ECO-FRIENDLY PARTY PLANNING TIPS
There are a few fantastic ways to ensure your invitations are less/zero-waste:
Send them out via Facebook or email.
Send out invites called 'seeded cards' (also known as 'plantable cards'). These wonderful items are created using recycled paper and embedded seeds; meaning the lucky people receiving them can keep the info on their fridge until the event is over, then plant their invitations in the ground and watch their flowers grow! To view a range of beautiful seeded cards, click here!
And finally, you can print physical invitations onto recycled paper or card and deliver to your wonderful guests! If you need a little help with the overall design, online boutiques such as 'Black Bow Studio' offer editable stationary and event printables. This means your invites (and itineraries and/or games, for example) will all match and look incredible, with ease! As such products are downloadable, you can also decide later whether to email a PDF copy to guests once they have been created, or print them off on recycled paper/card as mentioned above.
No matter what type of invite you end up going for, make sure you don't forget the important info! For some great tips on what to include on your invitations, take a look at this blog!
TRY NOT TO BUY
Before purchasing, ask yourself: "Is this something I really need to buy?" If it is, are there other ways you can obtain the items (such as hiring from a local event business or borrowing from friends/family)? Example products that can be hired (or borrowed) include tablecloths, chair covers, tables, chairs, cloth napkins, centrepieces, plates, bowls, cutlery, decorations, dessert tiers, lighting, etc. There are also other options available for hire such as karaoke machines and portable heaters if you want something a bit different at your celebration.
Antique stores, op shops and garage sales are full of amazing treasures (seriously, you won't believe the wonderful items that will be just PERFECT for your celebration!). Along with being cheap, they are also unique. And if you don't have a use for the item following your event? Simply take it back to the op shop for others to enjoy!
FIND REUSABLE ALTERNATIVES
If your celebration starts at home, opt for reusable plates, cups, cutlery and napkins. If you don't want to use your personal set for fear of breakage, op shops are once again a great place to stock up on dining items that can be kept for events alone. You can also use mason jars as a fun alternative to cups (cocktails look amazing when served in such a way!). If you would prefer to go down the disposable track, biodegradable or compostable products (such as plates, cups and cutlery) can be purchased from certain online retailers.
It's a good idea to steer clear of plastic straws. If you want straws as an option, invest in the reusable kind (they make cute favours for guests and encourage eco-living after your event - especially when they're as fun and colourful as the Turtle & Me range, pictured below!). To view all of the colours on offer, click here.
We all want our homes to look incredible when hosting a party, but most cleaning products for sale contain harsh chemicals. Keep it clean instead by using natural, organic products instead (they do the job, smell amazing and won't fill your house with nasties!).
DECORATE YOUR VENUE IN STYLE
When it comes to decorations, sometimes less really is more. BUT if you love to set the scene (as I do) consider crafting your own decor from materials that can be reused at later events (e.g. fabric bunting, fabric tablecloths, plants, flowers, natural items such as logs, etc.). It can also be fun to incorporate unique items (such as large, antique mirrors or stunning, rustic tables) that can be found in local op-shops and/or antique stores (as mentioned earlier). If you want to use balloons, opt for the natural latex kind that can biodegrade - just make sure you dispose of them correctly so that they don't end up in our waterways/get misjudged for food by animals.
For some fantastic eco-decor inspiration, click here!
DISPOSE OF EVERYTHING APPROPRIATELY
Set up bins for your guests to use. Recyclables, rubbish, soft plastic (which can be recycled at most Woolworths stores around Australia) and food scraps are great options to have!
It's always fun to gift your guests something special at the end of an event. But rather than offering favours that will simply be thrown in the bin, why not go for eco-products that are both meaningful and useful?
You can find some great options by clicking here.
Use reusable platters to serve your array of nibbles and treats (grazing platters are very trendy these days, but any kind of display will be perfect for a hungry stomach!), or get creative with the spread itself (for example, watermelon shells make for great fruit salad bowls!). Try to use fresh fruits and vegetables as they're less likely to be plastic wrapped, and dispose of any packaging thoughtfully (i.e. recycle cardboards and hard plastic, place leftover food items in the compost bin, etc.).
For a great article on creating an impressive grazing platter yourself, click here.
... AND WHEN YOU DO PURCHASE NEW
THINK IT THROUGH
When you host a great deal of events, hiring can become expensive. If this is the case for you, save some coin by investing in reusable party items such as cloth napkins, tablecloths, cutlery, dinnerware, glasses, etc. These can be used over and over again at the different events that you host. When you do decide to purchase, make sure it is something you will be able to re-use and not just an item that will end up as landfill (so it's a good idea to consider each purchase rather than buying on a whim!).
OPT FOR ECO-SHOPS WHENEVER POSSIBLE
Purchasing brand new whilst sticking to your values is possible! Especially when there are wonderful options such as these available to you:
Ecosoulife offer an award-winning and globally distributed line of sustainable party products (among other things) that are plastic-free, BPA-free, plant based and fully biodegradable! You can view their wonderful range of products by clicking here.
Similar to above, Nourished Life is full of earth friendly makeup and body products - once again perfect for guest and bride-to-be gifts/prizes!