How to Host a Zero Waste Dinner Party

There are few things I love more than a relaxed, candlelight dinner with friends. Mix together a massive spread of comfort food, genuine laughter and a board game or two and you’ve just described my perfect evening at home.

Since going zero waste, my husband and I have had to learn the tricks of the trade when it comes to hosting a zero waste dinner party. There is no place for frozen foods or disposable cutlery here; it’s all homemade, homegrown, home-crafted.

Let me show you!

How to Host a Zero Waste Dinner Party


Set the Table

Setting the table for your zero waste dinner party is as simple as opting for real ceramic dishes and linen napkins over paper and plastic products.

Choose dishes that suit your needs: Do you have a set of china you don’t get to use often? Break it out for fun! Will you be serving a few courses? Count your full place settings and adjust as necessary. Can you cut down on dishes by hosting your event self-serve style?

Find a system that works for you.

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Prepare the Meal

The meal you choose to serve will be the focal point of your dinner party, so make it count.

Begin by defining the vibe you’d like to create: Will this be a formal affair? Consider serving multiple courses. Is this a summer or winter event? Opt for a menu that highlights in-season produce. It’s more likely to be grown locally, and it will save you a pretty penny.

Decide how much time you are willing to dedicate to preparing the meal: If you’re short on time, go for a lightweight taco bar. If you have time to spare, try something unique and a little more involved that will blow your guests away!

Purchase the ingredients: Shopping for groceries without creating any waste is simpler than it sounds. If you will be shopping at a traditional grocer, start by avoiding the internal grocery aisles and stick to the produce section. If you have to purchase a pasta or canned good, make sure the packaging is recyclable! Otherwise, prioritize farmers markets and bulk bin stores. They are tailor-made for zero waste shoppers!

To find a farmers market or bulk bin shop near you, use this tool!

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Create the Atmosphere

I’m a big fan of laying out a pretty tablescape. Now is the time to pull out those Pinterest tricks you’ve been keeping in your back pocket!

Decide how fancy you want to get: Is this an event that calls for candlelight? Break out those beeswax beauties! Would you prefer to keep the ambiance more casual and lighthearted? Pop a few succulents on the table or avoid decorating altogether.

Set the mood with music: I am a big fan of crafting Spotify playlists for my events. Whether a wedding, birthday party or dinner with friends, music always makes the occasion feel festive and light.

Here are a few that I personally love and enjoy often! “Dinner With Friends” & “Mellow Afternoon.”

Focus on What Matters

In the end, it’s the community and friendship that will make your zero waste dinner party a success. Focus in on the people and let the details fall to the wayside. Have a lovely time!



Amanda G
Amanda G7 days ago

Thanks for posting

Siyus C
Siyus Copetallusabout a month ago

Thank you for sharing.

Betty H
Betty H1 months ago

Loved the blurb which read as follows "There are few things I love more than a relaxed, candlelight dinner with friends. Mix together a massive spread of comfort food, genuine laughter and a boa.." My mind immediately went to boa constrictor, instead of the actual "board games" - I thought that was a unique way of having a zero waste dinner party!

One Heart inc
One Heart inc1 months ago

Thanks for the info!!!

Tin Ling L
Tin Ling L2 months ago

Thanks for sharing

heather g
heather g2 months ago

I should hope so ....

Philippa P
Philippa P2 months ago

Good tips. Thanks.

Virginia Miller
Virginia M2 months ago

Good info, thanks.

Ron B
Ron B2 months ago

Good luck.

Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran2 months ago