I wanted to share with you that about 4 months ago, the love of my life and my partner on this journey asked me to marry him while we were on holidays in Tokyo. Lucky Me -I know! But now, I am excited (and very, very scared) about planning an engagement party for 75 people that creates Zero (or very little waste). Luckily, my fiance is on board with the Zero Waste plan, but it is still going to be a massive challenge. Here are 5 things we are doing to reduce waste at our engagement party.
- Plates, cutlery, and cups
There was a lot to consider with these. We knew that we did not want to use plastic options or even the generic paper options. These do not fit with our values. So the first thing we considered was the eco-friendly disposables. There are some made of farmed bamboo and others that are eco-friendly and compostable. They are great, and they have their purpose, but I couldn’t help but think that the idea of disposable at all was kind of wasteful. After all, it takes a lot of resources to make these products, only for people to use them for ten minutes and for them to be disposed of. So the option we landed on – real ceramic or glass plates. So far, we have 50 (there will be 75 people) and we mostly purchased them from op shops. None of them match, but I kind of like the vibe it gives off. The same goes for cups and cutlery – all of it WE may only use once, but they can be passed on to others who want to have an eco-friendly party! (And if anyone is in the market for some party plates, hit me up in the comments!)
We will not be using any disposable napkins either – these will all be cloth napkins. According to Bea Johnson, if you use disposable napkins, you will need to prepare for 5 napkins per person. If you use cloth napkins, it is likely only half your guests will use one at all. People seem to respect the cloth napkin – Plus, people will think you really want them to feel important, knowing that you provided cloth napkins.
- Food Waste
By providing real plates, cups, and cutlery, all food waste will be collected in order to wash the dishes. This will ensure it is composted (or eaten up by our dog Kenny) appropriately and nothing will head to the landfill. We will also be ensuring any finger food will be in small portions, to avoid people taking more than necessary by accident.
Yes, I know we have talked about cups, but what drinks will we be providing. We have decided to only provide drinks that either come in glass or have no packaging. For alcoholic beverages, we will be providing beer and wine and will be allocating a dedicated bin for glass recycling. For kids and non-drinkers, we will be providing a soft drink alternative with our SodaStream, in the form of soda water with various crushed fruit in it. So delicious.
We are going for a natural theme for our decorations. We have a few hedges out the front that need to be trimmed so we will be trimming them down and using those as mini tree decorations for the party. We have some fairy lights we will decorate them with that we already owned. Along with some candles and some photos of the happy couple (that’s us!) and we are decorated!
And that’s our party. I’ll be posting all about the Zero Waste party wins on our Minimize The Waste Instagram and Facebook – so make sure to follow us there for updates. If you have any comments or suggestions, we would love to see your comments below!