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How To Host A Low-Waste Christmas Dinner Party


Read time: 6mins


Throwing a sustainable, eco-friendly dinner party can sound hard, there are potentially lots of party ideas to consider, especially when you also want to do something special and memorable for your guests. There is food to cook, a table to set, decorations to consider, and themes to play with.

All of which require resources and all can be done in a more eco-friendly way.

Going from a high-waste Christmas party to a low-waste party doesn’t actually take that much more effort. With the right planning, you can achieve your goals to be more sustainable this year!

We live in a society where our waste and consumption, combined, are causing severe effects on the environment. According to the EPA, the average American person will produce about 5.91 pounds of trash, with only about 1.51 pounds being recycled; 4.40 pounds is the rough average daily waste per person. That’s a lot!

Whilst it may feel overwhelming, you can throw a very successful dinner party, whilst caring for the planet at the same time. Impress your friends by creating as little waste as possible so you can all have a clearer conscience the next morning.

How does that sound?

From the dinner menu to table-setting and guest gestures, we need to rethink the way we host.

Let us show you how!

Planning zero waste doesn’t mean zero planning

Every part of a dinner party requires planning and preparation, and one that is eco-friendly is no different. On the contrary.

With solid planning, you can really reduce a lot of waste!

1. The menu

A careful strategy and lots of organization are needed, starting with the menu. Consider dishes your guests will truly enjoy and finish, try to reduce your meat consumption and swap meat dishes with vegetarian or vegan options (learn more about the importance of reduce cutting down our meat consumption here) and don’t try to overdo it! Food waste is a huge problem in America during the Holidays, whilst leftovers can be great, how often do we finish every last bit?

Look at cooking with sustainable ingredients that also come in plastic-free packaging. Consider shopping at a local farmer’s market and look at purchasing seasonal products to ensure freshness. Foods that are not in-season have, most likely, been imported, and sometimes a very long way! This is not only a way to create tasty high-quality meals, but you also get to support your local economy in the process! Also, ensure you aren’t popping your fresh produce in plastic bags. Bring your own containers and produce bags when shopping!

Food is, of course, the main event but don’t forget about drinks too. Try sourcing beer and wine with re-useable bottles. Many brewers or wine stores run bottle schemes where you can bring your bottles in to be refilled rather than using new ones. And keep an eye out for organic wines. Better for the planet and for your health, too!

2. The Table Setting

Non-food waste also needs to be considered both in the kitchen and during the dinner itself.

Single-use kitchenware such as aluminum foil and saran wrap will need to be reduced where possible. Anything that needs to be covered or refrigerated can be popped under a cloth instead or in reusable containers.

Now it’s time to set the table! Do you believe you can’t attain the same wow-effect if you go sustainable?

You can absolutely create an eco-friendly table setting to remember!

If you’re catering for a large group and you do not have enough utensils or don’t have the cleaning capacity afterward consider purchasing compostable and biodegradable tableware and cutlery. Single-use plastic is easily avoided with these smart and eco-friendly solutions. The best part? Their natural look will participate in the whole wow-effect of your table-setting.

Why choosePlantry tableware and cutlery? They are 100% plant-based and compostable. They are sustainable and made from naturally fallen palm leaves and they turn into compost in 45 days.

Check out our Dinner Bundle & Cutlery Set or House Party Pack to get everything you need in one box!

Both convenient and clean, they offer a great alternative to single-use plastic and also give you the opportunity to create a very natural table setting that your guests will remember!

If you’re hoping to create a stylish centerpiece, there’s no reason why this can’t be sustainable too! Get your craft and upcycle head-on and see if you can create a masterpiece using materials that you can find in the house or in nature, such as jars, foliage, and washed-up pebbles.

The Gestures

Consider the little things that can have a big impact

Your guests may arrive with kind gestures for the host such as bottles of wine or treats to enjoy in the evening. This may be adding to the overall waste, so be sure to inform your guests of the theme of the night: Eco-friendly! This can be a fun theme for guests to think outside of the box and find suitable offerings for your table.

If you do have leftovers, encourage your guests to take them home to enjoy the next day. If you have an abundance, consider sharing it with a local food bank or homeless shelter and create some positive impact in your local community. Check what items they need and are looking for.

If you need to-go containers to send your guests with food, here again, say no to plastic or styrofoam containers and choose compostable palm leaf containers instead.

Any other leftover materials (such as the biodegradable tableware for example) should be composted or recycled where possible.

After your successful evening, observe and see how much waste you have. Use this night as a learning opportunity. Take counts of what worked and what didn’t and make notes for your next party!

We wish you a wonderful Christmas party! Thank you for your interest in making it as sustainable as you can! 🎄