I’m sure I’m not the only parent to look at the heaving black bin bag of party waste and feel guilty about it. With this in mind, I’ve come up with a few simple tips to help cut down on waste. I always think that it’s the smallest swaps that stick, and that if we all did a little, it would help so much. I do think organisation is key, as it’s so easy to just throw everything away in a bundle at the end of a party. Hopefully these little tweaks and swaps will help to change the mindset – let me know if you have any things to add, I’d love to keep adding to the list and make it a really useful resource.
Use a patterned at bedsheet instead of throwaway plastic table cloths
Sheets always look so much nicer than the plastic cloths, and you can just throw them in the washing machine at the end of the party to use again. I would recommend either patterned or darker coloured sheets, patterns will hide any pesky stains so much more easily!
Use fabric to cut up into napkins, or buy fabric napkins or tea-towels
I often use my fabric stash to make up brightly patterned napkins and it is so satisfying to do! Charity shops often have fabric napkins and table cloths too which are perfect for party use. Tea-towels are also invaluable for moping up spills and wiping sticky chops! I bought some lovely stripy ones from Ikea which are fab for layering on the table, and they look perfectly party ready.
Invest in melamine / enamel tableware instead of throwaway plates and cups
Not just for picnics, melamine plates come in some gorgeous designs and most can be stacked in the dishwasher at the end of the festivities. I especially love enamelware if you are serving hot food.
For drinks, use mini milk bottles for the cute factor
Or some other reusable cup, melamine or bamboo, then dispense from a jug or some other vessel - we like to go a bit mad hatters tea party and serve milk shakes and fruity drinks from old teapots and picnic jugs.
Sustainable party bags
Ditch the plastic tat and go for more sustainable party bags. Our kraft bags are gorgeous and perfect for a few treats - but they needn’t be the usual party fare. Think outside the box and go for more eco friendly ideas like little plants, seeds and handmade items. These seed tins are a personal favourite, after using them, they can be used to store all manner of things.
Resist the urge to over cater - it’s not always appropriate, but for some parties I’ll find out what each child would like for sandwiches and make them up a lunch each. I have to say this dramatically cuts down on waste and you don’t end up with plates of soggy cream cheese sandwiches left afterwards! Try to shop locally for the fruit and veggies as this cuts down on plastic waste. I find it always tastes nicer! Using serving dishes you already have rather than single use platters.
The Cotton Twist activities are great for celebrations as they have exactly the right amount of materials needed for the make, they are easy to assemble, and every child will always come out with their own unique make!