When we hear the word party, the first thing that comes up to our minds is usually ALCOHOL. We all know about the social impact the alcohol consumption has on our society, but have you ever thought about how the alcohol impacts our environment? Because it does. A lot. Like almost everything we like to do. But thankfully there are more environmentally friendly choices that we can make when sourcing the alcohol for the party and choosing those will make a difference.
We have three main alcohol groups. Beer, wine and spirits and we can reduce the impact of these in different steps; from alcohol making to packaging and transporting. All these steps matter. Here are some main points to consider when sourcing alcohol for your party.
By doing that you know that the alcohol is fairly sourced and fewer or no pesticides and herbicides were used when growing crops. We understand that sometimes the options might be limited. In that case make your own research at home and try to choose brands that are thinking about the planet. Also, some big brands are slowly taking more and more steps towards sustainable production.
If possible, go local. Choosing a local distillery, brewery or winery helps to reduce the carbon footprint and many times consumers are more informed about the ingredients and the whole process.
Another thing to look at is the packaging. Most of the alcohol comes in glass, but many times you stumble around kinds that comes in plastic. That is a big no, always choose glass bottles or cans. With that in mind make sure to always recycle. It often happens that people are not very mindful and lots of bottles breaks or end up in the bin with the general waste, and eventually in the landfill.
When talking about beer, our tip is to reuse the bottles or kegs and go to your local brewery, pub and ask them to fill it up, at the end of the day that’s how our grandfathers often used to source their booze.
When buying wine, try to look for the vegan ones. Usually different animal products are used to filter the wine, like this you’ll make sure no one was harmed, and your drink is plant based.
If you planning to serve cocktails, try to get mixers from natural organic stores or make some fresh juices. It will taste better, and your body and planet will thank you. Also choose organic spirits, there is plenty companies that are trying to be kinder to the environment and give back.
We were also wondering which drink is the most environmentally friendly but is really hard to tell as all of them have different environmental impact and the companies are not always transparent = some are doing more things for the environment that the others. But the greenest option would most likely be locally sourced Cider.
Once you have all this sorted, think about the way you are going to serve the drinks. Try to avoid plastic in all cost. Use your glassware, instead of the plastic caps and none or metal straws. We can also get the paper ones but at the end of the day it is still single use product so we wouldn’t recommend those either.
Now when we covered the drinks section let’s quickly cover the food. If you are thinking about some refreshments at your party, similar rules apply. Choose locally sourced ingredients, support small business and ideally go for vegan options.
Try to reduce your packaging, source as much as you can in zero waste stores. When cooking, try to minimize the food waste, make sure to give away the leftovers at the end of the night and if your friends are not interested donate the remaining food to the food banks.
You don’t know where to start? Follow some food bloggers on Instagram. Incredible people are sharing their food, plant-based ideas online, we are sure you will find a lot of inspiration and like that you are also offering your guests a new experience. It is also nice to be guilt free while celebrating.
As with the drinks make sure you stay away from plastic cutlery and plates. Choose some alternatives instead.
There are few more details we would love you to remember when throwing a party.
Don’t use paper invitation, send yours via email or organize it through the social media. If you know some of your guests are not very tech-savvy, call them and make sure they received the invitation.
If you are planning to exchange Christmas presents, inspire your friends to give only ethical, sustainable, second-hand gifts or something they make themselves or even better – encourage people to give experience instead of the classic presents or give money to the charity of your choice. Organize Secret Santa so no one is left out and everyone has less gifts to worry about. That all goes hand in hand with wrapping the gifts. Use old newspapers or anything recycled.
We hope this article helped and you will try to be the first one to show your friends that there are different ways how we can be more mindful and enjoy ourselves without the guilt. Remember: every purchase you make supports something, use your power wisely and think about all the different options before you hit the stores.
+ Words: Kristina Kasparova
Kristina Kasparova is a creative nomad, free spirit seeking real conversations and inspiring stories. Czech made, she is currently based in London, focused on more ethical fashion and sustainable life.