In the summertime, we love having a tea party in the garden with our family and friends. But when it comes to the environment, parties aren’t always the most eco-friendly activities.
But our favourite activities don’t have to be unnecessarily wasteful. With a little creativity and crafting, you can host a low-waste tea party that your nearest and dearest will love.
Here are four ways to host a sustainable tea party.
Make poppy seed card invitations
Invitations are a staple of tea parties. Although we now have digital forms of communication, there’s nothing more fun than hand-making invitations for your family, friends, and their little ones. Reusing old paper or cardboard is an obvious choice to make this project a little more eco-friendly, but why not go a step further and make invitations out of seed paper?
You’ll need just a few items and some loving hands to make your seed paper invitations. Get some paper or card – if you’re recycling, even better – as well as water and your favourite seeds (you can’t go wrong with some beautiful summer flower seeds). Simply rip up your paper, add in the water, and use a blender to mix it into a pulp. Add your seeds, then flatten out your mixture into equal invitations on a card, leaving it until it’s dried. Then, the fun part – decorating it!
Not only is this an amazing sustainable option, but it’s also a fun way to give your invitees a little gift and show them you really care. Once they’re home, they can plant their invitations and watch their beautiful flowers bloom.
Make use of your favourite cutlery
Disposable cutlery is often a hallmark of tea parties – especially ones hosted in our gardens – but it’s not good for the environment. If you don’t want to risk your best cutlery and crockery, you could invest in some stylish and summery acrylic options that you can use time and time again. Instead of focusing on completely eliminating plastic from your tea party, make sure you don’t have any single-use plastic.
If you’re hosting a grown-up tea party, make use of your eclectic collection of mugs. You could even assign a specific mug to each person to represent their personality.
Make a patchwork tablecloth from old garments
Tea parties need a tablecloth – it’s what separates them from our standard meals at the dining table or an al fresco lunch in the garden. Disposable plastic table coverings are a no-go – even if you use them again, chances are they won’t last very long. You may have a designated fabric tablecloth reserved especially for your tea parties, but if you don’t, we have the perfect low-waste, low-cost option.
A patchwork tablecloth made out of old clothes has loads of benefits. If your little ones are growing out of their clothes at an exponential rate and they’re a bit too worn to donate or give away, you can incorporate them here. Simply cut out clean sections and combine them together for a unique and personalised tablecloth that’ll have a lot of meaning to you. When it comes to the designs, the more eclectic, the better.
Make recycled or recyclable decorations
The crafting doesn’t stop there. Decorations are essential to our tea parties too – we love bunting and confetti in particular. Instead of shop-bought bunting, which could include plastic lamination, get your kids involved in crafting your very own bunting with recycled paper or card. If you don’t have any that you can use, don’t worry – simply use coloured card that can be recycled once it has served its purpose. Or, if you still have leftover fabric after making your patchwork tablecloth, why not incorporate that into your bunting?
Glitter and confetti can be wasteful and even harmful to the environment if they’re made from certain materials. But we now have plenty of sustainable options. you can buy biodegradable glitter that’s just as eye-catching as plastic glitter and will naturally decompose – perfect if you’re having an outdoor tea party.
As for confetti, why not take your children on an adventure to find some pretty leaves or flowers that you can hole-punch confetti from? In the autumn, you can make use of the beautiful golden, orange and brown leaves that’ll adorn the ground.
Tea parties are a great way to get together with friends and family, but traditionally, they’ve not been too kind to the environment. By making your invitations and decorations by hand and giving old fabrics and cards a new lease of life, you can make this much-loved activity fully sustainable. Now, put on your best summer dress and make new memories.
Cover photo from Canva