When it comes to zero waste and recycling most of us are pretty switched on when it comes to our homes.
But what about when you throw a party? Shops are filled with single use plates, cups and straws but if you wouldn’t use it day to day why use it for an event you are holding?
Carla Monson is director of Party Auntie and organises bespoke parties that embrace sustainability.
Growing up Carla says she was always interested in events and parities, and as she got older she got a job working as an events co-ordinator in a hotel.
“It was quite wasteful and it felt like I was doing the same party for similar people all the time.
“I didn’t have the creative flexibility that I craved so I came back home.”
Carla started blogging about parties and sharing her ideas, but when a friend asked her to arrange a children’s party it lead her on the path to being Party Auntie.
“My friend runs charity Taylor Made Dreams in Crowborough which works with children with life limiting conditions,” explains Carla.
“She asked me to throw them a party with an Alice in Wonderland and Mad Hatter’s tea party theme.
“I loved that film as a child so I loved doing all the details like making fans made from pages of the book.
“After doing that I knew it was the career I wanted to do and start my own business.”
To keep it sustainable Carla uses like-minded local businesses and buys second hand where she can.
“I just think about the impact it has and there is so many single use items for parties but there are alternatives,” she says.
“I recently bought a second hand bell tent I got it professionally cleaned to give it a new lease of life.
“I also hire items so I use them return it, so that it can be used again and again.
“I use bamboo straws and high quality melamine plates, I have spent a bit more time and money but it is worth it.
“At the end of most parties there is so much rubbish but at the end of one of my parties I have half a bag.”
90 per cent of the parties that Carla arranges are outside and those close to Horam are held at a community land project.
“It is off grid,” she explains.
“It is a really lovely space and we are looking for other venues like that in other parts of Sussex.
“The money we spend to hire it goes back into the community project which is just great.”
Party Auntie offers the complete package from sending out the invites, arranging catering to decorations, entertainment and party bags.
“I am the main party co-ordinator and then I have facilitators who work with the children and as I grow I want to add people,” enthuses Carla.
Ideally Carla wants people to get in touch two to three months ahead of the party as invites can be sent out the month before.
Carla is willing to travel within an hour of Heathfield and has catered for parties of up to 30 children.
The youngest party they have done is for two to three year olds with the upper age being 12.
And as for the name...
“Well there is always that one person in your family that is great at a throwing a party,” she smiles, “so I see myself as the party auntie.”