Happy first Birthday! It's Party Time - Can it be done with the environment in mind?

We hope that over the last year you have found our website useful and inspiring and that you will continue to sign up and spread the word to your friends and family.

Andy and I have enjoyed the researching of all the eco information available and learnt a lot in the process.

I feel it is time to celebrate in Eco Style without too much waste creation but still having fun. I have managed to do it during our New Year's Ceilidh and I am sure we can do it for our first birthday party!

At the New Years Party we used disposable ware as the guest list was over 100 people. If there only would have been a dozen or so people, we would have used normal crockery but I wanted to enjoy the party rather than washing up most of the early hours of the morning.

Having gone on the web I found a brilliant company who supplied me with biodegradable cutlery, crockery, glasses, plates and recycled napkins. The party turned out great. Fred's Folk, the ceilidh band got us all in the happy party mood. Plenty of food and refreshments and the 'aftermath' was not bad at all.

I had a compost bin at the ready so that after the party the cassava plates, left over food and napkins ended up in the compost bin and the rest was easily recycled. For 100 guests we did not even fill a black sack of waste that ended up in the grey bin.

The biodegradable ware became a talking point with the guests, they were interested and liked the feel of the corn starch cutlery. When it came to the tidying up, I can truly say that EVERY ONE made an effort to separate their waste in a responsible way. I spoke to a representative of the company, who told me that the cutlery could be washed (in the dishwasher if needed) up to 6 times before the quality was no longer acceptable. Although the goods were not cheap, using it 6 times before disposing of it, became a great deal.

For more information see: http://www.vegware.co.uk/products.html

The balloons were biodegradable too, they came from: http://www.bestballoons.co.uk/ having said that, putting up some bunting is as colourful and I believe better for the environment. It is colourful and can be used again and again, unlike balloons which won't last for more than a couple of days.

Instead of confetti we used dried rose petals that some of our friends collected over the year.

Drinks for our Eco List birthday party will be home made Elderflower cordial made from Elderflowers from the Shared Garden (http://www.sharedgarden.co.uk/) with sparkling water.

Sophie Grigson's elderflower cordial
20 heads of elderflower
1.8kg sugar
1.2 litres water
2 un-waxed lemons
75g citric acid

1. Shake elderflowers to get rid of insects and place in large bowl
2. Put sugar into pan with water. Bring to the boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved completely.
3. While sugar syrup is heating, pare zest of lemons off in wide strips and toss into the bowl with the elderflowers. Slice lemons, discard ends and add slices to the bowl. Pour over the boiling syrup and then stir in the citric acid. Cover with a cloth and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.
4. Next day strain cordial through a sieve lined with muslin (or a new j-cloth rinsed in boiling water) and pour into thoroughly cleaned glass or plastic bottles.


Much love from Andy and Karina