Let’s Stay Green for The Queen this Jubilee Weekend

With the Jubilee weekend coming up, David Daw shares the top 10 ways you can hold street parties and picnics as sustainably as possible, in order to stay Green for the Queen.

With the Jubilee coming up this week, I tried to recall the ones during my lifetime. 

As one born in the 70’s, I vaguely recall the Silver Jubilee in 1977, mainly due to lots of parties being held during summer term at school. For the Golden Jubilee in 2002, I remember the lighting of Beacons throughout the Country. Unfortunately, for the Diamond Jubilee in 2012, I was ill and just recall that the weather was miserable.  Hopefully the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations will be memorable for the right reasons and get blessed with better weather than last time, especially for those of you throwing parties or attending picnics across the weekend.

Throughout the Queen’s 70 year reign, awareness of the impact of our activities on the environment has grown significantly. As you would expect, there have been a number of national initiatives that have been running to improve the environment in the build-up to this weekend, including ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’ with an aim to plant a million trees across the UK.  As well as the ‘Sustainable Street party initiative’, which is aimed at secondary school students, to ensure they consider the carbon footprint of street party activities.

One thing we must make sure we do this time around is to ensure that the celebratory activities are as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible. There is always the danger that activities like street parties end with piles of food, decorations and packaging waste leading to overflowing bins and litter in the streets.

If you are holding a street party or picnic, there a number of things you can do to keep it as sustainable as possible:  

  • Bring your own plates and cutlery to save on disposables. Why not use some of that old Jubilee crockery that has been sitting on the shelf for years?
  • Bring refillable water bottles rather than single use bottles
  • Try to make your own food rather than bring in pre-made products
  • Cut food waste by putting any leftover food back into the fridge/freezer or into storage tubs once you have finished eating
  • For scraps, if your council provides a food waste collection, make sure any food waste goes in caddies rather than in a residual bin. Or consider if any salad, fruit or vegetables can be composted at home
  • Set up street recycling and litter bins to ensure as much waste is recycled as possible and little ends up in the bin
  • Avoid having helium filled balloons or releasing sky lanterns these can end up littering the countryside and can cause harm to both wildlife and farm animals
  • Make home – made decorations out of scrap fabric and other materials. Some instructions can be found here or on the Eden Project Communities website
  • Organise a litter pick after the event to ensure the street or picnic site is left as clean as possible afterwards.  Take litter home if bins are overflowing
  • For further tips click here

If you are not organising your own party, a list of events going on all over the UK over the Jubilee Weekend can be found here.

Whatever you get up to over the Jubilee Weekend, everyone at Valpak wishes you a happy enjoyable and ‘green’ time. Congratulations to Her Majesty for her 70 years of service.