How To Plan An Eco-Friendly Jubilee Party
In June 2022 the UK and Commonwealth countries will be celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. This commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne in 1952, making her the longest-reigning monarch in British history.
There’s a notable environmental focus to the Platinum Jubilee; The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative is encouraging people to plant trees to leave a lasting green legacy.
To celebrate the Jubilee there is a four day bank holiday in the UK from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June. Communities will be coming together for the occasion and many will host street parties.
So here’s our guide to organising a street party with tips for how to make it a little more eco-friendly...
Where to Host a Jubilee Party
The venue might seem obvious given it’s a street party, however it does require some consideration and planning.
To close a road for a street party you will need permission from your local council. This will need to be arranged at least 6 weeks ahead of the event. Some councils charge a fee for granting a road closure and may require organisers to have public liability insurance. Some councils have announced they will be waiving the normal road closure fee for the Jubilee or are offering funding for local events. If you live on an estate with a management company you may also need to speak with them. More advice on road closures is available from Streetparty.org.uk
If closing the road isn’t an option, you could have the event in front gardens or driveways along the street, or local park or community hall.
Street Party Seating
Unless you're hosting the party at a community hall, which will likely have tables and chairs, you need to think about what you'd like people to bring to sit on.
Street parties traditionally often have a long line of tables with chairs down each side. You could recreate this by asking each household to bring a table and enough chairs for their party to sit on. However, you may want to keep it simple ad ask people to bring just a picnic rug or blanket to sit on. You could opt for a standing party too and just have tables for the food and drinks.
Don’t forget, this is the UK and it’s well known that sod's law will dictate the weather, especially when it’s expected that people will be outdoors in their masses. Plan for the worst and ask if anyone has marquees or gazebos available to use should you need them.
Jubilee Party Tableware
Next to think about is tableware. Consider what's the best option for your party - do you need plates, bowls, or cutlery?
Did you know.... an estimated 1.1 billion single-use plates and 4.25 billion items of single-use cutlery – most of which are plastic – are used in England each year, but just 10% are recycled?
To avoid unnecessary waste from single-use tableware ask neighbours to bring their own plates or picnic sets, or hire a party kit from a local supplier.
Platinum Jubilee Food
A Jubilee celebration in the UK isn’t complete without Coronation Chicken. Created for the Queen’s coronation in 1953, Coronation Chicken is a sandwich filling made of cooked chicken, curry powder, mayonnaise, mango chutney and dried fruit. Or for a Vegan version, swap the chicken for chickpeas and use Vegan mayonnaise.
BBC Good Food Coronation Chicken recipe
Yum Vegan Blog Coronation Chickpea recipe
Other standard street party foods include buffet classics such as sausage rolls, Scotch eggs, vegetable sticks, scones, fruit and of course cake - Victoria Sponge being a popular classic. Some items, like sponge cake and sausage rolls, can be made ahead of time, frozen and then defrosted for the event. You could always give this year’s jubilee dessert, a delicious lemon trifle. Keep the organising simple by asking neighbours to bring their own food and drink.
Eco-Friendly Street Party Decorations
No street party wouldn’t be complete without bunting. Traditionally this would be a string of Union Jack flags or triangles coloured red, white and blue, but really any colours will set a celebratory tone.
You can make your own bunting from fabric. Or if sewing isn’t your thing, try making bunting from felt triangles, rag-tie or ribbons. Rather than buying new fabric to make bunting try to repurpose old bedding, ask for scraps via local Facebook groups or head down to your local haberdashery who often have scraps of unsalable fabric.
Net pom-poms make a great reusable alternative to balloons. Fun and colourful, they are really durable meaning they can be used again and again long after the Jubilee. Unlike balloons, netted pom-poms are less likely to escape and end up as litter endangering wildlife.
Paper chains are an easy-to-make eco-friendly decoration. Use strips of scrap paper, pages from magazines, the kid's artwork (although do check with the artist first!) or old greetings cards. They’re perfect to get the kids involved too as they only need a glue stick.
The Big Clean Up
One of the best ways to reduce the environmental impact of a party is to plan ahead for what will happen after the event with the rubbish. Ensure there's a plan for rubbish which might come from food wrappers, etc. There should be access to a rubbish bin and recycling bins. Provide a food waste collection bin so scraps can be composted.
Organise a team to take down the decorations once the event has finished. This will help stop any decorations from becoming litter and a danger to wildlife. Check for litter after the event so that no rubbish is left behind.
For any leftover food which is still edible, encourage neighbours to take home leftovers or donate them to a local organisation, such as a community fridge.
For more ideas, inspiration and recipes, there's a great pack with loads of information about planning a street party for the Platinum Jubilee available to download from The Big Jubilee Lunch website.