Is it possible to throw a zero-waste party while practicing social distancing? Yes! It may sound challenging, but all it takes is preparation. Check out these tips and reminders to help you with your party planning.
1. Choose a theme
Pick a theme that best fits the birthday celebrant. The first thing to consider is his or her age. Are you throwing a party for a child or for an adult? What color and mood does he like?
Perhaps, a brunch-themed party is something that your mom would enjoy or your younger cousin would love a futuristic-themed party. You can also throw an intimate dinner party with your closest friends.
When you are able to decide on a theme, the rest of the details will follow easily.
2. Pick a date or a venue
After picking a theme, it’s time to choose a date. Will you be celebrating on a weekend so more people could take time off work? Would it be an early time for brunch or some time in the evening for dinner and drinks?
Next, choose a venue. This could be your backyard or your dining area. It’s easier to go zero-waste when you are using your own location.
Take into consideration how many people you can have over with the available space you have so that everyone can practice proper social-distancing.
Having your party outdoors is a great option. There is more space, better air circulation, and natural lighting if you’re having a party during the day. You can also set the mood for an outdoor intimate dinner with eco-friendly non-toxic candles.
3. Use a zero-waste invitation
Now, it’s time to let your family and friends know. You can have an awesome invitation to send out, minus the waste. If you prefer a physical invitation, use eco-friendly paper or recycled materials such as bamboo.
There are wonderful plantable invitations that you can use. There is also seed paper that can grow into flowers, herbs, or even vegetables.
Another option is to go paperless. Send digital invitations over email or create a social media event where they can RSVP. Aside from social distancing, remember to wear your masks and to remind your guests as well, you can use a zero-waste one too, view LastObject to shop with no waste.
4. Plan the seats
To be able to do social-distancing at the party, come up with a seating arrangement. List down the names of your guests, and place name cards per table to limit the number of people per table.
Use recycled items to create name cards or lead the guests to their seats.
5. Plan the food
Did you know that food waste actually has an impact on our planet? Plan what you will be serving to save time, money, and to reduce food waste.
Let’s say you will be having 10 guests over. You don’t want to over-prepare and end up with food that is good for 20 people.
Create a list and plan your menu. When buying ingredients, consider getting from your local farmers or market. Buy in bulk and skip the packaging by bringing your own.
If it still happens that you have excess food from the party, encourage your guests to take home food. That’s better than letting it go to waste.
6. Use what you have
Skip the single-use cutlery and use what you already have. These are your cups, wine glasses, plates, spoons, forks, knives, and serving dishes. These are far more durable to use than single-use ones. Perhaps it’s time to take out your favorite china plates for a very special occasion, which are also way more beautiful than single-use plastic plates.
Take your event planning to the next level by styling your dining area with cloth napkins that will match your theme. While it’s more convenient to use disposable napkins, they are very wasteful as they are also less sturdy than cloth napkins.
After the party, you can just load the dishes in the dishwasher and the cloth napkins into the washing machine. If you can’t do it by yourself, ask your family and friends for help. Enjoy it as an extra time to bond together.
7. Zero-waste party decor
Don’t be afraid to let go of the balloons. Switch to zero-waste materials for your party decor. Usually, you will find a lot of these lying around your house.
For instance, use a table cloth that matches your theme. Add a centerpiece to your dining table. You can use fresh flowers or dried flowers, and arrange them in a glass jar or glass. Have your cloth table napkins ready and set them with your silver.
Since guests would love to take photos, create your own zero-waste wall art. Using plywood as a base, wrap it with fabric that you have at home. Then, decorate it with assorted fresh and dried items like flowers or use a fabric with fun patterns. You can also add fairy lights.
8. Put up a sign for social-distancing
There will be times that guests will be so busy enjoying themselves that they may forget to do social-distancing. Help them remember by putting up signs.
You can get creative about it by using recycled items such as the back of a piece of cardboard and then use a frame that you might have lying around the house.
Alternatively, you can also design it by framing it with dried flowers or fairy lights to make it more eye-catching.