Steps to a greener Street Feast

One of the reasons Street Feast began, back in 2010, was as a way to reduce our environmental impact at a community level. This still remains as one of our core beliefs. The more we hear about global warming on the news, the more overwhelming it becomes. The problem seems so huge and so can often leave us feeling paralysed & hopeless- but this shouldn’t be the case. Now more than ever, community cooperation & action are vital. We must not forget that small steps create ripple affects. This year, we want to focus on encouraging environmentally friendly Street Feasts. We’re in no means perfect when it comes to being completely sustainable but we’re trying. So we’ve ditched the balloons from our party packs & have replaced them with paper garlands. Plus we’ve made sure our bunting can be wrapped up & used again. Here are a few handy tips to making your feast more eco-friendly.

Say NO to straws

The biggest culprit of single use plastic items. Enjoyed for mere minutes yet take years to decompose; 200(!!) years to be exact- way beyond our life spans. Offer metal or paper ones instead!

Ban the balloon

Balloons are so 5 years ago! Latex balloons are considered biodegradable yet still take up to 4 years to decompose- long enough to wrap around or be ingested by turtles, sea birds and marine mammals. Make your own decorations or we love these paper honeycomb balls from Woodies. Tiger also have a great selection of paper party-ware. (Just make sure they don’t have a plastic coating!)

DIY decorations

Here at Street Feast, we LOVE home made decorations. What a brilliant way to get creative AND to repurpose items around your house. Grab old tins, wrapping paper, bottle caps, egg cartons & get crafty. We love this bunting made by a Street Feaster last year!

Source loose fruit & vegetables

Planning on cooking a big feast for May 5th? Pledge to cut down on food packaging! A lot of supermarkets have caught up with the anti-plastic movement & offer a lot of loose fruit & vegetables. Lidls are brilliant for this. We’ve just discovered this brilliant online Irish shop where you can buy things like pasta in compostable packaging. If that’s not an option, how about joining forces with some neighbours and buying things like rice & pasta in bulk thus cutting down on the plastic waste.

Use real crockery & cutlery

Not only is it a nicer eating experience but you’ll also be avoiding single use, disposable tableware. Have a BYOC (Bring-your-own-crockery) policy. If non-disposables are not an option, opt for compostable items. You can buy these online at Down to Earth. Don’t forget to tell people that these can go in the compost.

Separate bins for the win

Have 3 separate bins: Compostable , landfill, dry recyclables. Clearly label them & list examples of what can go in them. Remind people what people can & can’t recycle (ie. only rigid plastic!)- among the mayhem & excitement of Street Feast, it’s easy to forget! Download this handy, recycling printable guideline. All items meant for recycling need to be clean & dry.

Say goodbye to clingfilm

Cling film is another single use no-no. It’s easy to reach for the clingfilm when wrapping up food but there are other options! You know the plastic take-away tupperware thats been sitting in the cupboard for months? It’s now it’s time to shine. They’re a great option for storing any food items- they don’t leak either! Another alternative to the plastic wrap, is to simply pop a bowl over the plate of food. Last year, we tried out making some of these beeswax wraps. They work wonders and ours are still going. Plus they’re super easy and fun to make.

We’d love to know any ideas you have for making your feast friendlier towards the planet. Post up a photo and tag us @streetfeast or hashtag #streetfeast2019. We got a lot of our inspiration from this brilliant blog post by Elaine. Thank you, Elaine!

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Street Feast is a day of local lunches across Ireland hosted by you and your neighbours. They can be anywhere really - out on the street, in a local park or in your front garden.

There are lots of good reasons to have a Street Feast, but it's really just a great excuse to eat great food, celebrate your local community and meet new people who live near you. For all our latest news check out Neighbourhood Network News