Whether you’re throwing a garden party or a children’s birthday bash, maintaining your own green standards can be a lot harder than you’d expect – as the sheer amount of things you need to get ready and cater for end up taking its toll on even the most well-natured environmentalist. From getting rid of waste, to cooking to please a group, here’s a guide to more sustainable party planning:
Most parties generally have a selection of savoury and sweet treats – supplied in buffet format. This can create wastage, but an easy way to cut down on that is to save any leftovers to be eaten later. Try to avoid supermarket food and head out to a local fruit and veg shop, aiming for organic, eco-friendly produce.
Of course, vegan and vegetarian cuisine might not be to everyone’s taste – but with a bit of cooking know-how you can create tasty food for all – that they won’t even realise is vegan. Carrot sticks and hummus, falafel wraps, chickpea burritos and other ‘finger food’ you can pick up and carry around is ideal.
Dark chocolate cakes are easy to make and appeal to kids and adults alike. All you’ll need is a recipe, such as this one from instructables.
Check out my Vegan Thai Tartlet recipe HERE which is perfect for party canapés.
Plates and Cutlery
Paper plates are pretty much the standard at parties, but the little plastic knives and forks are poor choices, thanks to their poor biodegradability. Using your own forks and knives is a good option, but means lots of washing up afterwards.
Throwing such a large amount of cutlery in the dishwasher is not good for the environment either – as a standard cycle uses 13 litres of water and electricity to power it. Even if you opt to hand wash, the typical family uses nine litres when washing by hand.
Fortunately, there are easier options thanks to a huge range of biodegradable kitchen cutlery, including food boxes, bowls and utensils. Just use them, recycle them and you’ve got an eco-friendly cutlery option.
The theme of the party will set the decorations you use, but avoiding plastic and other non-biodegradable materials will help keep your party green and sustainable.
Handmade decorations such as paper bunting or fabric are perfect. You can also use freshly cut flowers to add a bit of interest to a table.
If you’re going for a ‘green’ feeling party, then you might as well keep the games environmentally-friendly too. Pass the parcel and the like should be performed with biodegradable paper and you should encourage people to play games that require no additional equipment, like hide and seek and duck, duck goose.
For parties, a little bit of planning goes a long way. You don’t have to stray from sustainability to ensure everyone has a fantastic time.