Make Your Next Party
A Breath of Fresh Air
With the health of our environment as a growing concern, it's important to consider how we are contributing to our environmental footprint. There are a number of daily swaps & efforts that we can make, but one area that can be easily improved is your next special event.
How To Make Your Next Party More Environmentally Friendly
Just envision the last party you attended...do you remember there being a big garbage bag collecting single use plastic cutlery, paper plates (or worse, styrofoam), party decorations, wrapping paper...
The List. Goes. On.
Often one of the major deciding factors in choosing to use all of these single use items is convenience. So, we've given a little more thought to how you can easily update your next event to be low waste and more eco-friendly - without sacrificing your time.
Being Thoughtful Means
Designing Your Menu
A grazing table is a perfect way to offer a no fuss, low waste meal for a group. Here are some reasons why this option works well for easy entertaining as well as a low waste option.
1. A charcuterie or snack board not only offers a selection of tastes, textures & flavours for your guests, it is aesthetically beautiful - it can often be party decor in itself.
2. You can use what you already have - the beauty of a charcuterie board is that it has a little bit of everything. So use up that half-full jar of pickles or add some fruit or nuts that you already have in the kitchen.
3. This can be a great way to accommodate dietary restrictions - guests can pick and choose foods that work for their needs.
4. You'll spend less time in the kitchen, as you won't be heating & plating individual plates of food. You can also prep your boards in advance, so that you can be present with your guests and not hustling & bustling during your party.
5. You won't need individual cutlery for every guest, or multiple plates like you would for a served dinner.
A FEW TIPS TO HELP REDUCE YOUR WASTE
- If you're shopping for ingredients for your grazing table, consider shopping local and visiting your local butcher & bakery. Often times you can purchase your fresh bread without it being packaged in a plastic bag, or have your charcuterie meat wrapped in paper as opposed to plastic packaging from a major grocery store.
- Choose foods that are packaged in recyclable containers like olives & pickles. You can also shop for bulk items like nuts by bringing your own containers as opposed to using a store's plastic bags.
- For beverages, offer punch or water in large glass dispensers, which not only look great, but cut down on individual cans & bottles. Also think about choosing beverages that come in glass bottles over plastic!
GET CREATIVE WITH ECO FRIENDLY OFFERINGS
If you're feeling like trying something a little different than traditional charcuterie, check out this book - On Boards - which offers inspiration for unique themed snack boards for absolutely every occasion! It also offers advice on amounts to prepare for the number of guests you're entertaining, drink pairings and so much more!
USE WHAT YOU HAVE
DISHWARE VS. DISPOSABLES
Let's move on to the other aspects of the party - serve-ware & decor. Yes, using regular dish-ware will mean that you have some dishes to do after the event, but since we aren't doing a four course meal, you should really only have a plate and a glass or two per person to wash. You also won't have the pots, pans & baking sheets that are the biggest cleaning job. If you have a dishwasher - even better!
CLOTH VS. PAPER
For napkins - why not use cloth! Not only will this feel more upscale than paper, there really is no more work to throw a dirty napkin in a washing machine versus a garbage can. You'll also save on the cost of all the typical single use napkins & dishes by using what you already have!
USING EXISTING HOME DECOR
For decor, a beautiful serving board or wood cutting board offers a little bit of decor in itself. You can easily accent your spread with potted plants, or some cut garden flowers or greens from your yard (or local Farmer's market). Try moving home decor like lanterns to help decorate and create a relaxed but beautiful presentation.
We've already mentioned how the most common reason we choose those single-use items for events is the convenience they offer. Nobody wants to make a special event more work than it has to be. Here are our favourite "clean"ing products!
1. We love beeswax wraps for so many reasons. You can use them to replace your plastic wrap and sandwich bags! They're completely customizable to any size of bowl or tray and can be folded into any size of storage bag. They're reusable, antibacterial and very eco-friendly. Oh and one more thing - they come in so many adorable patterns.
2. Fabric covers can stretch to fit any shape of bowl, plate or platter. They replace your plastic wrap and keep food extra fresh and are machine washable.
3. Another great option are Stasher bags. These bags are another great storage option. The benefits - they're freezer and dishwasher safe, eco-friendly and have that familiar pinch-lock seal. From mini to freezer bag size, you can even write on these bags, they'll be your new best friend.
4. Swedish dishcloths are made of cotton and plant-based cellulose fibres; they offer a sustainable alternative to sponges, dishcloths and paper towels and become soft and pliable when wet for easy clean-up. They can be machine washed up to 200 times.
5. Public Goods Surface Cleaner will finish the job with pleasing scents and absolutely no harsh solvents or chemicals. Their entire line of cleaning products are designed with health & sustainability in mind.
We truly feel that making your next event more eco-friendly doesn't mean a bigger job to do. From planning, to dining, to decorating there is room for improvement for our Earth and creating an experience that every person in attendance can enjoy on multiple levels.
Do you have more low waste entertaining tips? Comment below!