In June, communities across the UK will be coming together to throw street and garden parties to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. A special Bank Holiday weekend has been designated between Thursday 2nd and Sunday 5th June to commemorate this monumental occasion.
Here’s my list of four tips to help you and your community celebrate our longest reigning monarch in an eco-friendly way.
Ditch the Plastic Bunting
A Jubilee Street Party wouldn’t be a Jubilee Street Party without bunting! Whether it’s a string of Union Jacks, or red, white and blue triangles, bunting really does set the mood for a traditional British party. Most bunting these days is made from plastic, which really doesn’t last very long, yet hangs around in landfills and the environment for centuries. There are eco alternatives out there though.
If you’re feeling particularly crafty, you can make your own bunting from old sheets and clothes. Paper chains made from scrap paper, old magazines and flyers also look great. You could even get together as a community to create these decorations in the weeks running up to the party. We have a range of eco-friendly craft essentials that can help you to make your own decorations.
If getting out the sewing machine or glue pot isn’t your thing, consider getting some pre-made cotton bunting. This bunting will last for party after party, and can be easily washed to keep it looking pristine.
Swap Plastic Cups for Stainless Steel
How disposable plastic cups ever became a party staple I’ll never know! They’re flimsy, split easily and are almost impossible to drink from, meaning your drink is just one squeeze away from being all over the floor. Plus they’re as far away from eco-friendly as you can get, as plastic can only be recycled a few times before it has to go to landfill.
Swapping the plastic cup for a reusable stainless steel cup is one way to make your street party more eco-friendly and keep the drinks flowing all day long. Stainless steel is rigid and easy to hold, keeps your drinks cooler for longer, and is non-toxic and odourless. Plus, stainless steel can be recycled an unlimited number of times (although the cups will see you through parties for many years!).
Wrap Food the Sustainable Way
Whether everybody is bringing their own food, or neighbours are making platters to share, the food needs covering up to keep it fresh and keep bugs at bay. Traditionally this would involve cling film, but with us Brits using over 1.2 billion metres of single-use cling every year, that’s not very eco-friendly.
One alternative is to use any storage containers you may have, whether that be an upcycled takeaway tub, or a stylish stainless steel lunch box. If you’re wrapping plates of food, swap the plastic cling film for compostable cling film, wax wraps or recycled foil.
Think About the Waste
All parties generate waste. There’s drink cans and bottles, food wrappers, napkins and even food waste. It’s important to think ahead about what is going to happen with this waste to ensure that it’s disposed of properly. One simple solution is to provide three separate wheelie bins for recycling, food and general waste.
This stops any recyclable waste going to landfill and means that any food waste can be composted. If you don’t have a compost bin at home, check if any of your neighbours have one that they wouldn’t mind sharing. To keep your wheelie bins clean, you can even use a compostable wheelie bin liner.
There we have it, four simple tips to help you have an eco-friendly Jubilee party. If you’ve got any other tips and ideas, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!