It’s that time of year again! Over the Christmas season, most of us gather with our friends and visit family members to celebrate. But all those dinner parties and festivities do add up – think about the non-recyclable bunting and tinsel to the food waste from overflowing buffet spreads. This doesn’t mean that we can’t host a greener, more eco-friendly party this year! Here are 10 ideas that might inspire you.
1. Eco-Chic Decorations
From a sustainable Christmas tree (that isn’t a real tree) to other D-I-Y upcycled holiday ornaments, there are a ton of ways to decorate your home eco-style. If you need additional pieces, you can always rent, buy secondhand online or visit a thrift store to find them.
2. Plant-Based Dinner Spread
Host a vegetarian or vegan meal. Did you know that one of the single biggest ways we can reduce our carbon footprint is to ditch meat? This doesn’t mean a boring meal at all – check out all these vegan Christmas recipes to get started.
3. Buy From Local Farmers, Shops & Bakeries
When you go for a grocery haul before you whip up all those (plant-based) Christmas dishes, make sure you buy ingredients that are locally sourced to avoid air-flown emissions. If you’re thinking to purchase some cake, support a local business – there are loads of vegan-friendly bakeries around town.
4. Only Use Reusable Cutlery, Dishware & Serveware
One of the biggest culprits for waste at parties are disposable plates, cutlery, cups and other utensils. It’s totally easy to avoid this – just use the real stuff, which is what you probably already have at home. And if there aren’t enough sets for everyone, you can always purchase secondhand or ask friends to bring some over. You can also make wine or drink charms to label plates and glasses.
5. Avoid Food Waste
Loads of leftovers? All these extras should never go straight in the bin. Encourage guests to take home servings of food and drinks, or share with your neighbours and colleagues at work! Still more leftovers? Take them to a food bank. Need more ideas? Here’s a great guide to conquering food waste at home.
6. Encourage Waste-Free Gifts
Tell your guests that all gifts exchanged should be waste-free! No plastic, no excessive packaging. In the spirit of hosting a green holiday party, presents don’t have to be “things” and can be as simple as a donation to a good cause or tickets to your favourite play.
7. Set Up Recycling Stations
Set up recycling bins throughout your party, for cans, bottles, paper products and food compost. Make sure your guests know where to dispose of their items, and how to do so properly at the beginning of the party – it could be a great icebreaker and with the festive spirit abound, friends & fam may be open to ways they can reduce their environmental impact.
8. Mood Lighting With (Eco) Candles
Light up your home with candles. Not only does this make for an eco decoration, it’ll save on electricity while creating an intimate, festive mood. Looking for eco, petrol-free options that offer a safe burn? We’ve got the ultimate green candle roundup.
9. Throw In A Sustainable Dress Code
When you invite your guests, invite them to join in on a sustainable dress code policy. Make the rules fun, like telling guests that they must wear a Christmas sweater that is secondhand, recycled or a hand-me-down, and accessorise with D-I-Y upcycled home pieces- or if it must be new, they have to wear sustainable fashion brands. Another great icebreaker for your guests: you can all exchanged preloved fashion tips!
10. Give Guests An Eco Conscious Parting Gift
Finish off your eco-party with a gift bag that doesn’t leave behind any waste. Homemade granola bars or gingerbread men wrapped in paper, for instance, would make a great treat. Little bags of seeds to grow their own herbs at home would make another green gift. We love these homemade jar gift ideas if you need more inspo.
Lead image courtesy of Canva.