Nothing says a cranking summer party like bright red plastic cups. Or festive cheer like tinsel, wrapping paper and cards. We’ll admit it; it can be a hard time of the year to reduce waste. But it’s not impossible, and Mother Earth and your conscience will thank you for it! Who knows – you might just get into some great New Year’s habits.
Trade out paper and pen for online invitations this summer. Everyone will have the event in their calendar, it reduces paper waste, you can update all the deets as you go and it’s free!
Why not ditch the plastic plates altogether? Finger food is called ‘finger food’ for a reason and cake – whatever serve you may be having (no judgement) – is just as delicious from a napkin.
We get that sometimes this isn’t an option, so for all your delicious potato salads and Pavlovas, bust out the crockery to give these delightful additions some stability.
You can also ask your guests to bring along a plate and glass when you invite them! Or pop down to your local op shop and make up your own party set!
Ordering in or buying food is a delicious alternative but often means heaps of plastic containers and bags. Try calling take-away places and asking if they have earth conscious packaging or ask to bring your own reusable containers to pick up take-away food.
Alternatively, whip up a few low waste fan faves like hummus and carrots. You can also pop your own popcorn, buy fresh bread rolls or bust out the summer fruits. Super easy to make and health conscious too. Share your super easy party food recipes with us!
If you’re buying drinks, try buying glass bottles rather than plastic so they can be recycled. Better yet, make your own and bring it in a thermos or pitcher! Yummy!
Paper lanterns or pinwheels make beautiful decorations and are a great substitute for tinsel; there are great step by step tutorials online for how to make them yourself. You can also get friends, family and kids involved in making paper chain garlands, or reusable buntings.
At the end of the festive season, instead of throwing out Christmas lights, tinsel, ornaments or artificial trees, pack them away for next year or donate them to your local charity store.
Most wrapping paper is recyclable! Yep, even with the sticky tape (this is filtered out during pulping). The catch is that it has to be paper – any plastic coated, metallic or plastic cellophane wrapping can’t be recycled – so we recommend finding the right paper for you and the environment.
Plain uncoated brown wrapping paper is a great, biodegradable and stylish alternative that doesn’t have to be boring! You can make potato stamps to decorate, wrap with natural twine and even decorate with flowers.
Fabric – like a tea towel or Turkish towel – is another great option for gift wrap and even works as a bonus present.
Why not take the party to the park, the pool or the beach? Pack your food and drinks in travel containers and set up your gathering in a prime possie for the day! Plus you don’t have to worry about any party stragglers overstaying their welcome.
If it’s just too swelteringly hot to hit the park this year and a party at home is your destination of choice, you can always keep your carbon footprint down by closing some doors, windows and blinds. Or set the air-con to around 24 degrees – you’ll still feel cool, your guests will be happy and you’ll save on your electricity bill all at the same time.
And there you have it! Our tips for reducing waste this summer – in case you need a cheat sheet, check out the list below for the recyclability of key party items! Happy Holidays!
• Fairy lights.
• Wine corks.
• Broken glassware / crockery.
• Plastic plates and cutlery.
• Aluminium foil.
• Cling wrap.
• Artificial Christmas trees.
• Tissue paper and napkins.
• Bottle caps.
• Aluminium baking trays.
• Cardboard and paper.
• Most wrapping paper.
• Plastic cups.
• Real Christmas trees – compostable and mulchable.
• Paper plates/cups – recycle if clean/compost if dirty.
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