October 29, 2021

Tips on running a small footprint gathering!


There is no doubt about it, organising a gathering is no small feat! But some of us (including yours truly) love it!  So, how do we run a gathering that doesn’t (literally) cost the earth?

The answer is … we plan!

So, here’s 10 tips to ensure your gathering is a sustainable one. However, I think the most important tip is to let people know you are trying to be as sustainable as possible. You’ll be surprised how quickly they will rally behind the idea.


An eco gathering.


  1. Minimise paper and send out electronic invites.
  2. Choose a green venue that is easily reached by public transport. Give instructions as to which tram, bus or train to take or who might be traveling by car with a couple of spare seats. Or if it is away from ‘the madding crowd’ organise a shuttle bus.
  3. Use local businesses that have green policies. Ask companies (the venue, caterers) for their policies and if they don’t have one, go elsewhere but tell them why. This is a very powerful way to make businesses ‘step up’.
  4. Purchase plates, cutlery, and glasses from your local opp shop and after the gathering either store them away for next time or return to the opp shop to resell.
  5. Engage local food vendors known for sustainable practices.
  6. No plastic spoons. No plastic plates. No plastic utensils. A strict no to anything plastic, it will just create a mound of unmanageable rubbish!
  7. Offer only vegetarian food and order for individuals not a crowd.
  8. Don’t offer plastic water bottles. Have glasses and water jugs on hand. Ask the venue to adhere to this.
  9. Don’t don’t put up balloons.
  10. Encourage recycling with simple systems. Glass goes here! Food scraps there!


The Everyday Environmentalist has more great green ideas for kid’s birthday parties. Here’s a short intro to their blogpost.


Throwing an eco-friendly kid’s birthday party is a little extra work.

You can’t just waltz into Party City, grab up a bunch of disposable party-themed goodies, call in a cake and veggie tray order from your local grocer, grab a big bunch of helium-filled balloons while you are there, and expect not to be met with a big black trash bag at the end of the day.

Party planning in this way may be convenient. But it’s also very wasteful.

But by making a little extra effort to throw an eco-friendly kid’s birthday party, you can celebrate their milestone today while minimising the environmental burden these kids will inevitably shoulder tomorrow.

True, planning an eco-friendly kid’s birthday party takes a little more forward thinking and a little more footwork. But if you do it right, it’s actually not as hard as you might think.


Have a wonderful gathering, and if you are on Insta please tag us @15.trees, we’d love to see all the clever sustainable ideas you’ve come up with!


Article by Colleen Filippa

Colleen is the Founder and Director of Fifteen Trees. Established in 2009, Fifteen Trees with the support of a host of individuals and businesses has helped communities plant 250,000 trees across Australia.



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