Hosting a luau is a great way to enjoy the beautiful summer weather with friends. Anyone who has ever hosted one of these Hawaiian parties knows just how much waste is collected while cleaning up. There are some ways to minimize waste or substitute more eco-friendly items for traditional decorations.
1. Use Grass Skirts Liberally
Plenty of party supply companies sell natural grass skirts. These items can be handed out to party guests to wear. They can also be used as decorations. Tack them up along the sides of tables or even a stage. Or create the look of a tiki hut by hanging long strands of them between poles.
The best thing about natural grass skirts is that they are biodegradable. Many cities have green waste cans. If this is the case, put the used grass skirts in those cans. Even if they are disposed of in landfills, they do not create the same toxic fumes that plastic imitation grass skirts do. People who live in farm communities may want to offer used natural grass to local farmers.
2. Use Tiki Torches For Lighting
Most luaus are held during the evening hours. This creates one major issue: Party hosts need ample lighting. The first thing most people think of is to rent party lights or fake tiki torches that do not actually burn. However, there are tiki torches that are designed to be environmentally friendly. Many of them also have citronella, which helps keep pesky bugs away from the party. Renting lights can consume plenty of electricity, and the rental fees often exceed the cost of tiki torches. In addition to this, regular lights are an invitation for bugs to snack on the food and the party guests. Just be sure to put the torches in areas where they will not set other greenery or belongings on fire.
3. Use Bamboo & Real Flowers For Decorating
In most areas, it is expensive to order real hibiscus flowers. Although they add plenty of color, fake hibiscus flowers create unnecessary waste. Check with flower shops or neighbors to see if they have any fresh flowers they are willing to part with. Some flower shops sell imperfect items for reduced prices. Although the shapes of the flowers may look different from traditional Hawaiian blooms, it is possible to create a similar look by using multiple bright colors. Another option is to purchase biodegradable fake flowers. They may be slightly more expensive than regular fake flowers or fresh flowers.
Bamboo is fairly inexpensive, and it can be used in many different ways. Party hosts can weave bamboo mats or buy them already made. Shoots of bamboo can also be used to line the walls. When the party is over, hosts may send home bamboo shoots with guests as party favors. Bamboo mats can be saved and reused or sent home with party guests. If they must be disposed of, they will not harm the environment.
When planning a luau, be sure to think of other ways to make eco-friendly changes. It is also important to provide good entertainment. Fire dancing is one excellent option. A good fire dancer will captivate the attention of guests, and party hosts can rest assured their friends will not forget the experience.
About the Author
Beverly McCrary is a content contributor for Zen Arts and a mother of three. In her free time, Beverly collaborates with other neighborhood moms to plan their children’s birthday parties.