Green gift giving and festivities
Did you know that less really can be more when event planning? More meaningful, more stylish, and importantly more sustainable!
Waste generated by buying ‘stuff’ is a big problem, not just here but all over the world. Unfortunately, this excess consumption can be highlighted when gathering for celebratory events, particularly during festive season - one of the global peak consumption periods.
By thinking ahead you can help to take the stress out of silly season or your next event and make more savvy choices, save more money and the environment by avoiding buying 'rubbish'.
Below are some top tips - you could try them out during festive season but don't stop there! Use them to guide your purchases, gift giving choices or when hosting any sort of event throughout the year.
Give gifts with meaning!
Let's face it, the most precious gift is time and it's likely the people you care about would rather hang out or do something with you than have you spend lots of money buying things they don't need! If you want to provide a gift to show that you appreciate them as well, try out some of the below options.
- Consider the 'buyerarchy of needs' and get gifts that meet a need of a person plus are gentle on the planet.
- Give a gift that keeps giving: experiences! Contribute towards sports, music or art lessons, vouchers for local restaurants, tickets to the theatre, or membership of a gym, spa or club - there are so many options.
- Make or bake your gifts - homemade treats look great in reused glass jars.
- Establish a gift-giving rule like 'wear, need, want, read' with family members to guide gift purchases.
- Start a gift swap (secret santa style) instead of buying for everyone.
- Buy local to support local businesses and opt for gifts with little or no packaging.
- Consider unique ways to 'wrap' your gifts; use part of the gift or something reusable/useful (like a hand towel), reuse or upcycle old gift bags, decorate cereal boxes with children's artwork, the options are limited only by your imagination.
Up-styling is trendy and thrifty!
We know that upcycling is on trend, gives new life to pre-loved items, produces great results and is good for your hip pocket... and so does 'upstyling'. Apply the same principals to 'upstyle' your decorations, centrepieces or even furniture for a trendy and thrifty look for your upcoming celebrations.
- Reuse what you already have - most of the time you find more than enough already stashed away in that handy box in the cupboard or shed from previous celebrations.
- If you plan finger food style catering you can really cut down on needing to provide table wares, but you can always make it a BYO plate/knife and fork party, borrow from family members or even hire additional tableware rather than use single use options.
- Making your own bunting using old cards, wrapping paper or fabric is an affordable and effective way to decorate spaces.
- Even professional event stylists have cottoned on to how easy and versatile reuable glass jars can be to decorate as table centre pieces.
- Pallets are the go to for a wide range of rustic statement pieces, from creating signage, outdoor picnic seating, backdrops for photo booths, decorated feature walls and the list goes on.
Keep it simple!
Food is a central component of how we celebrate, and there are simple ways to plan your delicious catering without leaving a sour (environmental) taste in your mouth.
- Plan the type and quantity of food you plan to serve (finger foods are great to reduce the need for table ware).
- A great (and delicious) way to plan catering is for guests to bring a plate of their signature dish.
- If ordering catering in, many catering companies will use your clean containers if you provide them or you can also request sustainable packaging when you place your order.
- Research local, sustainable sources of fresh produce, and selection of seafood or meat you plan to serve.
- Provide jugs/dispensers of water, make a punch and provide reusable cups rather than single use bottles.
- Have reusable containers at the ready for leftovers (there are lots of great leftover recipes you can whip up).
There are so many more helpful resources available to help you!