AUTHOR: BEC OF 'FOR EVERY HEN'
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Are you planning an event but looking for eco-friendly party decorations as an alternative to the regular single-use supplies? See below for some great inspiration that will mean you can host a stylish, colourful and fun celebration... but with less waste!
One of my favourites! Bunting made from fabric is not only durable and reusable, but also stunning to look at! Decorate your event by hanging over food tables, between trees, across rooms or along fences. You could even wrap it around tree trunks or posts for a unique look.
If you’re a bit of a pro with the sewing machine, bunting can be created at home by using old fabric (such as unused clothes), material found at your local op shop or fabric pieces purchased from a craft store. If you’re not so confident in the DIY department, many retailers and boutique stores stock handmade fabric bunting. My only suggestion is to purchase in colours and/or patterns that can be used at a variety of events (e.g. neutral colours such as white suit just about any occasion, and reds can be used at Christmas, Valentine’s day, colourful parties, etc.). If you have children, colourful bunting will come in handy at their parties or as decoration in their bedroom/playroom!
Handy tip: bunting doesn't have to be made with triangles. You could use squares, tassles, rectangles... get creative and have fun with it!
Another fantastic product to have in the cupboard at home, fabric table cloths are well worth the initial investment! Once again, stick to colours and/or patterns that you will be able to use at future events. White tablecloths are always a good starting point, as you can dress them up with colourful food and decor to match the particular theme you’re preparing for.
Not technically classed as decorations, but whenever I set up for an event, the favour table is always a big part of the overall ‘look’ and ‘feel’. So, if you’re after eco-friendly party favours that are fun for guests AND beautiful to look at, see below:
FLOWER SEED BOMBS
These DIY favours are designed to make flowers grow wherever they land (how cool is that?)! They will also become a beautiful part of the decor at your event should you wrap them in burlap and tuck cute, dried flowers in the centre (click here for images and crafting instructions).
PERSONALISED DRINKING TOOLS
An option that can be used throughout the party and for many years to come! ‘Get a metal straw, jar and cutlery engraved for each person’, says Lottie Dalziel of Banish. ‘Not only does this look amazing, it keeps everyone accountable’. Jars can be saved from your cooking escapades in the lead-up to your celebration, whilst cutlery and metal straws can be purchased from many local or online shops.
If you're after a colourful straw option, I suggest taking a look at the Turtle & Me range (pictured below) by clicking here!
For those who would prefer an alternative to jars for their guests to drink from, there is also the option of personalised cups. Dedicated to ‘creating fun and simple environmental solutions that reduce unnecessary waste’, co-founders of 'Better Cup', Sam and Christie, provide custom-made tumblers, flutes and stemless glasses (one example pictured below); perfect for bringing your theme to life in a sustainable way!
From organic skincare to home-baked goodies, you will find an incredible list of eco favour ideas by clicking here!
Food isn’t usually something that comes to mind when you’re in the midst of planning your event decor, but you would be surprised by just how handy it can be! See below for ways in which edibles can become the decorations you desire:
Not only delicious in meals, but also perfect for creating hanging decor and/or natural fragrance! ‘Herbs are great for the kitchen, but they can also make great decoration when they’re dried’ says Siavash Ghazvinian, co-founder of Ethical Tree. ‘Hang herbs like rosemary to dry in a visible place to add life and aroma to a room. Once dried you can even make wreaths out of them with a bit of string and hang them across your venue’.
SEASONAL FRUIT & VEGETABLES
If particular foods are in season when your event is on, use this to your advantage. An example of seasonal foods that make great decor is pumpkins, squashes and gourds. ‘[These] are three things you can grow relatively easily and proudly display across your home’ says Siavash Ghazvinian; then once your event has wrapped up, you can either keep them as decor or ‘use the edible ones in various recipes you can find online.’
UTENSILS & SERVING DISHES
‘You can get super creative with food to help you prepare or serve your dishes’ says Laura Trotter, sustainable living educator. A few of her favourite options include ‘using rosemary skewers for kebabs on a BBQ, a ring of red capsicum as an egg ring, serving guacamole inside a halved avocado shell [and] serving fresh fruit salad inside a halved watermelon, rockmelon, honeydew or pineapple’ (more detailed information can be found here). Eco friendly and a fabulous way to reduce the amount of dishes you need to wash after the party!
