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5 Tips to Host an Eco-friendly Party

Written by Khadra Anabosy

Although we're going through a pandemic where some of us are quarantined and hosting big parties isn't safe, we still want to celebrate special occasions with our families and partners. This keeps the joy in our lives despite the hard time the world is going through. Whether it's a birthday, graduation, baby shower, or just celebrating a good day, go for it! Remember however, that this comes with an environmental cost since we habitually over-consume. We end up with huge bags of trash from disposables and materials that pollute the earth.

Should you call off the party? Of course not! You just need to do a few things differently in order to make your party as eco-friendly as possible. Here are some tips that can guide you through it.

1. Switch from Disposable to Reusable

Since parties are smaller now there is nothing to be afraid of when using glass plates, glasses, and silverware in your home. It sure will take more time and effort to clean but remember that the disposable plates will easily fill garbage bags that will stay for hundreds of years laying in a landfill. You should also skip the straws and other unnecessary items like cocktail decorations which you can replace with edible ones like fruit slices.

Photo by Kelly Jean

2. Reuse What you already have

When we usually think of party decorations we think of the party sections in stores. They are filled with printed paper napkins, colourful and glittered wall and ceiling decorations. All of this can end up in the dumpster for years leaving micro-plastics that will pollute our oceans forever. Try first taking a tour in your own home and looking for items that can be used and related to the party theme. For example look for fabric sheets, reuse the fairy lights from last Christmas for a cozy atmosphere, or empty cans and jars for center pieces. This is not only sustainable but, will also save you money.

3. Think long term with the Decorations

If you still need to add more items to decorate, store bought decorations are usually made out of fabric or hard material that can stay intact for a long time. Choose your colours wisely so it can fit the themes of many other future celebrations. Lastly, if you want to personalise the entry, try using a small chalkboard to write names or welcoming phrases.

Photo by Tim Mossholder

4. Say no to Balloons

I admit balloons look tempting; they are colourful, shiny, and squishy. Remember, balloons remain nice for a few days or even hours but, then they simply turn into waste. The balloon ribbons and latex bits can vastly damage the wild because animals can chock or get strangled by them. A suitable alternative can be paper lanterns that you can fold after use and restore in your home. They actually look even better than balloons providing a warm vibe from the light and look even more extravagant at a lower cost.

Photo by Thomas AE

5. Educate your Guests

Many guests bring gifts and food with them to parties, think of all the wrapping paper that you can't recycle, and the plastic bags and wraps they use to bring the food. All of this will add to the total waste of the party. You can help limit this with one simple act. Let your guests know that your party is eco-friendly when inviting them. Try to text them with a few tips if you know that they're bringing something. For instance, replacing disposable trays for the food with glass or reusable containers and show them that you're grateful for their effort by suggesting that you will be the one to wash and return them. Politely ask your guests to skip wrapping the gifts and to use reusable bags.

The key is "less is more" and a true celebration is made by the people surrounding you and not the objects. Lastly, I wish you a happy and safe eco-friendly celebration.

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