Corks popped, conversation flowed, and there was much music and merriment.
But what about the morning after? Did we create a sustainable living hangover, or achieve our ‘positive impact’ aims?
On the plus side, we had fun and we supported local businesses – the organic butcher, greengrocer, general grocer, brewery and guest house. We also supported the local charity shops, and we used local produce.
I don’t think we generated any landfill waste specifically associated with the party, except for two chicken carcasses. All other food scraps were composted, all the bottles will be re-used or recycled, and we managed to rustle up enough crockery for everyone. We did need to use some plastic cutlery, but that’s all been washed up ready for re-use.
On the down side, we bought wine from South America, which is a long way away, but it was fairtrade, which is a positive. One or two of our guests travelled by car, but most came on foot or by public transport, and four people with no public transport option used electric vehicles.
One challenge that we now have is what to do with all of our party kit – spare crockery, cutlery, glassware, glitter ball, banners etc. There are a lot of resources tied up in these items, and they’re used only a couple of times a year.
After some discussion, we’ve decided to put it all on Ecomodo (a UK-wide sharing website) so that our neighbours can borrow it when they have parties. This should reduce the amount of party kit that they need to buy in future, and also reduce the amount of ‘disposable’ items used.
Is there anything I’ve missed? What else could we have done to achieve our quest for a sustainable lifestyle?