3 Tips For a Sustainable Table Styling

The festive season is synonymous with family gatherings, gifts and never-ending feasts at the dining table with loved ones but also with its dreadful consequences on the environment and landfills

Did you know the end-of-year holiday season is the most wasteful time of the year?


According to Australian Ethical, waste volumes rise by 30% around Christmas. Nearly 5 million tonnes of food goes straight into landfill, and we get through about 150,000 km of wrapping paper. That's enough to go around the whole of Australia six times!

The jolly season doesn’t only include food waste, but also refers to plastic waste such as single-use poppers, plastic plates, party hats, toys packaging, gift wraps, glitter and confetti, decorations and lights. It’s time to reverse the trend!  This means that we need to be both proactive and mindful about reducing the amount of waste we generate and dispose of. So this month we’re starting with our favourite tips for a waste-free festive dining table.

1. Table cloth

Ensure it’s a reusable, washable one. Picking one up from Vinnies is always an option, but our Food Covers work well for smaller tables! If you’re dining outside, don’t use cling wrap but rather choose the Food Covers! As you may know, seven out of eight Australian states have committed to banning specific single-use plastic by 2025, which is a small victory for our environment, wildlife  and health. Amongst these single-use items, are straws, drink stirrers, drink containers, plastic plates, bowls and more. This year, ditch single-use paper towels for fabric napkins or use your Organic Non-Paper Towels (perfect for spills too!). If you used to stick wet paper towels to bottles to cool them down, have a look at our Wine Chill and Carry Set for a perfectly chilled wine - sans the plastic.

Food cover set

2. Decorations

  •  Use local flowers or homemade decorations

Did you know that Woolworths has banned glitter from all of its stores? That’s another reason to trade glitters for a more natural decoration such as flowers or leaves. If you have access to parks, have a wander and look at what’s growing around you. Harvest sustainably and leave some flowers for the pollinators. Scatter fresh flowers on the table or pop these in a beautiful bowl filled with water. No flowers in sight? Support local and get seasonal flowers from your nearest small florist. Fern leaves, Monstera leaves can also be used as centrepieces or placemats. An alternative to glitter and confetti is using a hole puncher and dried leaves!

Natural table decoration

  • Add a personal touch

A personal touch always makes a table more welcoming. Personal touch can help start the conversation while guests are being served a drink! Get crafty and write guests’ names on magnolia leaves or bark. You can also let leaves and flowers dry in a heavy book for a few weeks and use them to place your guests. Use a pansy for the kids, a nasturtium flower for grandma, a frangipani flower for mum.

Names on leaves decoration

  • Reduce, reuse

Got some leftover herbs from cooking? Use them as an easy way to decorate your table. Try twisting rosemary into a circle and securing it with twine for a napkin holder or, for a simpler approach, pop a sprig on top of napery and place it alongside your cutlery. If you have some empty jars (we’re sure you’ve got a few of them in the cupboard!), simply tie twine around the jar, fill it with water or sand and pop a candle in it. If you also have some empty wine bottles waiting to be recycled, keep two or three of them to use as candle holders! These look gorgeous on a table and soften the atmosphere.

Wine bottles decoration

  • Edible centrepiece

Minimize single-use and expensive decoration by placing bowls of in-season fruit on the table. It’s a great way to add a pop of colour and serve delicious and healthy treats for your guests! Check out seasonal produce and your nearest fruit and vegetables grocers. If you’re planning on offering homemade food gifts like plum marmalade, vegan pesto, spiced apple rings, chili infused oil, preserved citrus peels - place them on the table!

Edible centerpiece decoration

 3. Tableware

If you need extra plates and cutlery, purchase them from Vinnies and return them if you no longer need them. Washing dishes is better for the planet and your health than buying single-use plastic utensils!

If you’ve loved all the tips but don’t have any of the alternatives mentioned above, check out our Festive Holiday Entertainer Bundle. This gorgeous bundle is ideal for those looking to entertain waste-free, save time, money, reduce plastic and food waste!