Thinking about throwing a zero waste party can be a scary thought. Who has time to make everything from scratch for a houseful of people? No one, that's who. Especially me right now trying to waddle around with a basketball in front of me preparing for one of the biggest changes in my life! I can tell you, I do not have the time or energy for much work. Despite my hectic life, zero waste is still a big part of who I am, so having this party without creating any trash was nonnegotiable -and guess what- I did it!
I want to share with you how I threw a zero waste gender reveal party for my little bambino! This is a peak into my personal life and how I make zero waste work in even the most challenging situations. Having beautifully decorated parties with delicious food can be simple, inexpensive, and waste free with a little planning.
Because of the zero waste approach to this event, I feel like this day was more memorable than it could have ever been. My mother-in-law and I planned every detail, discussed how we could get it waste free, and prepared everything with more enthusiasm and care than we would have if we'd just ran to the store and grabbed a bag of chips and dip. It was truly special and fun! It slowed us down. It made us appreciate the intricacies of that moment.
My first decision to making this easier was to have the party at 2 PM. That way people really didn't expect much to eat considering it was right after lunch. This allowed us to only serve a few items instead of needing to provide a full on buffet.
Our menu included:
- Mini Fruit Pizzas
- Homemade Punch
- Mixed Nuts
Zero Waste Party Tip #1: Seriously, utilize the bulk sections of your grocery stores as much as possible! This is such a time saver when grabbing snacks for a party and it saves you money!
For the cake, everything was purchased from the bulk section, even the decorating sugar which I got in bulk while visiting some family in Chicago some time ago, except the eggs which I get locally and the butter that has compostable packaging. I decided to do the pinata style cake where colored M&Ms pour out when you slice it. I just thought it was fun. The candy I got from the bulk section as well. I used some thread, an old greeting card, and some chopsticks from a Chinese restaurant to make a fun cake topper. I used an existing cake plate I already owned with a lid instead of getting the cardboard cake boards.
The fruit was all purchased package free from the produce section. With the exception of some frozen strawberries that I had from last year's harvest. That was obviously package free.
The mini fruit pizzas were made from the package free produce, dry ingredients from the bulk bins and a vegan cream cheese made with cashews -- from the bulk bins.
The punch was made with strawberry sorbet which was made homemade with our frozen garden strawberries, squeezed orange juice, and squeezed pineapple juice. It was very refreshing. I also had a few pitchers of water with fresh fruit for added flavor.
Zero Waste Party Tip #2: Borrow, borrow, borrow! Why go out and buy a bunch items that you'll barely use when you can borrow them from someone else? I didn't have enough plates, a punch bowl, glasses, or a cake server so I called family who graciously donated the items for the day. Money saved!
We also used real silverware and reusable pink and blue cloth napkins that we cut from some scrap fabric.
Zero Waste Party Tip #3: For decorating, I wanted to avoid the cliche disposable banners and decorations so I opted for some fresh flowers that I picked up from my local florist who wrapped them in compostable paper for me. I love fresh flowers! I rarely ever get them so when I do I make sure to utilize them as much as possible. When the roses begin to wilt, I plan on making some sugar scrubs with the petals and will give it to my mother-in-law for helping me with the party.
All in all, it was so much fun sharing this moment with the ones I care about. I'll cherish it forever. I'm so glad that I decided to focus on trash-less alternatives for this event because when you think about it, do we ever really remember the decorations or is it the moments that always resonate in our minds?
And I almost forgot....
It's a Boy!