“When life gets this confusing, sometimes there’s only one thing to do, attend a fabulous party.”– Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City
Don’t we know it? Sometimes, a good party with people you love is all you need.
Many would say that hosting a memorable party, no matter how intimate or grand is an art. If that is true, then we believe that hosting a planet-friendly party is the highest form of artistic expression.
Why? Because eco-friendly celebrations are all about creativity and mindfulness. With a little application, you might realise that you already have what it takes to so host responsibly. But in case you needed a bit of hand-holding, here’s a guide that doubles up as a checklist; to help pull off eco-conscious parties that would be the talk of the town!
- DIY Decor
In the era of Instagram, almost every social gathering becomes an occasion to click good pictures. To turn your party into an aesthetically pleasing haven without generating waste, here’s a decor checklist:
- If you are hosting an indoor house party, spruce up your living room with natural decor. Use plants, local flowers, and edible arrangements to add to your home’s existing aesthetic.
- Get creative and DIY! There are several opportunities to upcycle with things already in your home. For example- An old saree or lacy bedcover makes for a great backdrop for your photo booth. They can also be used to create buntings! Similarly, old wine bottles can be stuffed with string lights for a unique table lamp effect.
- If you must buy, opt for decor that’s reusable and sustainable. Brown Living has a wide range of upcycled fabric buntings by Upcyclie, wooden cake toppers by ScrapShala, Oh Scrap, and more!
Source: Brown Living
- During festivals like Diwali, marigold garlands, banana leaf torans, and clay diyas can add a vibrant and traditional touch to your decor. And instead of using synthetic colours for Rangoli, why not opt for natural colours derived from turmeric, rice flour, or flower petals?
- Planet-Friendly Food
We all know that food is the heart of any Indian celebration. Be it a sumptuous Eid biryani, mouth-watering Holi gujiyas, or Christman plum cake, no occasion is complete without a gastronomic extravaganza. In trying to be unique, you may often end up creating elaborate menus with exotic foods that wow your guests.
However, food has its carbon footprint, one that can significantly shoot up with additions to your menu.
Here’s your checklist to tackle this:
- To start, source organic and local ingredients whenever possible. Shopping local supports regional farmers while also naturally reducing the footprint of your meals. Locally-grown produce is healthier and also travels smaller distances, reducing carbon emissions associated with transportation.
- Avoid imported and canned foods altogether. Instead, you can be creative and ‘Indianize’ your favourite pasta or tacos to include local ingredients.
- Plan a potluck if possible! This not only reduces your effort but also helps save food waste. If everyone has a chance to contribute to the menu, the food is bound to have many takers.
- Include vegetarian or even vegan alternatives where possible. A plant-based diet also significantly reduces your carbon footprint. Brands like Imagine Meats and Blue Tribe Foods offer delightful meat alternatives that taste and feel like the real deal!
- Another way to prevent food waste is to account for dietary restrictions in advance. Check with your guests for gluten, soy, dairy, or nut allergies so you can keep these out of your final menu.
- NOTE: If you are left behind with any large amounts of food waste, donate it to those in need. If it’s not good enough to donate, compost your food waste! For composting guidance and to find the ideal compost kit for your home, check out Daily Dump! For exclusive offers, join the TGL Tribe Membership Program! (Keep reading to know more!).
- Serve Sustainably
Hosting a planet-friendly party isn’t just about what you serve your guests, but also HOW you serve. What goes on your plate is as crucial as the very plate you serve it in. So let’s dive into this checklist to help you serve sustainably:
- If you’re planning an intimate gathering, bring out your dinner sets and let your guests dine in reusable cutlery.
- Avoid disposable plates and spoons as far as possible, but if you can’t, opt for biodegradable options made of bagasse, bamboo, or areca palm leaves!
- Rule out plastics entirely. Skip bottled water or disposable plastic cups. Instead, you can keep a few refillable bottles or simply serve glasses of water.
- Keep a tab on the ‘frills’ you may originally miss out on. For example, tissues and serviettes contribute largely to waste. Keep clothing napkins as an alternative as these can be washed and reused.
- If you’re serving alcohol, pick out locally sourced wines and spirits. Ensure your bar is devoid of plastic cocktail stirrers or straws altogether
- Be it a house party or a larger gathering outdoors, keep designated corners with segregated bins. Encourage your guests to use these bins responsibly to discard any waste during the party.
- If possible, keep your party a smoke-free zone.
Entertainment is a key part of any celebration. But, often, elaborate board games or fancy card games can also rake up a significant amount of waste. Whether it’s poker night with your buddies or you’re just planning to host a few games for entertainment, there are a few ways to keep it low-impact:
- There is nothing quite like hearty laughter and friendly competition. As we gather around to celebrate, why not bring back the timeless, energy-efficient games and set the mood for a memorable evening? Traditional Indian games like Antakshari, Dumb Charades, or Musical Chairs require little to no equipment and can involve guests of all ages.
- Invest in sustainable board games such as wooden chess boards or responsibly made poker sets. While yes, most board games are reusable by design, investing in ones made of sustainable materials ensures a much larger shelf-life and won’t require replacement for years! PS – We also love this multipurpose Ludo Game Coffee Table made of reclaimed wood by Scrapshala!
- When it comes to music and dance, encourage live performances. If you are planning to set up a digital karaoke or dance session, consider using energy-efficient appliances.
- Bamboo speakers and amplifiers are also fantastic eco-friendly alternatives. They are made from renewable, biodegradable materials and their natural acoustic properties also ensure excellent sound quality.
- Pro-Tip: Organize a “green gifting game” where guests bring pre-loved items they no longer need and exchange them with each other. It’s a fun way to give used items a new life and enjoy the sentiment of gifting without consuming new resources.
- Good Gifts
With the festive season and the many occasions to both give and receive gifts upon us soon, let’s talk about the art of mindful, ethical gifting. If you are a party host wondering what that entails, here is a checklist to help you keep it green:
- If you are the intended recipient, setting a ‘no gifts policy’ with your guests works best! If not that, then specify a theme like Bring-a-Plant only.
- If you find yourself stuck with a gift that you don’t need, try to find alternate uses for it or pass it along to someone who may need it.
- If you plan on gifting your guests (or are visiting another’s party) stick to your beliefs when making a purchase. Shop for eco-friendly gift options like plants or organic food hampers.
- Wrap your gift mindfully too. Skip plastic bubble wrap, plastic/metallic wrapping paper, stickers, or cards, and stick to sustainable wrapping ideas. For example, the famed Furoshiki wrap is an easy technique that lets you use colourful scarves or older cloth pieces to gift wrap. Similarly, you can shop for eco-craft items like water-activated tape to wrap your gifts.
- Consider asking your friends and family for their gift wish lists so you can get them something they need and will use. This is a great way to show thoughtfulness while preventing possible waste.
- To go in-depth and master the ways of green gifting, we’ve written a detailed guide that you can read here.
So there you have it! It does not seem so hard now, does it? It’s great that you’ve decided to host a conscious celebration! Here’s hoping your next eco-party redefines what it means to be the host with the most.
Before you go off and get planning, here’s a little bonus – Many of the gift ideas and products mentioned in the story can be bought at great offers and deals via your TGL Tribe membership, a community of like-minded individuals and responsible local brands that promote sustainable living Unlock your potential (and the many perks) by becoming a member today! Know more here.