Entertaining sustainably


On a mission to make sustainable living the social norm, Amanda Rabinowitz, of Experiential Events Company, Jellybean Concept Events, and Kate Shepherd of Creative Concept and Design Business, Something Different, share a thing or two about creating experiences that are not only the talk of the town, but also environmentally conscious.

Amanda Rabinowitz

When planning what you are going to serve your guests, keep sustainability in mind. The idea is to create a menu that avoids having to use electricity. Raw menu ideas such as rice paper rolls are delicious and healthy! You also want to ensure your meal plan involves local goods like grass fed meats and organic fruit and vegetables from local markets. We should all, where possible, be growing our own vegetables and herbs to avoid having to spend unnecessarily, but if you aren’t a garden guru or don’t have the space, there are so many options nowadays to support local. When doing your grocery shopping, use reusable bags and vegetable bags to avoid using plastic.

When it comes to the actual cooking, think of the bigger picture (use all elements of the food you buy to avoid wastage). Ideally, you should recycle your waste into a compost heap.

If you are going the oven route when cooking, use reusable baking sheets – they will change your life. Not only do you not need to use tin foil ever again, but spray and cook will also be a thing of the past. Silicone Baking Mats are the way to go.

To avoid buying bottled water, use filtered tap water in large glass dispensers with cucumber and lemon, or make your own sparkling water and soda water using a soda stream.

To reduce the washing up or avoid using paper plates, design a menu that doesn’t require plates, for example tapas finger foods, or fondue evenings.

When it comes to your bathroom, try and use super absorbent and quick drying Turkish towels. This way there’s no need for paper towels or a very wet terry towel that would need constant replacing at the hand basin.

Use candles when and where possible – it is a great way to set the mood and you don’t have to use electricity.

After the party, recycle all elements of waste, from wine bottles to boxes. www.jellybeanworld.co.za

Kate Shepherd

As far as your table settings go, using foraged leaves as under plates or napkin details can bring some greenery and life to your table. Something like foraged short branch stumps can be cut up and a small slits created in the top where recycled cards can be placed for name tags. The aim of the game is to re-use as much as you can from the forest floor, garden flower beds and bring it creatively to your table. The more mismatched and eclectic the better.

Potted plants, herbs and garden foraging are definitely the best greenery for the table. Anything you’ve found scattered in your flower beds or herb pots make for a great looking (and smelling table). Rosemary can make for beautiful napkin accents, and can also be used for your dining scent and consumption. A large part of the sustainable element needs to be the food you eat, the cutlery and crockery you choose. Some feel disposable is better but actually homemade ceramics, second hand thrifted ceramics from markets and your standard long standing crockery is actually more sustainable. Mix and match, borrow and craft. Bamboo is also an amazing material and anything created from this can last for some time and be completely biodegradable afterwards – win win!