Days are starting to grow longer and the sun is finally starting to make a reappearance after the long, cold winter. What could be a better way to celebrate the return of spring than with an eco friendly garden party? Here are some tips on how to hold an outdoor party for your friends and family whilst minimizing waste and environmental impact.
- Shop locally for organic and seasonal produce. Even better, if you grow your own food, try to include a dish made from your own ingredients. Your guests will enjoy tucking into food whilst seeing where it was grown!
- Steer clear of polystyrene plates. Instead, try buying a few second hand crockery sets which you won’t mind using outside. These are reusable and can bring an element of shabby chic to your party, much more classy than flimsy polystyrene!
- If using paper plates, napkins etc, encourage your guests to add them to your compost heap when they are finished. Most food leftovers can be added too, but remember not to add any meat or bones.
- Ditch the cling film and keep food covered with silicone lids. These are reusable and dishwasher safe, meaning less waste generated.
- Drinks can often involve large amounts of packaging. Try to minimize how much packaging you consume by buying larger bottles of drinks that can be poured into cups.
- Try filling pitchers or punchbowls with juice, pop, iced tea, water etc and provide glasses that guests can fill themselves. This means there is no need for individual drinks cans, cartons or bottles, meaning less waste overall.
- Organic wine can be a great addition to any party. Organic wines are wines originating from vineyards that encourage biodiversity and reject the use of synthetic pesticides. Look out for Soil Association accreditation when looking for organic wine as this guarantees a vineyard’s organic standards. Try Vintage Roots for a wide range of organic wines to buy online.
- Drinks and cocktails made with local berries, fruits and garnished with mint offer great refreshing thirst quenchers that fit with your garden theme.
Decorations and lighting
- Your garden is full of nature’s own decorations- your plants and flowers! You shouldn’t have to make too much effort in terms of decoration, but potted plants can offer attractive centrepieces to tables while your guests enjoy the natural backdrop.
- In the evening, light your garden up with citronella candles, which will create a mellow ambiance while also repelling insects.
- To add some magic to your trees and shrubs, try LED lights, which use 95% less energy than traditional bulbs and come in a variety of colours.
- Solar powered lawn ornaments are available which charge during the day and light up at night.
- Even in the height of summer, it can still get chilly when the sun goes down. Avoid patio heating, which is one of the least environmentally friendly technologies found in households, guzzling up energy and contributing to CO2 emissions.
- Provide plenty of fleeces and blankets to help your guests keep warm. Also consider having a gazebo or tent set up to provide some shelter from the breeze.
- If it gets too cold, there’s no harm in moving the party into the kitchen!
- Bringing music into the garden isn’t always easy. Avoid trailing electrical leads across the lawn or blasting music from inside the house, and instead, try portable speakers for your MP3 player. Solar powered portable speakers are available which allow you to play music from your MP3 player or phone without having to plug it into the mains.
- If any of your guests are musically talented, invite them to bring any instruments along to provide some live entertainment for your party.