How To Throw A Chic, Zero Waste Summer Party

We are sharing our tips and tricks on How To Throw A Chic, Zero Waste Summer Party! It's easier thank you think!

This year was a big birthday for me, I turned 45 years old and must say that number was hard to swallow. But after a little self-reflection, I’ve come to realize that it’s just a number and that being young is really about being young at heart! Which I am.

So to celebrate the evening I decided to throw a special party and make it as zero-waste as possible. 

I actually love to entertain and was super excited to throw this party. Going zero waste though, that’s a whole other story. Parties are traditionally pretty wasteful and when you are cooking for lots of people, going zero-waste can be almost impossible.

That’s one of the reasons I chose to keep it more intimate, and I also didn’t want to spend the whole night in the kitchen.

The first thing on the agenda, pick a theme! I chose to have a summer, boho, white party. Not everyone showed up in white, but it was still a great night!

Zero Waste Party Menu

I chose to keep it super simple with a Mediterranean menu which included a selection of, cheese, olives, dips, and wheat-free crackers, which did come in a box (more on the clean-up later). I placed them on the table and created almost like an edible centrepiece, very easy to replenish as the night goes on! Simple is always better. 

The feta cheese was purchased at my local farmers' market. The olives and dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) were bought in bulk at my local Greek bakery  (I brought my on mason jars, the woman looked at me like I was a lunatic), the dips (hummus, tzatziki, guacamole) were all homemade.

My mom made her signature garlic bread, its wrapped in tin foil, so we did have a bit of waste here. She also made a large salad.

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I have a few girlfriends who eat meat, we made homemade chicken skewers for them and opted for crackers and little tiny pita’s from the bakery. We were left with the cardboard box, which was recycled.

I’ve thrown my share of parties and when it comes to food, keep it simple. Serve things that can be easily replenished. I also tried to choose veggies like tomatoes and cumbers and berries that were in season in Ontario.

For a party like this, a good rule of thumb is  8 to 12 appetizers per person. Guests will generally eat about 5 appetizers each during the first hour and will eat about 3 appetizers each for each subsequent hour.

For dessert, a good friend made homemade pie! 

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Zero Waste Drinks

We chose a selection of local organic wines and my BFF, who is from New Zealand hooked us up with organic wine from Villa Maria, one of the most sustainable wine brands from KIWI! So divine.

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For glasses, I used a collection of mason jars from my home and had enough wine glasses on hand as well. I don’t like to serve wine in anything but glass in my home. My pet peeve is going to a party and having to drink a lovely glass of wine from a plastic cup! UGH!

This lovely set was a housewarming gift and it's a great way to set up a water station (no plastic bottles here) that people really seem to love. We served water with cucumber, strawberry, and lemon. 

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Look how cute this setup is!

For napkins I used cloth ones, I keep about 20 of them in my home and am always prepared. They are easy to wash and there is zero waste.

Zero Waste Party Decor

For the table, I set a long table in the middle of my garden with white tablecloths, for the centrepieces, I used flowers, Salvia, that my husband had pruned from the day before, to give the table a little character and it also smelled amazing because Salvia smells a bit like mint.

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You can place them any way you like, there is no right way!

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I laid them down in the center of the table and placed lanterns on top to give it a real boho feel.  We used a mixed match of chairs, which I feel just gave the party a little more Jenese qua!

And that’s the real lesson here, to use things you already have in your home. Which is what I did.

For plates and cutlery, we did the same, the white plates that you see in the video were purchased at value village about 10 years ago, they must have come from a restaurant because I was able to buy 12 of them and they’ve been great for dinner parties over the years.

It actually takes less time to clean up, make sure the dishwasher is empty and just fill it up as the plates come into the kitchen.  

For the food presentation I used all the wooden boards I have in my home and borrowed 2 from my mom, it just gave the table this really chic, rustic look.

Instead of balloons, pick fresh flowers, they can be composted.

Zero Waste Party Extras

I picked a chair and wine glass especially for me! LOL!

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Have proper garbage stations on hand to make it easy for your guests. We had a compost bin set up so guests could just toss food they needed too. It also makes clean up very easy, nothing comes inside and the bag goes right into the compost bin!

We had little garbage inside the house, the tin foil and the box from the crackers, both can be recycled in Toronto.

For gifts, ask for donations in lieu. Invites were all done online.

The Music

I had each guest send me 10 of their fav songs, my hubby created a playlist that rotated throughout the night. It's a great way to hear a selection of music and have fun trying to figure out who chose what song!

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My husband, who I adore, also organized a live reggae band to show up and play a private concert.

The lead singer, Rupert Harvey is a very famous Canadian singer who sings in Messanjah and Crack Of Dawn. The lead guitarist, Carl Harvey has played with everyone and is currently on tour with Toots and The Maytals.

It was an amazing night!

The bottom line when hosting a party like this is to keep it small and intimate and choose foods that are easy to handle allowing you to spend more time with your guests!

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