Finding out balloons aren’t sustainable is the ultimate downer. My aha moment was when I was collecting seaweed for the garden and found a tangled up deflated orange balloon, that said “we’ll miss you daddy.” We think balloons, like spirits, just float off and up and away. But for anything plastic or rubbery… there is no away. Our balloons and all that other plastic fun stuff we use for parties out lasts the party for a thousand or so years.


Thanks goes to Josie for writing to us and saying; “For my daughter Indy’s 6th birthday, we did it completely rubbish free, The goodie bags and prizes consisted of homemade bags made from material scraps from the op-shop; We had dancing sticks made from branches, a small loop screw and ribbon; We plaited coloured string into their hair; They decorated their own cupcakes, made their own badges and HAD FUN!”


If possible, it is a great idea to borrow cutlery and plates and afterwards settle in for a bit of washing up. This avoids the landfill waste of traditional disposable plates as well as the energy consumed in their production. If disposable is the only option for you then check out these potato plates, they also sell cutlery made from potato starch and are a great party talking point!For more biodegradable items such as rubbish-bin liners and straws . This company also do biodegradable cornstarch plates, bags etc. Provide separate bins for guests to dispose of rubbish so that you can re-home later on. We threw a rubbish free party for over a 100 people without any rubbish.  We got a wonderful keg of Organic Pilsner from Harringtons Brewery, cases of wine from Villa Maria and a few extra from Richmond Plains (organic vineyard).  Both of these vineyards package their wine with completely recyclable material.

Consider having a dipping bowl with hand towel instead of napkins, guests have loved it at parties we’ve thrown.
Biodegradeable products such as straws could be worth considering but you might want to just… use your lips.

I also threw a party for my parents 50th wedding anniversary and went over board on streamers. It took a few weeks to process in the worm farm and compost bin, but better than a few generations.