Tips For Hosting A Fun Yet Low-Waste Party – Eliminate Disposables & Trash

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

How do you host a fun party without all the expensive single-use items simply bound for the trash afterward?

Here are some tips for hosting inexpensive & fun yet low-waste parties. Everything from saving money, low waste dining and fun waste-free party game ideas. 

Low waste inexpensive party ideas reusable dishes, recycling, eco friendly. #TexasHomesteader


(Note: Some links in this post will take you to other related articles for further information. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click and buy something I could receive a tiny commission.)

How To Have An Inexpensive Low-Waste Party

There are easy ways to host a low-waste party. Whether a holiday gathering in your home or outdoor family reunion.

It's easy to throw a fun party that doesn't involve lots of expense or trash. Check out these simple ideas. #TexasHomesteader

We’ll talk about our favorite zero-waste party tricks such as:

      • How To Reduce Disposables

      • Compostable Flatware

      • Zero Waste Games & Entertainment Ideas

      • Dealing With Compostables, & Recyclables

Low-Waste Party Tip: Are Real Plates More Effort?

You may wonder: “Is it really worth the trouble to put out (and wash) regular plates for a larger gathering than to use something disposable?”

Real plates and flatware is a great zero-waste step. #TexasHomesteader

Don’t automatically assume disposable options for a party must be more convenient. Here’s how much effort I’m faced with using our existing household plates:

Scrape plates, load into dishwasher, push button.

I realize that if you have to hand-wash your dishes you may feel differently. But for me there’s just no downside to using our own household plates and flatware.

Buying Inexpensive Reusable Party Dining Ware

If you’re uncomfortable using your household plates and utensils for a party, go to thrift stores and buy lightweight plates and flatware specifically for party use. 

Low-waste party ideas - buy inexpensive reusable dishes at a thrift store. #TexasHomesteader

Those party dishes are simply washed and stored in tubs along with other party items to be used again next time.

It’s still a cheaper option than purchasing disposable dining items just to throw them away and buy again.

I just use my plain ole everyday plates. They’re *Corelle Plates and they’re dang near indestructible.

Low-waste party ideas - real reusable plates, flatware and cloth napkins. #TexasHomesteader

Eco-Friendly Disposable Plates Option

If you need more plates than you have, (additional plates for desserts for instance), you can get heavy *Non-Coated Paper Plates.

At least they’re compostable and won’t have to be sent to the landfill.

What About Compostable Flatware?

If there will be many littles in attendance where you’re not quite guaranteed to get your good flatware back, there are still options. You can use these *compostable bamboo utensils instead.

Low-waste party dining idea - compostable bamboo spoons, forks and knives - utensils. #TexasHomesteader

Using ‘disposable’ Bamboo Utensils is a great option for outside parties, offsite picnics and such.

After the party the used bamboo utensils can also be dropped into the bucket labeled ‘compostables’ along with any uneaten food or paper plates.

Low-waste party idea - compostable plates and utensils. #TexasHomesteader

Sorting Party Discards That Are NOT Trash

It’s easy to set up a few empty 5-gallon buckets with a large label on each one:





Recyclable plastics, glass and aluminum can be recycled. The compostable items will all get dumped into a *Tumbling Composter.

Low waste party idea - all compostable items dumped into a compost tumbler. #TexasHomesteader

And finally what little trash you have can be disposed of properly. For our parties the trash bucket is the emptiest one of all since almost all other materials have already been separated out.

Zero-Waste Party Fun & Game Ideas

Our country-style family reunion always includes a competition game of some sort. And they always have a ranch theme.

We oftentimes hold a *Cornhole Game tournament. We even made our own Personalized Cornhole Boards with a funny image custom-painted on them.

(Potty humor of a small child? Yes, but still fun!)

A low-waste party game option - custom-made cornhole game and denim bags. #TexasHomesteader

Other times we’ve had other low-waste games such as:

      • Scavenger hunts (looking for cattle tags, etc)

      • Golf drive competitions (off piles of manure!)

      • Relay races 

      • Homemade piñatas using paper animal feed sacks

      • Frisbee golf using huge cattle-feed tub lids & hay rings

Waste-Free Country Party Fun With A Hayride

If you have enough room you can take party attendees on a hayride. The kids especially love this time.

Throwing a low-waste party - hayride for the kids #TexasHomesteader

We pile clean but spent hay from around a hay ring thickly on the floor of our flatbed trailer. It provides cushion for the ride.

After our party we simply sweep the hay onto the ground. It’s an all-natural material that will degrade over time, enriching the earth below. Plus it’s zero waste and FREE.

We also enjoy a bonfire at the end of the evening.

Bonfire with guest attendees watching at our annual family reunion. #TexasHomesteader

Water-Gun Fights For Low-Waste Party Fun

At our bonfire we have large 30-gallon tubs filled with water for fire safety. 

We bring along several lightweight *Water Cannon Toys. The grandkids excitedly grab the water cannons and fill ’em up from those tubs and have a good old-fashioned water gun fight with their siblings & cousins.

It’s probably the highlight of their celebration and the adults often join into the water play as well. It’s a fun way to cap off the evening, cool off and enjoy each other’s company.

Your Favorite Ways For A Low-Waste Party

Even if you’re not having a party in a country setting where you’ll be able to offer hayrides and bonfires, hopefully you’ve gathered some helpful low-waste party tips for your own parties.

What are YOUR favorite ways to host a low-waste party?


This post categorized in  

Tagged in A complete list of all our zero-waste living articles. #TexasHomesteader     A list of all our eco-friendly posts. #TexasHomesteader    Our best holiday tips. #TexasHomesteader     

Links In This Post:

Other Party-Related Posts:

Low-Waste Party Ideas

Party Food


Cakes / Pies


Easy Beverages

Gift Ideas

All Eco-Friendly Posts

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4 thoughts on “Tips For Hosting A Fun Yet Low-Waste Party – Eliminate Disposables & Trash

  1. candace ford

    Pre Corona Virus we always hosted holiday dinners at Christmas and Thanksgiving and what we call Easter Saturday (held the day before Easter so that church goers had their Sunday free. People brought food but I always cooked the main things. Since I have two large and beautiful sets of inherited china and 3 large sets of sterling silverware I like to use them when we have company. At the end of the day I filled a big plastic bucket with soapy water and all the silverware went into that to soak and I filled a plastic tote the same and just stacked the dishes in it. Then we could all sit around and visit and let our dinners settle. After the guests left It all stayed where it was and the next AM I pretty much only needed to rinse things let them dry and put them away. Holidays have been lonely since corona virus but vaccinations are happening!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I like your way of being able to clean the dishes while still having the time to visit with your guests. And all zero-waste too! Good job, Candace! ~TxH~

      1. candace ford

        This is not the post that I had wanted to leave this comment on but I couldn’t re find the estate planning post.
        Some years ago I read an article in an AARP magazine regarding similar suggestions. One was that folks should have a folder or manila envelope containing copies of important documents, lists of important phone numbers and so on – that folder should be handy to an exit so that in case of a necessary and rapid evacuation one could just grab it on the way out. Wild fires are always a worry out here in western Oregon.


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