There is nothing better than partaking of a hedonistic summer feast but a great party usually comes with great amounts of rubbish and cost. Fortunately, it’s entirely possible to be mindful of the environment and still have a ripping time. Here are some eco-friendly tips to reduce your Christmas party’s carbon footprint.
Thank god we do not have to go through the hassle of mailing out invitations anymore! While it’s completely socially acceptable to do a quick circular email or Facebook invite for parties these days, a little added effort can make opening an email as exciting as opening an envelope with your name on it.
Pick a nice event banner on FB or mock up an aesthetically pleasing email on a free email platform such as Mailchimp. A photo slide-show on Prezzi can also work wonders to build nostalgia for a big birthday bash! A friendly and efficient option is simply inviting your guests over the phone.
Food & Drink
Support your community and purchase sustainable, organic food from your local organic grocer or farmer’s market. (And remember to bring a reusable shopping bag!)Aim to buy fruits and vegetables that are in season. Organic drinks can be purchased from your local organic grocer or farmer’s market as well, but why not make your own punch from ingredients you already have on hand? Research the sustainability of the meats you are serving; sardines, kangaroo and squid are tops if you are concerned about environmental impact.
Avoid disposable plates, cutlery and cups. If you don’t want to do the washing up, be honest and ask your guests to bring their own plate, bowl and cutlery. You could even rent dinnerware. If you must buy disposable dinnerware, look for plates and cutlery that are both biodegradable and compostable.
Use reusable decorations, rather than the usual disposable party decorations that end up in landfill. Fresh seasonal flowers make beautiful centrepieces and can be composted afterwards. Potted plants are an even more sustainable option and can be taken home by guests as party favours.
When washing dishes, use biodegradable dishwashing detergents and undyed sponges. If you’re using a dishwasher instead, make sure that it’s full before you start the load.
Tell your guests to bring containers to take home leftovers. It will make your guests happy and also be less of a clean up for you. Save leftovers from the party for easy lunches for the week. The rest of the food can be composted.
Did you know?
• Australians discard up to 20 per cent of the food they purchase
• For the average Australian household, $1036 of food is thrown away every year
• If you add up all the food Australia wastes each year, it’s enough to fill 450,000 garbage trucks
• When food rots with other organics in landfill, it gives off a greenhouse gas called methane which is 25 times more potent than the carbon pollution that comes out of your car exhaust
Words: Tina Nguyen