I recently made the choice to go vegan and, like many vegans, I have a strong desire to reduce my carbon footprint by living a more sustainable and environmentally friendly life.
Unfortunately, as a party planner, I am trained that printing every single email and every single document is key to organising a great event, and that purchasing mountains of confetti, paper plates and plastic cutlery makes for a super cute dessert table.
While I have switched to using electronic storage (and backing it up!) and items such as tablets to ensure less printing and less destruction of trees, unfortunately, the same does not go for the easy and adorable products we party planners LOVE to use. Every year hundreds of billions of party items end up in the dump or in the environment, even if they are recycled appropriately, and this adds to the waste product of our planet.
So to help reduce the waste and ensure an eco-friendly event, why not try on a few of these more environmentally sustainable ideas on for size?
USE RECYCLABLE PRODUCTS
You can have your cake and eat it too, so why add to the planet’s waste with paper plates and party streamers when you can purchase recyclable products that look just as cute? Eco party supply stores such as Eco Party Box Australia, Susty Party, and Green Party Goods are a great way to decorate your party in style, and know that you haven’t added to the pile of non-biodegradable party supplies sitting in the dump.
If you can’t purchase these biodegradable products, then recycle the party items time after time! Stick to plain coloured ceramic plates that are washable and in a versatile colour that you can use at your next party, or turn that Halloween cobweb into a Santa beard for Christmas. The opportunities are endless, so get your thinking caps on!
SERVE VEGAN OR VEGETARIAN FOOD
It might be hard for some people to shake, but vegan or vegetarian options are pretty damn delicious. Vegans save over 100 animals a year by not eating meat, and with so many options available for sustenance it’s not hard to find something yummy, healthy (or not-that healthy if you would prefer – yes, those junkier food options still exist as a vegan!) and on point with your theme.
I have seen some absolutely fabulous looking weddings and events that have catered solely for a vegetarian or a vegan diet. Sweet Bones does amazing food and cakes, and even host a vegan Thanksgiving that had everybody raving about how good it was. This beautiful Minimalist Vegan Wedding proved you can have your own right here in Canberra, and have you seen the cakes by Canberra local Rainbow Nourishments? They are practically swoon-worthy, so don’t think that the delicious vegan options aren’t out there because they definitely are!
RAISE MONEY FOR A CHARITY
There are so many not-for-profit and charity organisations out there that do so many good things for the planet, so why not use your celebration as a chance to give back? It’s common amongst events such as weddings where a donation to a chosen charity is given in lieu of gifts, so the same situation can be applied at other parties as well – including birthdays or anniversaries.
Even collecting gold coin donations at an event, or simply collecting money at a party is a good way to raise some much-needed funds for a cause that you believe in. Have a look online at the donation pages for any charities you may want to raise money for, but for some ideas you can have a look at Alzheimer’s Australia, Animals Australia, Greenpeace Australia, the RSPCA, or Palliative Care Australia, just to name a few!
DITCH THE INVITES AND DO THE E-VITES
Invitations can mean a lot of wasted paper that looks great to begin with, but only a few will end up surviving to be a part of a wedding scrapbook – the rest will end up being thrown out. And unless you have used biodegradable paper or even seed paper (where the paper turns into a seed that grows!) that is definitely not the way to an eco-friendly event.
We’re lucky that in this day and age, people have access to technology, which means they can have access to your invitation for your event. There are so many ways you can put your invite together – make a website or use a blog template to direct your guests to the information they need. Send an email or use a template email to jazz your email to be more than just another work email.
There are so many options, you won’t be hard-pressed to find an invitation that will suit your needs and not end up killing trees!
So there you have it – a few ways that we can be as environmentally friendly as possible and still have a kick ass celebration! Now go enjoy that cake because after all the good deeds you just did, you deserve it!