How to set up a sustainable party for Queen’s Day and fight “plastic hell”

Because final plans for celebrations are being made across the country to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee environmental groups call on organizers to choose sustainable celebrations and a no-holds-barred party.

La a four-day bank holiday weekend in honor of the queen’s 70th reign gives the perfect opportunity for communities to come together and celebrate.

And according to the automobile organization Green Flag, that’s exactly what hundreds of thousands plan to do.

Its survey found that eight percent of people live on a road hosting a street party approved by a council and an additional seven percent plan an unofficial party between June 2-5, with about 133,000 roads expected to be closed during the break.

La Plastic Free Communities Campaignrun by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), has welcomed platinum party plans but wants partygoers to reduce, recycle and reuse.

A SAS spokesman said this was “a great opportunity to reconnect with friends and family and community after a few years of various restrictions and blockades”, but added that “risks are coming”.

The group suggests that the best way to “fight plastic hell” at parties is to take reusable cups, cutlery and water bottles, bake rather than buy, recycle any trash.

Environmental groups recommend baking rather than buying to cut plastic bags at street parties (Photo: George Hill / Flickr / Getty)

The Reuse Network also has some top tips for greener meetings.

Hunting through local charity shops for tableware, utensils and fabrics, it claims to not only save money but also the environment.

Ellis Roberts of Reuse Network said: “When you shop at your local reuse charity shop, you will benefit from the charity by directly supporting the organization in building a better and brighter future for people in your local community.

“Apart from this, you will create CO2 savings by diverting these things from ending up in a landfill.

“For an extra bonus, if you no longer need your tables, chairs, utensils or decorations after your Jubilee party, you can return them to your local reusable charity shop for reuse.”

While Chris Thorne, a plastics activist at Greenpeace UK, recommends recycling old junk boxes by giving them to people with leftover food from the party.

Charlotte English, de Greener and Cleaner Bromley and Beyondtold me: “A lot of people have reconnected with their streets because of a blockage and we can build on that with street parties.”

Residents on her street in Bromley, south London, gather the weekend before their party make buntings and party decorations wearing an old school uniform for the red, white and blue effect.

Festivities are asked to bring their own food, to reduce food waste.

And there is a baking contest to encourage people not to buy pre-packaged items.

Greener and Cleaner Bromley and Beyond has plastic party sets of cups and plates for up to 30 that it can lend to those hospitality parties.

“Don’t buy plastic plates,” she said, “a lot of people have these in their homes, take them out for the street party and reuse them.”

Refillable water bottles, jars of squash and sodas also eliminate the need to buy disposable plastic bottles, she added.

And for those who hope to hoist a Union Flag in honor of Her Majesty, she recommends an old sheet or curtain lining as a perfect canvas on which to paint the colors of the country.

Tips for arranging a sustainable party:

  1. Make your own decorations – wear an old school uniform and patches of denim for a fabric cord and beading, old patches of wool and buttons for pompoms and rosettes.
  2. Raise a homemade flag – paint on old sheets and curtain fabric to create Union Flags
  3. Look for charity shops – Provide brocade fabrics, tableware and utensils for your event and then donate to charities after the party.
  4. Baku don’t buy – to encourage partygoers to bring goods they have made, rather than pre-packaged food from shops.
  5. Shop sustainably – reduce food packaging by buying from local markets rather than stores and take your own bags
  6. Bring your own cups, plates and cutlery – do not buy single-use plastic items when they can be borrowed or brought from home.
  7. Make your own drinks – buys barrels of beer for partygoers rather than individual cans, fills jars with soft drinks to share and encourages people to bring refillable water bottles.
  8. Cut food – List any leftover foods in the Oil application that links people with excess food to those nearby who need to eat.
  9. Become vegan – swap traditional crowned chicken sandwich fillings for crowned chickpeas and reduce your carbon footprint.
  10. Play without plastic – to encourage younger parties to bring a game from home, to arrange a football match.
  11. Recycle waste – set up recycling bins on site and avoid a post-party street littered with rubbish.

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