Not long ago, we collectively voiced out our desire to stop a New Year’s Eve event that involved dropping 130,000 latex balloons the second 2019 hits. The outcry was heard, and authorities stepped in to prevent this event from happening.
But why stop at one event? Birthdays, Christmas, bridal showers, reunions, you name it… Everyday someone out there is holding a party involving balloons and confetti.
We’ve listed down some ideas on how to be more mindful when holding similarly memorable celebrations!
- Invitations end up in scrapbooks and memory boxes. And for those of us who aren’t so sentimental, these invites end up in the trash. So save yourself the hassle of hiring someone to design, print and laser-cut your invitations — and go digital. Facebook events are really handy too, so you can consolidate all RSVPs in one location. If you want something more personalised (and more lavish), you can make a website for your event (and host it under your own domain name, too!)
- Keep it intimate. The less number of guests, the less time you need cleaning up, less leftovers, and overall just less to worry about.
- Who needs single use decoration? If you really find the need to decorate, ask yourself: where will this go after this event has passed? Balloons burst. Even biodegradable ones. And they end up in our landfills and oceans. It would be very hard to recycle them since you really can’t make plastic furniture out of rubber. Confetti and glitter are made of plastic, or unrecyclable paper. Paper buntings and paper lanterns may get dirty or wet. So settle for sturdy decor that you can reuse over and over again. Or better yet, make your own from nature! Flowers and leaves are festive, natural and completely biodegradable.
- Let them take home food. Food waste is still waste, so why not let everyone take home what they can take home with them? No, asking for a doggie bag is not trashy, it actually reduces trash. Think about it.
- No disposables, too. It’s very convenient to just chuck out paper plates, dixie cups and plastic cutlery after any event. But don’t plates and silverware look more sophisticated and classy? Sure, it may take more time to clean up, but what is that to a motivated, mindful individual? Or, go local and engage everyone in a boodle fight! Eating food on a banana leaf with your hands is really fun. Just skip the disposable gloves.
- Do yourself a favor, and no favors, please. I have never EVER used any baptismal, debut, birthday, or wedding souvenir. Why would I want to use a pencil case with my classmate’s name and face on it? What am I supposed to do with a plastic baby bottle with a photo of someone else’s baby inside? Fancy crystal bride and groom laser engraved with the names of a newlywed couple that serve no other purpose other than clutter or possible paperweight? Please, just do us all a favor and keep your favors actually useable. There’s no shame in giving away food (my favorite favors are cookies and cupcakes!), biodegradeable school supplies, or go the extra mile and give away homemade package-free soaps or lotion bars.
- Loot bags are just bits of trash waiting to happen.Everything (and the bag itself) is cheap and made of sugar and plastic. For a child, sure, this might look exciting for the first five minutes… until the flimsy toy breaks and all the five pages of the free mini coloring book had been filled in. Let children be children, and just have a station where they can do an activity together or learn something together. The best loot bag is full of memories.
- Just make it count. Any celebration is about the message and the experience. Focus on the games, the spiels, the food, the photos, everything else memorable and intangible. Admit it — you’ve never agreed to be a plus one at any event and said that you wanted to go because of the decoration or the souvenirs– I’ll bet you went because you were hungry… or wanted to see cute people. Set activities that benefit people. Feed the hungry. Plant trees. Teach something. Just make it count.
Do you have other ideas on how to reduce waste during parties? Let us know below!