Have you ever attended a party (or thrown one yourself) and you were blown away by the amount of waste at the end of all of it? I know I sure have. Unfortunately, it’s often a lot easier to go that route and end up with tons of waste. However, with a few simple changes, you can reduce your waste significantly and you don’t have to break the bank either. If you’re curious how to throw an eco friendly party, read on to find out!
Writing about sustainability is something that I have touched on before in regards to food, skincare/beauty, gift ideas and clothing. But I know I haven’t done enough which is why I have felt compelled to write about it more. Beyond writing about it, I am also learning and putting into practice my own waste reduction strategies. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on how it’s going!
How Waste Builds Up
When we set out to host a party, whether it is a dinner party or a full-blown party, there are a lot of moving parts. With so much planning to do, it can be easy to let certain things slide. One of those things is usually how to do it in an eco friendly way. And it will often seem like just an extra step in your long list of to-do’s. So the last thing I want to do is add any additional stress to your party planning or make anyone feel guilty for their choices. And thats why I encourage you to think about making small changes rather than looking at overhauling everything about your party planning.
Waste can build up quite easily when you host a party. You’ve got decorations (which often times are single use), plates and cutlery (often times plastic, single-use), food, and even bottled water. All of that waste ends up in our over-crowded landfills and most of it can be avoided with simple planning and some swaps.
How to Throw an Eco Friendly Party: Swap This For That
If you want to throw an eco friendly party, you can start by making some simple swaps.
Invites: Go paperless! For parties (other than a wedding I’m sure) it’s so easy to send out an evite over a paper invite. Not only is this better for the environment (on many levels) but also your wallet.
Decor: Rather than buying decor that is likely to end up in the garbage, opt for fresh, in-season and organic flowers or plants. This can make a big difference in not only the atmosphere and overall look of the party but also help reduce a lot of unnecessary waste.
Ditch the Heavily Scented Candles: A lot of those candles are not only heavily scented, but they also aren’t great for the environment. You can find lots of sustainable candles these days made from organic soy and even coconut. These types of candles make a great addition to an eco friendly party, especially for an outdoor or nighttime event. You could also use an essential oil diffuser to add a light aroma to the party as well. My favourite candles are these ones. Or you can opt for a more luxurious one like this one from Goop.
Paper Plates: One of the biggest offenders at most parties is all the waste that accumulates from paper plates and plastic cutlery. If serving things on real plates and cutlery is too much work (say if you’re hosting a big party), opt for bamboo made products instead. I’ve used these in the past when I’ve thrown parties and they hold up great! And please ditch the plastic water bottles and just use filtered water with reusable cups or glasses.
Focus on Sustainable Foods And Drinks
When it comes to how to throw an eco friendly party, the food and drinks you serve are equally important as everything mentioned above. The first thing to consider is deciding on the amount of food you actually need so you don’t have excess waste. And the second thing is planning out where you get the food from. I like to opt for organic and local veggies and fruits whenever possible.
If I am serving fish and seafood, I always like to ensure that it is sustainably caught. If I am hosting a more intimate dinner party, I make an effort to buy high quality and sustainable fish. To be fair, I do this on the regular, but even when hosting a party it’s still important.
But how do you know if your seafood and fish is actually sustainable?
Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is a global nonprofit organization established to protect the last major food resource that is truly wild: seafood. They work with fisheries, grocery stores, restaurants, and other companies to change the way the oceans are fished, address food fraud, and make it simple for consumers to purchase sustainable, traceable, wild seafood. If you have ever been confused as to whether or not a fish or seafood product is truly wild, then the MSC makes it easy to find out. With food fraud becoming a major problem across the world, it can be hard to know who to trust.
When shopping for fish and seafood, look for the blue MSC label (see photos below) that certifies the product is indeed wild and sustainably caught. Supporting sustainable products, especially fish and seafood is something that I feel so passionate about. And I make an effort to look for the blue label when I am out shopping. One item I always buy from Costco are the wild scallops that have that blue MSC label on it. You can find MSC certified sustainable seafood at hundreds of grocery stores, and on hundreds of products either fresh, frozen, or canned. And you can find MSC products on all types of seafood like cod, haddock, salmon, tuna, sweet shrimp, scallops and more. MSC options vary by region and retailers but you can find them at Loblaws, Whole Foods Markets, Costco, Walmart, Sobeys and other retailers.
Alcoholic Beverages and Wine:
When you are figuring out how to throw an eco friendly party, one item that also requires some attention is the drinks you are going to be serving. As someone who loves making cocktails and drinking wine, I do my best to try and support sustainable and high quality options.
If you are going the route of serving fish and seafood, I usually opt for a nice white wine to help accentuate the flavours. I love cooking with wine as it adds a great flavour to the overall dish. One of the wines I have been enjoying cooking with is Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc. I love serving this New Zealand wine with my seafood because it’s crisp, refreshing, and citrusy. It’s also a really great value for the price as well. You can find it across Canada including the LCBO, Sobeys and Loblaws (in Ontario) and in BC Liquor Stores and private retailers. It also pairs well with light salads and chicken.
I love that Nobilo Wines and the MSC aim to bring the best of land and sea into your home so you can celebrate (and party) sustainably.
How to Throw an Eco Friendly Party: Simple Recipes To Help Inspire You
I absolutely love making scallops because they are quick, easy and they make a great impression on those that you serve them to. A lot of people are intimidated by scallops, but I am telling you, they are SO easy to cook. You just need to ensure that you put a timer on and keep an eye on them. Adding some wine to your cooking also doesn’t hurt!
For the scallops, you can serve them atop of the cream sauce, or if you want to make it a full meal, serve it with pasta. I like to reserve a little bit of the pasta water and use that to help thin out the cream sauce.
I hope you found this post on how to throw an eco friendly party useful and informative. If you make any of the recipes or just learned a thing or two, let me know in the comments!
Tuna With Wasabi Aioli on Crispbreads
Prepare the wasabi aioli ahead of time
In a large bowl, add the drained and rinsed cans of tuna along with the wasabi aioli and mix well. Season with sea salt it necessary.
Top each crispbread with tuna, shredded carrot and green onion. Serve and enjoy immediately with a glass of Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc.
If you want to serve this as a grain free alternative, serve it rolled in a sheet of nori. But serve right away as the nori will get soft very quickly.
Seared Scallops in White Wine Cream Sauce
- 1/2 cup Cashews Raw, soaked for at least 30 minutes in just boiled water
- 1/2 cup Water
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
Once the cashews are done soaking, drain and rinse them. Add them to a blender along with the water and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
On a plate lined with paper towel, place the scallops on top and pat dry. Right before cooking, season with a pinch of sea salt and pepper.
Heat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat and add the avocado oil. Once the pan is hot, add the scallops and sear for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for two more minutes. Remove and set aside on a plate while you make the sauce.
Lower the heat to medium-low and add half the ghee and scrape up any browned bits from the pan. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the wine to deglaze the pan and let it simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, until it reduces in half. Then add all of the cashew cream and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice and remaining ghee.
Return the scallops to the pan and re-heat slightly. Add minced parsley and extra sea salt if desired. Serve and enjoy immediately with a glass of Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc.