The events industry is notoriously wasteful, with clients wanting newer, bigger and better every season. However, putting on a wonderful event should not have to be at the expense of the environment.
Amongst an industry of clutter bugs, Keziah Wildsmith and the team at Heaps + Stacks are doing all they can to change this throwaway culture, with clients beginning to wake up to the harsh realities of climate change.
Being sustainable doesn’t need to second-best or “make do and mend”, in fact its more interesting to flip reverse it, to make zero-waste something exclusive and aimed for – as after all its harder to achieve and takes much more thought!
So with that in mind, we have gathered the below tips to show you how you can do zero waste and make it feel high-end and meanwhile, not break the bank.
The floral centrepiece
Big, bold colourful flowers are very likely not to grow locally in the UK – with New Covent Garden Market (where our office is based) being the main hub for flowers in London, with them coming in truckloads in the middle of the night (which obviously means they are mostly not that sustainable). We suggest your zero-waste table uses dramatic green runners of verdant foliage, such as ferns or even garden herbs which grow locally in the UK or even using dried flowers, which can be kept forever!
These can, then, if potted carry on growing on your kitchen windowsill, be planted in the garden or be used for compost after. If you can’t resist using fresh English flowers, then the most zero-waste thing to do here, to make sure they don’t go to waste after the dinner, is to donate them to Floral Angels, who are a fabulous charity (again located in New Covent Garden Market) who recycle event flowers to brighten up peoples days in hospices and old people’s homes locally.
To make your table at home feel more elevated (unless it’s particularly beautiful) we’d suggest laying a cloth for the added piazza. Now, of course, don’t rush out and buy new, there are loads of things you might already own which could create the wow factor. A recent event we produced for M&S saw us create a 30 person full patchworked denim table cloth – which looked epic and used M&S scrap denim.
If you are like me, there’s a good chance your sitting room is filled with half-used, lovely candles from presents past. Instead of rushing out and purchasing new ones for the evening you can buy simple candle wicks on Amazon to your desired length. Then scrape all the wax out of the old candles and pop in a bowl in the microwave until completely melted. Then simply stick the x1 wick down in a container of your choice, this could be a nice old candle pot, vintage class or terracotta pot. Pop in the fridge until set, then you’re good to go.
Shiny and gorgeous, and 100% waste-free, are crystals. We recommend using them for placement cards above each person’s plate – picking a colour or formation which you think represents your attendee, then their name itself can be written on seeded paper which of course can be planted in the garden after the dinner!
The Felix Project
If you’ve put on a big bonanza and have now found out you’ve got way more food than guests, then The Felix Project is a wonderful charity who pick up waste food, which is taken to the most venerable people in the community. Check out their work here.
Top image: Unsplash