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Tips and tricks for keeping your party low waste

How to be Waste-Free: FAQ


Digital invitations are a great option for many events and completely zero waste. They also come with the added bonus of being able to track RSVP's! If a digital invitation is not appropriate (for example, birthday parties for primary school aged children) try to source an invitation made from recycled paper, or think outside the box, get creative and make something yourself! Can you make something from recycled materials that could also be recycled afterwards? For example, cut shapes that match the party theme from cereal boxes, paint the printed side and write the party details on the inside/glue printed information on the inside.


Try to avoid bottled water and pre-packaged single serve drinks (like poppers/juice boxes) if possible. The tiny popper straws and plastic around the straws are regular culprits for littering and are not recyclable. Consider using insulated drink dispensers, jugs or punch bowls with reusable cups to serve drinks to your guests. If you want to serve single serve drinks, try to choose options in aluminium or glass where possible and provide a box or container to collect this packaging for recycling with your local council. 

For ice, instead of party ice in a plastic bag, consider using large ice bricks to cool your esky or to keep the drinks cool in your dispenser. If you don't own ice bricks you can easily make some before the party by freezing water in large plastic container or lunchbox.


If you regularly host gatherings of friends and family, consider purchasing a set of reusable, unbreakable tableware. It would save you money as you would not need to purchase disposable items every time! Your friends and family will love borrowing your setting when they host parties as well! Consider second hand items through your local op shop as well as gumtree and ebay, as there are a lot of great items available at very low cost. If you don't want to purchase and store a set (and don't want to wash them after each event) then consider hiring the items through us!


Skip the balloons and look for paper decorations that can be recycled afterwards. Again, think outside the box and consider making your own decorations from recycled and natural materials. Paper chains, confetti cut from dried leaves and printed images that match your theme glued to a cardboard from a cereal box can all look amazing. If you host a regular event with the same theme (i.e. a Christmas dinner) consider investing in some beautiful decorations that can be reused each year. Fabric bunting is a popular choice as the cotton fabric can be composted at the end of its life. If you are interested in fabric bunting but don't want to purchase, consider our selection of bunting for hire. If you don't see your theme available, please contact us as we may be able to organise something for you!


Party games don't have to be wasteful. For children's parties, consider some classics like "musical chairs", "what's the time Mr Wolf", "Egg and spoon race" etc. You can even play pass the parcel with each layer wrapped in fabric that is reused at each party, or use newspaper that is collected and recycled afterwards.


Lolly bags are a great low waste option as you can purchase package free confectionery from bulk stores and gift it in paper bags. Skip the cheap plastic toys, as although they are cheap, they are often thrown in the bin within days of your party. If you want to give a party favour, rather than a lolly bag, try to think of something that will be used by the child for a longer period of time. For example, for school age children this could be fun stationery they can add to their pencil case, or for younger children, perhaps homemade playdough. Another alternative is to get the children to make something at the party which they can take home as their favour. For example, for a princess party, have the children make and decorate cardboard crowns, for a superheros party, maybe some calico and fabric pens and diy capes! Even decorating your own biscuit or cupcake as a take home treat can be a great option for children's parties.


If your party is not held at home, consider taking a plastic tub or cardboard box to use to collect recyclable items. From softdrink cans, to paper wrapping paper, you can prevent this waste from ending up in landfill by taking it home and adding it to your recycling bin. A sign on your recycling container will help your guests to know where to put their recyclable waste.


If you already compost at home, take a container to collect your compostable food scraps in to take home after the party. If you don't have a home compost, check out to see if there is someone near you who would happily take your scraps. Waste Free Parties can provide free collection of all organic waste (including meat scraps and small bones) with the hire of any plate sets or with the purchase of compostable serviettes or straws.

Of course, preventing food waste is even better than managing it. You can do this by considering finger food or small servings so that left over food can be taken home and eaten later by the hosts.

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