Brenna Miles | Sep 07, 2023

How to Host a Zero Waste Party: 15 Ideas

Paper plates. A slew of plastic cups. Trays of nibbled-on snacks.

Now those are clear signs of a fun-filled party, right? While that might be true, it’s also a ton of waste. And unfortunately, a lot of it will end up in landfills that may be harmful to our beautiful environment. It takes hundreds of years for one plastic cup to decompose. Crazy, right?

If you’re looking for ways to throw a more sustainable shindig, we’ve got you covered. Here, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite zero waste party ideas, so you can plan a fun and eco-friendly event (now that’s something to celebrate!).

Table of Contents

  • What Is a Zero Waste Party?

  • 15 Zero Waste Party Ideas: From Food to Fun

  • Party Prep Ideas

  • Food & Beverage Ideas

  • Decoration Ideas

  • Party Favor Ideas

  • Party Game Ideas

What Is a Zero Waste Party?

What is a zero waste party, anyway? Planning a zero waste party means trading potentially wasteful favors, decorations, and more for waste-free alternatives. For example, you might choose to use your own reusable dishes instead of plastic plates. Easy right?

By making these trades, you can throw a fun get-together while limiting the effects of it on the environment. It’s a win-win!

15 Zero Waste Party Ideas: From Food to Fun

Ready to start party planning? Here are 15 fun, zero waste party ideas to help you get started.

Party Prep Ideas

A little bit of preparation can help you avoid unnecessary waste. Go ahead and set a date for your bash then check out these tips:

  1. Send invites via email or an online platform: Paper invites just end up in your guests’ garbage. And let’s face it, there’s always a chance they won’t get to your guests’ mailboxes in the first place. Send your invites via email or start a group on social media.

  2. Ask your friends to RSVP: Getting a head count of guests to expect can help you ensure you’re not buying too much food or too many party favors. Luckily, RSVPing is easy when you use email or social.

  3. Plan and prep way in advance: We’ve all made a mad dash to the store right before our guests arrive for something we forgot. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to waste. For example, if you forget to get out the good china, you may need to opt for paper plates instead. You can avoid these mishaps by planning in advance.

Food & Beverage Ideas

What’s a party without yummy food and drinks? As you’re planning your menu, here are some ideas to keep in mind:

  1. Shop at your local farmers market: Most of the waste that comes from party food is the packaging. You can avoid packaging waste by shopping for food and recipe ingredients at your local farmers market. You’ll find plenty of delicious fruits, veggies, and more without all the plastic.

  2. Use your own dishes and cups for serving: Instead of using plastic or paper cups and plates, use your own dishes. This is the perfect opportunity to break out those fancy dishes you don’t ever get to use.

  3. Keep the food plan simple: When planning your menu, keep things simple. For a small get-together, some finger foods work well. For a dinner party, a main dish and a couple of great sides is more than enough. Overdoing it will result in added waste. As a bonus tip, ask your guests what they would enjoy. That way, you can be sure your food is gobbled up.

Decoration Ideas

Can decorations truly be waste-free? Absolutely! Here are some ideas for decor you can feel good about:

  1. Use flowers and other natural decorations: Flowers are perfect decorations as they add color and life to any scene. You can also opt for other natural decor such as vines, plants, or fruit. If you’re looking for something more, try biodegradable confetti or paper lanterns.

  2. Take your party outside: Nature offers its own lovely decor. If the weather’s right, throw your party at the local park or invite your friends into your backyard. The trees, bright sun, and blue sky might just be all the decorations you need.

  3. Use what you already have: Take a look around your home to see what you already have that could be used as party decor. Have baskets? Fill them with bright flowers or plants. Have some fabric lying around? Make your own DIY garland. The key is to get creative and see what you can come up with!

Party Favor Ideas

Party favors are a great way to say “thank you” to your guests before they head out. Plus, there are plenty of waste-free options to try.

  1. Share homemade cookies or other treats: Whip up some of your favorite chocolate chip cookies or another treat and offer it to your guests before they leave. Trust us - your guests will love this one.

  2. Give away small plants or flowers: Who doesn’t enjoy plants? Gift your friends some small succulents or pick up some flowers and allow them to build their own bouquets to take home.

  3. Gift your guests a reusable tumbler or bottle: Nothing says waste-free like a reusable water bottle or tumbler. For example, you can pick up an Era straw tumbler or Nav 22oz for your closest buds.

Party Game Ideas

Party games are always a blast. This is especially true when they’re waste-free.

  1. Break out the board games: Chances are, you have a stack of board games in your closet just ready to be played. Break ‘em out and allow your guests to join in on the fun. If you need to jumpstart your board game collection, head to your nearest thrift store! You’ll be sure to find some previously-loved classics perfect for your party. Or, ask each guest to bring a game of their choosing.

  2. Play some fun, waste-free outdoor games: Many outdoor games, such as cornhole and horseshoes, can be enjoyed year after year. Consider investing in some cornhole boards or other outdoor games. Of course, you could always opt for a traditional game of hide and seek or freeze tag. There’s nothing quite like a bit of nostalgia to liven up a party.

  3. Go sustainable for your prizes: Giving away prizes to your game winners? Keep it sustainable! For example, gift some handmade candy or even some cash. Or gift a reusable tumbler, like the Toddy XL, which is the perfect alternative to plastic water bottles and wasteful cans.

Have a Waste-Free Good Time With BrüMate

Well, there you have it. You can now throw a zero waste party like a pro. Whether you’re looking for the perfect party favors for your friends or want a better way to stay hydrated as you plan your bash, check out our best-selling reusable drinkware made to elevate every occasion.

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