How To Plan An Eco-Friendly Hen Party
At North Sky Yurts, being a sustainable business is one of our top priorities. We plant trees for all of our customers, we avoid using single use plastic and even our business cards are made from recycled t-shirts! We are big advocates for hosting sustainable events and considering the impact of your wedding, festival or corporate event on the environment.
We host lots of hen parties at Birds & Bells, our pop-up glamping site, and so we want to share some tips on ways hen weekends can be more eco-friendly.
To save on emissions and fuel, encourage your group to car share where possible! Even better if you have a few people travelling from the same place, hiring a minibus allows the party to start before you've even got to your venue!
Rather than spend the weekend travelling around to different places to do activities, find a site where you can bring the activities to you! It means you're not having to spend a lot of time and effort co-ordinating a big group travelling in taxi's, saves on travel costs and is actually more time efficient too so you can pack more into your weekend together.
Talking of activities, there are some that aren't so great for the environment; for example we don't allow hot tubs to be hired for our site because they use a large amount of power and we have to find somewhere to let all the water out. However, we have a recommended list of suppliers from flower crown workshops to cocktail making classes that can be done at our site. There are also some great activities for getting outdoors like morning yoga and foraging courses. If you want to arrange the activities yourself there are lots of eco-friendly games and fun you can plan like 'treasure hunts' with a twist that all the clues and prizes are unique to the bride.
At Birds & Bells, we supply some games too like rounders and welly wanging.
3. Borrow/ Buy Second Hand
A top tip for saving money and lowering your impact is to borrow from other people who have had a hen party before - there's often lots of decorations/outfits/props etc they'll have that they don't need anymore!
We love fancy dress and know its popular with hen parties too but rather than getting one use sashes, plastic shot necklaces or inflatable props - get really creative, set a theme and a budget and send the hens out on a mission to charity shops or second hand apps like Vinted. The joy of this is everyone will look really unique, it can create a lot of laughs and you can pass it on or sell it afterwards! Make it a competition too with the bride as the judge!
It can be super tempting to spend a big chunk of budget on loads of decorations but in our experience you're better spending it on activities that the bride and hens will remember for years to come. Also lots of decorations that get bought end up in the bin straight away. If you do buy decorations, consider paper ones or cardboard that can be recycled after.
At Birds & Bells, we hang a ribbon canopy from the ceiling in the yurts and all our bell tents come beautifully furnished. This year we're also popping up some more ceiling decorations in the yurt and some decorations outside. Rather than adding your own balloon arch or plastic banners, why not opt for some photo bunting - get the hens to send you their favourite/funniest photo of them and the hen and peg it to some string. At the end of the weekend you could get the hens to stick their photo's in a guestbook with a message for the bride so they can treasure it for years to come.
5. Food & Drinks
Such an important part of a hen weekend as no one wants hangry hens! However, be careful not to overbuy, we often get left lots of food waste which ends up in the bin.
Try to plan meals ahead so you only buy what you need. You can also order in takeaways so no ones stuck cooking or preparing food. If you do have too much stuff and no one fancies taking it home, at Birds & Bells we'll be leaving a box for unopened food so that we can donate it to our local food bank.
We also provide cutlery, plates, bowls, mugs and prosecco glasses so no need for single use stuff. Worth suggesting that hens bring their own water bottles to re-fill over the weekend too.
We provide recycling bins so you can split out your glass bottles from the general recycling.
6. Party Bags
A really nice idea but think about whether it’s worth the cost or effort, we often find they get left behind. If you have some great ideas for them, use brown paper bags and put in useful things like metal straws to use for the weekend, some snacks to keep those hungry hens happy or a little keepsake photo of the hen and the bride together!
7. Glitter & Confetti
We love glitter! But not so much it's effect on the environment. Luckily for us there are lots of companies now who sell bio-degradeable glitter so we can continue making our faces sparkly.
Who doesn't love a confetti shot - however, it goes everywhere! Especially the shiny willy confetti which we seem to find for months/ years after! We don’t allow confetti at our site anymore as it gets into the field and isn't great for the local wildlife or keeping it looking amazing for future guests. Think about what other things you can have instead like bubbles or streamers in the background for a colourful shot.
We'd love to hear any more of your tips for hosting a sustainable hen party in the comments below.
For more information about our hen party packages - visit our Birds & Bells page.