If you know exactly what you need to decorate your event, it's worth asking friends and family if they happen to have one/some of these items stashed away at home. Borrowing decor (such as tablecloths, chairs/chair covers, centrepieces, lighting and more) will be a fantastic way to save some cash. And if you don't happen to come across the product/s you need in this way, consider hiring from your local event business instead. They often have everything mentioned above, plus options such as karaoke machines, portable heaters, etc.!
Mason jars are one of my favourite things to repurpose! From lighting a room to sipping on a cool beverage, there are so many uses. See below for a few of the best:
‘Put a tea light candle in old jars to create an amazing atmosphere’, says Lottie Dalziel. To pull this off, save up a variety of jars (small, large and in-between) in the lead up to your event. When it comes to decorating, create small clusters (approximately 5 different shaped and sized jars) in the middle of dinner tables, favour tables, food tables, etc. For larger areas, such as the corner of a balcony, place approximately 10 – 15 jars (depending on the space, maybe more). In the hour before your event is due to start, light the candles and carefully place them inside your jars. Instant ambience!
Handy tip: If you’re going for a rustic theme, placing one, two or a cluster of jar candles on top of logs will create a beautiful centrepiece for your celebration.
Olinda Collective created these decorative jars as a unique, waste-free Australian centrepiece for the Christmas table, but they’re so beautiful I think they’d be perfect at any event during the year as well! Click the image below for DIY steps:
Jars also make fantastic vases. With so many different sizes available, you’re sure to find something to display your beautiful bunches in! And if you want to put a unique spin on this decor option, hang the jar vases from trees or even mount them on the wall!
Made from leaves in your backyard and a hole punch, this confetti is like no other! Zero waste, cheap and colourful - what more could you want?!
Flowers can make the most bland room look amazing, which is the reason I absolutely LOVE using them at parties and celebrations! And with so many colours to choose from, you can't go wrong (simply create bunches using your theme palette and you have instant, beautiful decor).
Plants are a fantastic eco-decor option. They’re not only available in a range of types and sizes, but will continue to add colour to your household for many years to come! Perfect for use indoors and outdoors, see below for ways in which plants can be incorporated into your event:
Clustered in corners, used as favours, placed in the centre of a table or even hung from the wall/ceiling; potted plants have so many points of use! You could even go so far as decorating with edible plants (such as parsley, basil and/or chives). As Siavash Ghazvinian says, ‘If you have a window that gets good sun, it’s worth finding a shelving unit to plant herbs that you can grow and use in various foods. [They] taste delicious, and really liven up the energy in the kitchen’. Serving meals garnished with organic produce that doubles as decor – imagine!
Handy tip: ‘The best way to go about getting potted plants with minimal impact on the environment is to join a local community garden or even a local gardening Facebook group. These groups often have someone who is giving away free pots that they no longer have use for’ – Siavash Ghazvinian
Large plants, when placed appropriately, can be the highlight of a room. For instance, placing 2 to 3 bigger plants (of varying heights) together in a corner creates an instant talking point; as does placing two large plants either side of your entrance. To make these beauties truly stand out, ‘arrange in woven containers’ says Jane Clarke of Fantastic Services Australia; ‘and if you have white walls, place the plants nearby as the greenery will contrast against them’.
Whilst large plants create an instant ‘wow’ factor, this doesn’t mean smaller plants should be completely overlooked. ‘Smaller plants can also be a great decor’ says Jane Clarke. ‘Arrange them in geometric forms [and] for even better results, use geometric pots’. Whilst there are a vast array of smaller plant options, Jane suggests using succulents when it comes to decorating; they’re hardy, look gorgeous and are small enough to be anything from a favour to a table centrepiece.
Garage sales, op shops and antique stores are all great places to pick up a bargain and/or unique decor items that will fit with your event theme perfectly! Think along the lines of stunning vases, large mirrors, shabby chic furniture, photo frames (great for photo booth props), baskets, etc. And once the party is over, you can either keep the item/s in your home or take back to the op shop for others to enjoy!
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DID THESE ECO-FRIENDLY PARTY DECORATIONS INSPIRE YOU?
After going through this list, I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts. And if you have an option that’s not currently published, please share with everyone via the comments below or one of our social media platforms! Facebook/Instagram/Facebook group).
Much love, keep smiling - Bec x
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If you're after more eco-friendly ways to host your next celebration (everything from invite inspiration and green decor to eco friendly products and where to find them) - click here!