Party with the Planet in Mind: Green Guide to Parties
By Chrissy Beluk
Here at Greenpop we love a good party! Whether we’re celebrating a birthday, rocking out at Reforest Fest, or planting trees during Arbor Month, we love getting together with friends, music and good food. Check out these simple tips on how to throw a rockin’ sustainable soirée that your guests will remember for years to come.
Get the Word Out
Instead of sending invitations in the mail, invite your guests using Paperless Post or create a Facebook event. This reduces CO2 from the mail service and eliminates paper waste. Inviting guests who aren’t tech savvy? Look into creating upcycled envelopes to send or better yet, hand deliver if they live nearby! After all, community’s all about knockin’ on your neighbours’ doors!
Get creative with your decor
Decorations bought from the store require a lot of energy to manufacture and are made with dangerous chemicals and materials that can’t easily be recycled. Here are decorations you can make (and reuse) with the materials right from the recycling bin.
- Create bunting, garlands, and wreaths out of recycled magazines
- Flowers from the garden not in bloom? These beautiful bouquets can be made out of old newspapers, cardboard, and other recyclable materials you may have lying at home
- Popcorn garlands are fun and easy to make – plus you get to snack while you work!
- If you aren’t feeling very crafty, find some unique items from thrift shops or antique stores for centerpieces
Serve your food sustainably
When possible, use cloth napkins, reusable cups, plates, and silverware instead of plastic. Or consider investing in disposable, biodegradable flatware. Then again, you could always serve finger food and get rid of silverware altogether!
Head to your local farmer’s market to see what is available when planning your menu. Get creative and don’t be afraid to try new recipes. Better yet, have a potluck and encourage everyone to bring a plant-based dish and the recipe. Eating local, in-season, and plant-based is really a great way to decrease your carbon footprint – plus it’s easy and delicious. Don’t forget to compost your leftovers.
Enjoy some fresh air
Spending time outside is the perfect way to (re)connect, so take your party outdoors! Have a braai or get a picnic vibe going! Set up yard games and blankets to top off the eco-friendly evening!
Scientists have found that trees communicate in various ways, one of them being fascinating fungal networks below the earth.
For this year’s Women’s Day in South Africa, we want to introduce a woman in sustainability who inspires us daily. After earning a Master’s degree in Development Studies, she joined Greenpop in 2014. When she is not heading up programmes across Sub-Saharan Africa, you can find her spending time with her family, tending to her garden, practising Italian, and searching for the best pizza in the Mother City. Get to know Zoë Gauld-Angelucci!
World Environment Day is organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and has been held annually since 1974. The goal of the day of action is to promote environmental awareness and draw attention to crucial concerns around our planet’s survival, that require active engagement and commitment. Today, the day represents one of the largest global platforms for environmental action, with millions of participants from around the world. Each World Environment Day focuses on a specific issue that reflects urgent problems and challenges of our time, such as climate change, biodiversity loss or pollution.
Greenpop Foundation NPC is a registered non-profit organisation. Registration Number (NPO): 151-411 NPO.