Did you know it was actually Ethical Unicorn’s birthday a couple weeks ago? That’s right, one whole year of writing about ethically made, zero waste and cruelty free (with a lil bit of social justice).
While I’ve realised there’s still a lot to learn and a lot to do, one year still felt like cause for celebration, and my mum threw a little tea party at her house (you can tell this was a while ago because my hair isn’t pink). And so I thought I’d give you some ideas/causes for thought when it comes to hosting a party in a more eco and ethical way.
I’ve never understood the appeal of disposables at parties, even before my eco days it seemed like a waste of money, so why not start your sustainable mission by accepting a larger washing pile and skipping that single use life.
- Super obvious but use your own plates instead of paper ones
- Ditch paper cups and plastic straws. Go for cups/glasses you already have, or save up and sanitise old jars to add some quirk. My mum has had these reusable glass/straw combos for a while for cute party needs, but a quick google will show you a whole host of reusable stainless steel straws (which I think look super cool), for example here.
- You can find cute, colourful reusable cupcake cases in most kitchen shops and online. They’re made of silicone, which is recyclable but takes quite a lot of effort, however they will literally last an entire lifetime, so in 70 years time the recycling should hopefully be a little easier. And people get to choose their colour!
- When it comes to leftovers, ask guests in advance to bring lunch boxes (or wax wraps if they use them). This way everyone can take food away, and you get to open up conversations about sustainability and small changes we can make in our daily lives. If your friends don’t have lunchboxes, why not steer them in the direction of the wonderfully eco-friendly bento boxes by seed and sprout?
- If you desperately need disposable cutlery/crockery instead of using reusable, you can find the ever sustainable bamboo options for everything you might need, which can then be composted at home.
- Glitter is usually made with PET plastic, it can’t be recycled and doesn’t biodegrade. Luckily these days biodegradable glitter is a thing, in fact Leotie Lovely has a whole blog post on this here.
- Balloons can be real problem causers. Aside from going into landfill, plastic balloons filled with helium that can accidentally float away can end up killing marine life, mammals and birds due to accidentally being eaten or entangling them. Skipping them altogether is your best option, but if you do want to have balloons (this balloon was already in my mum’s house) then you can buy biodegradable ones, as well as compostable ribbon. Fill them with air instead of helium, don’t release them into the air/outside and make sure to dispose of them responsibly. They do biodegrade but it can take 4+ years – cutting them into small pieces that can’t be choked on and keeping them in a personal compost bin (where animals can’t get to it) for a long period of time is the best disposal option. However, that’s a crazy amount of hassle, so you can go for more sustainable alternatives such as material/paper bunting, tissue pom poms or crepe paper streamers, which can be composted or reused. And hey, no more worrying about accidentally popping one and getting a fright.
Instead of printing and sending invitations, which requires paper, inks and money, Go completely paperless with Greenvelope instead! Greenvelope are a digital invitation company that not only help you avoid paper completely with their invitations, but also provide digital event management tools including RSVP tracking, survey questions, gift registries, mapping functionality and messaging services. Not only are you being more eco, you also get to be way more organised. If you’re as bad as me when it comes to keeping track of who’s actually coming to your house, this is kind of a lifesaver. At the same time, their designs are just as beautiful as any paper invite I’ve seen, and they’ve even figured out how to mimic real life elements, such as textures and gold foil, that you can add to your online invites for some extra pizzazz, with no waste in sight! You can check Greenvelope out here to see more of their options and ideas, if you’re a real stationary lover you might find yourself there for quite a while!
I hope some of these ideas help you out or give you ideas for the next time you decide to throw a bash. At the end of the day, what matters most isn’t things, it’s spending time with people you love. Who needs the stress of waste? I say keep it simple, keep it eco and keep it fun by focusing more on those around you than having loads of extra stuff.
Until next time, stay magic y’all.