Planning a house party is a plastic nightmare. I know this because I just planned one.
And now that I’ve gone through it, and counted all the data from it, I can show you some great ways to eliminate disposable single-use plastic and be the Fuckgiving Party Throwing Legend you’ve always wanted to be.
Why give a Fuck? It’s a party!
The idea of plastic, of all things, being disposable is just staggeringly tragic. This shit was built to last – actually, outlast us and 10 generations of our descendants – but here it is, made to be used for A FEW HOURS and thrown away. That ‘Happy Birthday’ banner will look as fresh for my Great x 10 Grandchild in 300 years time as it did for my Dad last Saturday …
Back to the Party ‘Fan-Plastic’
My sister and I have been organising my Dads 70th birthday party for a while. We wanted to host it at my sister’s home, and have a big family fiesta and feast just like in the good ol’ days when we were kids.
So we booked a marquee, the jumping castle, tables, chairs, music, sound system and lights.
We ordered the food, the drinks, the (amazing) cake, the lollies, and the alcohol.
…and then she went shopping for the rest.
My sister knows about my mission to eliminate single-use plastic from all our lives, and she’s totally on board, but it was very hard for her to practice what we preach what with the sorry state of affairs at the local party supply store and the grocery store. We tried to be Fuckiving Party Throwing Legends within our very short timeframe but failed. It didn’t help that we left it to the day before, to buy this stuff.
We were on the lookout for bamboo and paper. No joy. Plastic it became.
This was the pile of ‘Fuck Me You’ve Got To Be Kidding’ plastic that we needed for a bog-standard backyard party with 70 guests.
- 50m roll of tablecloth plastic
- 80 plastic dinner plates
- 80 plastic dessert plates
- 80 plastic forks
- 80 plastic knives
- 80 plastic spoons
- 60 balloons
- 60 balloon clips
- 120m plastic ribbon to tie the balloons
- 8 table weights
- 8 pieces of silver cellophane to cover the Plastic weights
- 12 XL garbage bags
- 4m Happy Birthday banner
- 1 100m roll sticky tape
- 100 water balloons (for the kids)
And the plastic containers/bags/wrapping for:
- 3 floodlights
- 18 packs of nibbles
- 30 poppas of juice
- 24 1.25l bottles of soft drink
- 24 lids
- 24 lid rings
- 2 Styrofoam trays for sausages
- Sausage tray plastic clingfilm wrap
- 32 Shopping bags
- The lighter for the candle
- 5 plastic wraps for the paper napkins
GRAND TOTAL: 1086 pieces of plastic that will degrade into MILLIONS of pieces of microplastic. For 1 party.
(I told you it was a ‘Fuck Me’ pile of plastic)
This is what it all looked like after those 6 hours of 70th birthday party fun:
How To Fix It
You can be a Fuckgiving Party Throwing Legend in a few easy steps.
The first step is most important –
1. You need to want to try
If you’re going to go through this effort half-assed, or even at 99% commitment, you’ll just be robbing yourself of some major SuccessVibes, and also not doing all you can for this one Earth we’re so bloody fortunate to have. Going in with 100% dedication is so much easier than having that looming smidge of self-defeat of 99%. Are you in? Good. Be IN. Have no alternative.
Wanting to make every small change you can, will add up to big results. Aim to make my list above, non-existent! Summon your energy and be super resourceful, like a party packin’ squirrel finding all the best biodegradable party supplies and seeing what can be reduced or reused.
Remember, where there’s a will there’s a way!
Where there’s no will, there’s a backyard full of shiny white toxic shit.
2. Substitution and Going One Better
Your party need not be a boring brown affair, full of kraft paper, hessian and your neighbour’s prized hydrangeas you nicked in the dark of night. It can look amazing!
The market is flooded with gorgeous eco-wares. Just substitute. Heck, go one better.
Instead of plastic cutlery that snaps, use Bamboo cutlery that feels oh so good or actual, steel cutlery, like fancy pants people.
Go BURNING MAN style! At BM, everyone is self-sufficient and brings their own vessel.
Instead of plastic decorations and balloons, use anything else decorations! Happy Birthday painted on a fence! Appliqued on a banner! Written out in flowers! Or reuse other people’s decorations. Pinterest and your crafty Nanna and nieces are your secret weapons here. Use them.
Instead of plastic garbage bags, take command of the life cycle of your party. You’re in charge dude! Food in the compost. Bamboo gear washed and dried. Food packaging recycled. Decorations in the compost or recycling bin. Hired gear collected. What garbage do you have left? 😉
Instead of shopping bags…Hold on. Wait. Are you still using single-use plastic bags at the shops instead of reusable bags? We may need to put you through Fuckgiving 101 before we go through this Masters in Fuckgiving Event Management!
Baby steps…but for now, just know that this single thing is probably the EASIEST thing to change right now, and will have the BIGGEST positive impact of all your plastic free actions.
Instead of plastic or novelty presents, give services or good gifts, with longevity. Sometimes this one is a toughie, particularly for young ones, so when in doubt, remember the old maxim ‘Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle’. Don’t gift it if:
- a non-plastic version exists
- if it can’t be reused
- if it isn’t biodegradable or recyclable when it wears down.
This one is pretty easy – don’t be a dick, give good quality presents, or none at all.
3. The Best Fuckgivers Prepare
You need some time ahead of the party to organise these things. So in order to make the whole party planning thing a pleasure rather than a pain, here is a go-to guide to the best Australian Fuckgiving party, catering and decoration suppliers! Thank me with a tagged photo comment on my instagram, please ♥
Eco Party Box – based in Radelaide, but delivers anywhere!
Biome – for all eco wares before, during and after your party!
Earthens – all the catering gear you need, done eco.
Party Supplies Emporium – wooden cutlery, toothpicks, chopsticks and napkins that will be memorable and coveted- hopefully!
Vegware – a one-stop shop for plant-based catering supplies
Enjoy the party!!!
I’m really keen to know how you go with your party planning! Take pics of your party, share on Instagram or facebook and hashtag #fuckgiving and #party so we can all see them.
Make it epic! Make it Eco!