the same time, not creating any waste.
3. Opt for zero-waste party decor
The next step in planning zero-waste party decorations is to select a theme. It makes things easy for you to plan and use what you already have in the house. You can go about choosing simple themes such as nature and set up your houseplants as zero-waste party decorations.
You can also browse the internet for DIY zero-waste party decorations to make your own decor. It might take a little longer, but you will be able to save it for the future and have fun doing it yourself. If you have kids, ask them to work along with you in turning old t-shirts, curtains, etc. into beautiful zero-waste decor for your sustainable party.
Another fun decor hack is to repurpose old holiday decor for your party. If you run short, don’t shy away from asking friends and family to borrow some. This will also prevent you from buying more plastic and paper decor, which ultimately ends up in the trash can once you’re done with the party.
4. Plan out a low-waste spread
Coming to the food and drinks, first and foremost, skip the disposable cups, plates, and cutlery altogether. They are not only plastic but also single-use; hence, wasteful. Here are two things you can do instead.
First, you can use the dinnerware you already own for your zero-waste party. You can always borrow from family and friends if you’re falling short of plates or cups. Please don’t feel shy about putting out two or more sets because they do not match. Oh, and yes, the cleaning can be a bit of added work, but it does save you from adding more plastic to the landfills; plus, it will surely save you money.
Second, you can request your guests to get their own meal kits. It might sound odd at first, but when they realise the whole concept, we’re sure they will definitely understand and appreciate your efforts. Another good thing is that your small step can inspire them to make changes, or at the least, it will be a good way to begin the conversation about zero waste.
So, that’s about the dinnerware. Coming to the food, always go about choosing items that are bite-sized. You can also ask your guests to RSVP; so you know the exact number of people attending the party and can plan the food quantity accordingly. Both these steps will save you from any food wastage.
And finally, after huge parties, there are good chances you will have leftovers. If you have a good amount of food left, it is always a good idea to ask your guests to take some food along with them. If that’s not an option, you can always freeze it and use it later; or give it away to nearby homeless shelters. However, ensure beforehand if the place accepts leftovers, or not.
5. Try these zero-waste ideas for party favors
When it comes to zero-waste party presents, it is best to request your guests to skip the gift wrap and go for sustainable gift wrapping ideas like a fabric wrap, reusable bag, or a mason jar, etc. You can also encourage them to get upcycled, digital, or thrifted gifts.
Similarly, for party favors, you can give away digital gift cards or zero-waste products like a steel straw or reusable cloth bags to your guests. This will not only pique their interest in living more sustainably but also make them appreciate your planet-friendly efforts.
By putting in little creative and mindful efforts, you can easily throw an fun zero-waste party. All you’ve got to do is plan it well, and in the end, it will be a party to remember.