Hosting a Sustainable Party

I moved up to the Central Coast from Sydney a few months ago and we had our housewarming party last weekend. I’ve been writing about sustainable parties and wanted to reduce plastic waste at this event too and keep to a budget.

Party graphic on how to reduce plastic waste.
Credit: Queensland Environment

There were a few challenges that I will share with you.

  • Buying bulk food to reduce packaging wasn’t as easy as I hoped. The local wholesale butcher was great for sausages but I had to buy smaller packs of chicken skewers each in a plastic container. I ended up making additional chicken skewers to reduce waste.
  • Separate bins for food waste. I wasn’t able to separate as much waste into the recycling bin. Next time I will have signs explaining to people to scape their plates first, with a bin for food waste and the recycling bin next to it.


  • Help from friends, we borrowed fabric bunting that helped decorate the backyard. It looked great and can be used over and over. I had some paper bunting left over from my daughters birthday party, it looked great, but didn’t hold up in the rain. Easy to recycle, but fabric bunting is the way to go if you have someone that can sew.
  • The party was outside so we used lights to help decorate the space, they look great and we now use them all the time.
  • We made Return and Earn signs and everyone was great putting cans and bottles in the right bins. People were also good at sorting out the larger bottle into the recycling bin too.
  • It is so much easier to find good quality non plastic disposable plates and cutlery. I had extra large bowls and serving tray too. I used the foil BBQ trays to prepare salads and other food.
  • With more help from friends, lots of people brought in homemade desserts.

I will continue advocating for sustainable parties and each time I put one on it will get easier. My biggest takeaway is ask friends and family for help, borrow items to reduce costs, let people bring food – sustainability is a community effort. Remember start small, you need to balance your budget and time to reduce your waste.

Australian Environmental Education logo with dragonfly