Party Problem Solving
Have you wanted to throw a party but the idea of doing it zero waste put you off? Well I am here to give you a few tips on how to cut corners and save on waste and money in the process.
1) Need cutlery, plates or servers? GO SECONDHAND SHOPPING
I bet you knew I would say that. We realised on the day that we didn't have wine glasses. Popped into Eco Shop and grabbed 10 for $1. Who in their right mind would ever pay retail again!? You can hit up your local op shop for plates (you don't need a matching set), cutlery and beautiful serving dishes for next to nothing. If you don't want to have them stored in the garage after the event, take them back to the shop.
2) Want amazing decorations? Put the call out
Ask others to borrow theirs or make your own with what you can find. We hit Creative Junk and found some vinyl samplers and strung them up with yarn - was so long that it filled the entire room. We also managed to find some great decorations at second hand stores. If you start looking well in advance you are bound to have a good collection by the time the day comes.
3) Food - make from scratch
You can be cunning about how you go about this one... since it was my party, I left everything to my husband. He was fully committed to our zero waste goals and made 14 pizzas from scratch! Over two 5 hour pizza sessions he made more than enough food for the party and froze them so that there was no stress the day of the doo and anything that wasn't eaten is there as bonus meals for us!
We went to the bakery for fresh bread to make garlic bread. You can make your own hummus or pesto as well as crackers if you need nibbles.
4) Drink (the key to a good party)
With this one being my 30th, we splashed out on the booze (not that any of us really drank much of it). We got ourselves a bottle of Thomson's Single Malt Whisky - remembering the importance of shopping local! My husband was so organised that he put a batch of homebrew beer down a month earlier to have it in time for the party. We also provided beer and wine - although glass is not zero waste it is somewhat better than plastic. For the kids made up ginger beer from Barkers cordial.
Now this is very much left up to the attendees but since all my friends know me quite well they either didn't get me anything (other than making the enormous effort to come to my party from out of town), gave me sweet homemade gifts, or gave me amazing secondhand finds. If you are pursuing a minimalist lifestyle I am sure that those close to you will understand if you ask them to skip the gift. If you have random stuff given to you that you have no use for, pass it on! There are some amazing community pages (check out It Takes a Village) to pass things on to those who need or will use them.