The highly anticipated tropical temperatures due to grace the UK this bank holiday weekend will see many of us hosting scrumptious barbeques and cocktail garden parties. It is often tempting to let convenience overrule our green values but it is incredibly easy to throw a sustainable party. Here are some ideas on how to create an eco-friendly celebration that your friends and family will all love.
To begin, let’s think about invitations for your sustainable party. To forego all paper waste, keep everything virtual by creating a Facebook event or sending out an email. Alternatively, go for something cheerful and unique and use plantable invitations. This breakthrough concept prints your invites on seed paper which then grows into wildflowers or herbs when planted in the soil.
If you wish to spruce up your garden for the festivities, then choose reusable decorations. A growing favourite is chalkboard bunting, you can write and draw different messages and images for every occasion.
Plastic plates and plastic cutlery should be avoided at all costs! It is getting increasingly easier to find affordable environmentally friendly tableware. The latest innovation eco-partiers are advocating is Cornware; these are 100% biodegradable party products made from a cornstarch-based bioplastic. Cornware will completely biodegrade after 90 days.
Lastly, but by no means least, there are the cocktails. To reduce the carbon footprint for your sustainable party, opt for local alcohol brands whose journey to you was short and avoid the plastic packaging demon by choosing your local farmer’s market, over the supermarket, for fruit. Reduce the amount of ice you use by shaking less and creating pre-batch cocktails that you store in the fridge.
Following your cocktail preparation, get inventive and save mint stalks and citrus rinds to infuse with gin.
To make a deliciously tart, citrus-infused gin use six lemon’s worth of peel per 500ml of gin. This then must be left in a dark place, so the flavours can develop, for a period of one to three weeks. You will know the infusion is complete when all peels have turned white…et voila, you have your citrus gin.
Don’t pour flat champagne or prosecco down the drain and use it to create delicious syrups.
Champagne syrup is the simplest of recipes. All you need is 125g of sugar per 250ml of Champagne. Combine the Champagne and sugar in a saucepan over a very low heat. Stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Champagne syrup is the perfect accompaniment to fluffy white pancakes with strawberries.
Throwing a sustainable celebration can be both simple and inexpensive. All it comes down to is giving preparations that little extra thought.
And finally…for a refreshingly delicious crowd pleaser, create the Garden Punch this bank holiday weekend.
Tumbler / Large Wine
350ml One “Sage” Gin
50ml elderflower cordial
50ml lime juice
150ml green tea
300ml cloudy apple juice
100ml sparkling water
3 x cucumber strips
1 x bunch fresh mint
Pour all ingredients over ice into a large (2l) jug and stir. Garnish with cucumber strips and fresh mint.