Queen’s Jubilee: How to celebrate 70 years sustainably

Did you know that while we’re commemorating 70 years of the Queens service, the plastic straws used celebrating will take over 14 times the number of years the queen has been on the throne to decompose? Plastic cups would take over 6 times the number of years Her Majesty has reigned to decompose, and plastic straws nearly 3 times the amount of time!

The nation is getting ready to party as the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations are quickly approaching. The UK is set to see street parties taking place across the country as people celebrate 70 years under Queen Elizabeth’s reign under the summer sun. However, jubilant Jubilee celebrations don’t need to mean messy streets and excessive waste. 

Everything usually used to execute the ultimate street party is usually single-use, or covered in plastic. According to government estimates, around 1.1 billion single-use plates and 4.25 billion items of single-use cutlery (most of which are plastic!) are used per year, with only 10% being recycled. The government are aiming to phase out all avoidable plastic waste e.g. single use plates, cutlery, polystyrene cups, food and drink containers etc. – all of which are going to be used in bucket loads during the jubilee celebrations. When planning a large celebration, the bunting, balloons, paper plates and single use cutlery all make for an easy clean up, however we encourage you to reduce, re-use and recycle where possible, no matter how large or small your celebration is.

As advocates for the Earth, Jorvik Tricycles are trying to encourage people to reduce their impact on the environment by consciously being more eco-friendly and choosing more sustainable options. Whether that be choosing cycling over driving, or switching out balloons for homemade bunting, every small change has the potential to make a huge difference. Jorvik Tricycles are therefore sharing their tips on how to make our Jubilee celebrations more sustainable.

9 eco-friendly ways to celebrate the Jubilee

  • When setting up for your street party, add labels to all your bins. This will help ensure that everyone is disposing of their rubbish properly.
  • Although plastic cutlery makes the post-street party clean up much easier, they aren’t biodegradable and instead make their way into landfills, our oceans and the environment. Bamboo utensils are more eco-friendly alternative, are compostable and degrade on their own. They’re also more sustainable than wooden cutlery because of the rate that bamboo grows at. An eco-friendly, more sustainable, yet still convenient, option!
  • Similarly, the materials used to make paper plates are not biodegradable so are extremely harmful to our environment. According to government estimates, around 1.1 billion single-use plates and 4.25 billion items of single-use cutlery (most of which are plastic!) are used per year, with only 10% being recycled. Try switching paper plates out for palm leaf plates! These plates are made from fallen palm leaves, so are not only biodegradable but also renewable, meaning their production and disposal will have minimal impact on our environment. 
  • For your drinks, try to bring your own reuseable cups or if you do want something that’s easily disposed of, you are able to find paper cups that don’t contain plastic.
  • Try to encourage everyone to make their own food to bring along rather than purchasing pre-packaged goods.
  • Across British households, more than 1.2 billion metres of single-use cling film is used every year. Instead of unravelling a whole roll of clingfilm and wrapping your food in miles of clingfilm, use beeswax alternatives. Just like clingfilm, beeswax wraps are flexible and self-sealing. However, unlike clingfilm beeswax wraps are biodegradable and reusable for up to a year – you’re also going to avoid to the pain of untangling yourself and detaching yourself from the sticky cling film!
  • It’s a given that there will be an abundance of food at any Jubilee celebration/street party, with mountains of leftovers for people to take home. To avoid unnecessary food waste, ensure that you have old takeaway containers or empty ice-cream tubs to distribute to other party goers, your neighbours and the wider community.
  • Traditionally at a Jubilee street party you’d see strings of union Jacks or coloured bunting lining the streets. But again, many of these decorations are made from plastic. These decorations will end up either getting blown or just tossed away, not reused and or recycled. For this year’s Jubilee celebrations, try your hand at some arts and crafts! Use old clothes, bedding or any fabric you have lying around to make some bunting and streamers for your party.
  • Organise a clean-up committee to take care of taking everything down, distributing leftovers and disposing of any rubbish properly. This will help prevent decorations becoming litter or wasting any food.

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