Let me entertain you
My husband and I love entertaining. We have friends coming over pretty much every week for board games, other gaming nights that James runs, dinners, breakfasts, people just popping over etc. Sometimes when entertaining there are challenges with being zero-waste.
Last night we had a big night with 10+ people coming over (now that COVID restrictions are now more relaxed). We had dinner and board games. When we have such large groups, sometimes I cook and sometimes I don't. On this occasion I did. From my 'zero-waste' perspective, it was just like any normal night for us. Sometimes entertaining can be challenging, but it can definitely be done.
This is what helped.
Before the night, I sat down and did a meal plan. I planned what to make, what to buy, how to make it and how it would be disposed of.
The meal plan was essentially this:
Dinner was a rice salad (my friends and family know the one I'm talking about.... the really delicious one), a garden salad, some sausages and bread to go with it.
Dessert was banana cake.
When buying the foods, this was the plan:
Nibblies from the bulk food shop in jars and containers that I took in.
Drinks for James and I we had a treat with lemon, lime and bitters in a glass bottle.
The ingredients for the salads were from the fruit and veg shop in our fresh produce bags with extra items from the bulk food store.
Sausages were from the butcher and they let us use our container.
Bread from the bakery using our breadbag.
Banana cake was made from bananas from the fruit and veg shop and other ingredients from the bulk food store. I did a vegan banana cake because we have friends with allergies, so I made almond milk and used flaxseed meal as an egg substitute. The only item that was in plastic was the nuttelex that I used to make the cake.
Cooking and making the items was quite easy. The only thing that required a bit of extra preparation was the almond milk that required the almonds to be soaked beforehand.
How was everything disposed of?
Firstly we used all of our own cutlery, and plates. So everything just went in the dishwasher.
Some fruit and veg scraps were kept for planting later on.
Others were put into the worm farm, or in my freezer container to make stock with later on.
There was very minimal leftover food. We sent some home with our guests, and the rest will be lunches for the week.
Drinks in cans and jars will go to containers for change.
Some of the water used for washing vegetables will go on the gardens too.
I had some spare compostable serviettes for everyone, so we used those and added them to the compost as well.
I am very blessed that my friends know me well enough now that they can appreciate that I keep scraps for worms, and they ask me where to put scraps and other leftovers too. And some are always surprised by things that I forget are 'different' now. Like using a breadbag.
Now that we are settled in at home. I'm looking forward to having many more nights like it.