The early part of my year consists of a LOT of birthdays… every member of my family was born in either January or April. This ends up meaning lots of entertaining and gatherings. Party throwing, however, is not the most eco-friendly activity. With all the paper cups and plates, plastic forks and spoons, balloons, and take out boxes — waste can really add up. However, there are some alternatives to making things a bit more eco-friendly and not becoming a party pooper.
My favorite way to avoid any waste at all is using real dishes, cutlery, and glasses (and just dishwashing everything at the end). However, this works best if a. you’re having a smaller party at home with enough dishes for everyone or b. you’re having a large party at a venue where you can rent dinnerware. Sometimes though, you’re having a large party at home or a casual outdoor event that makes real dinnerware inconvenient/not possible. Good news — these days, there are SO MANY biodegradable + compostable options at affordable prices. You can get whole sets on Amazon or Party City.
If you’re making everything yourself or having a potluck, it’s pretty easy to have everything served in reusable containers. If you’re catering, find out if the restaurant will provide food in stainless steel food pans that you can then return back to the restaurant.
Either buy your beverages in the largest possible plastic containers to reduce the amount of plastic you recycle. Or, get drinks in cans or glasses — the two best items to recycle. For alcoholic beverages, see if you can get your beer to go in a growler from a local brewery or even certain Whole Foods.
Buy high quality candles that don’t melt in 5 seconds. I have some beautiful candles that I’ve been able to reuse for years and they barely look used! Go one step further and get pure beeswax birthday candles.
Avoid balloons and single-use throw away items. Borrow decor from friends when needed or make DIY banners with recyclable paper. Even better, use natural items like flowers and beeswax candles to set the mood.