A few weeks ago, I hosted a beach picnic party for my birthday and I tried to make it as eco-friendly as I could. Below are some basic party tips that you can consider the next time you host an event!
Food and Drinks
Finger foods are the best because they don’t require utensils and sometimes, not even plates! Since my party was outdoors, I had to keep in mind that the food would have to be enjoyable at room temperature. This being so, I thought that lettuce wraps would work well for the main meal. The night before, we cooked tofu and ground turkey fillings so that my guests had the freedom to make their own wraps at the party. Other great party finger foods include fruit skewers, veggies and hummus/dip and baked goods.
Buying individually packaged snacks, such as chips and cookies, seems so convenient, but it creates A LOT of trash. For the snacks that you cannot make yourself, buy them in bulk! Go to the farmers’ market and make your own fruit salad rather than buying pre-sliced fruit from the store (trust me, it will taste soooo much better). Also, if you’re not interested in cooking food for the party, support your local restaurants and bakeries!
When it comes to drinks, don’t buy individual plastic water bottles! Buy a big jug of water instead so that your guests can just refill their cups or reusable water bottles. If the event is being held at your house, just pull out your water pitcher. Try to avoid buying individually packaged drinks in general by buying big jugs of drinks instead, such as sodas and juices, as this will reduce your waste. When it comes to alcoholic beverages, rather than buying cases of beer, think about ordering a keg from your local brewery, which would allow your guests to simply refill their cups.
Perserve sells light, reusable and dishwasher safe tableware that is made from 100% recycled plastic. These are ideal for outdoor parties and can be found at Whole Foods! If you can’t use reusable tableware, buy compostable ones. For my party, I bought compostable cups, plates, napkins and utensils from Whole Foods. Since everything was either compostable or recyclable, I only had compost garbage bags or paper bags (for recycling bottles and cans) to avoid sending waste to the landfill.
When you host a party, what kind of decorations do you use? Do you just pull out the birthday decorations that you saved from your sister’s birthday? Or do you buy all new decorations instead? My family is good at saving and reusing party decorations, but if you need to purchase new accessories for your party, EcoParty Time sells eco-friendly decorations for all occasions. You also have the option to create your decorations yourself! I always enjoy creating flower arrangements from the plants that I have in my backyard.
Choose a party location that is easily accessible or encourage your guests to carpool together. Most of my friends traveled to my party by bus, rideshare, or carpool, which resulted in less greenhouse gas emissions. If the event is located at your house, make use of your resources that you have at home. For example, don’t be afraid to use your own cups, plates and utensil because you can just throw them all in the dishwasher!