Zero Waste Scotland supports The Big Lunch to go waste-free

Zero Waste Scotland is encouraging people to have fun by planning a zero waste Big Lunch on Sunday 2 June.

13 May 13

[The Big Lunch is a very simple idea from the Eden Project.  The aim is to encourage neighbours the length and breadth of the country to come together for a few hours to share lunch, fun, friendship and foster a community spirit, once a year.

Zero Waste Scotland is one of several organisations across Scotland that has pledged its time and energy to help to make The Big Lunch a success.  Together with The Big Lunch team in Scotland, Zero Waste Scotland has developed a handy guide, stuffed full of hints and tips from its volunteers and staff so Big Lunchers have zero excuses and lots of good reasons to go waste-free.

Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland says: “We’re delighted to be working with The Big Lunch again. There are lots of things people can do to make their events as waste-free as possible. Nobody likes food waste or litter so I hope Big Lunchers find our suggestions helpful when planning their events and they have a great time.”

Planning an event with a waste-free theme to begin with makes it much easier and Big Lunchers  can challenge their community to find creative ways to cut down on waste during and after the lunch.

The top five tips are:

  1. Tablecloths – Instead of throwing away metres of paper cloth, bring anything from old curtains to bed sheets and decorate them with fabric paint. The children will love it! The main thing is to try to use something that can be washed after the event and used again. 
  2. Decorations - Hold an upcycle / reuse craft night (there are loads of ideas on The Big Lunch website) and invite people over to make decorations for your event. These decorations can be reused on another occasion or at Christmas. Create a community decorations box so everyone can share them. 
  3. Crockery and Cutlery – Ask neighbours and friends to bring their own real crockery and cutlery along so you can cut down on paper plate waste. It’s very on trend to have a vintage mis-matched look to your tables. 
  4. Recycle – If your local authority provides you with different bins for particular kinds of waste, ask three or four households to put their bins out for the recycling. You could challenge the children on your street to make sure they’re filled appropriately!
  5. Don’t forget the food – Visit the Love Food Hate Waste website for delicious recipes ideas using leftovers and things you have in your cupboard. From mixed fruit pancakes to rice crusted quiche, your Big Lunch dishes can be tasty, reduce waste and be very cost effective.” 

Now in its fifth year, the Lottery-funded Big Lunch has grown in popularity with more people than ever hosting lunches, picnics and barbecues on streets, gardens or community spaces.  Ten percent of the Scottish population took part in a Big Lunch last year, many as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Sir Tim Smit, Co-founder of The Big Lunch, said: “The Big Lunch is all about getting together and having fun. It doesn’t have to be a big event, even a small get-together in your garden or on your street is a great way to get neighbours talking, sharing conversation, skills, resources – and, of course, the vital ingredient - food! It’s not too late to take part in this year’s event on 2 June so why not sign up now for your free pack and get your own event started!”

The Big Lunch is a Lottery-funded initiative, led by the Eden Project and supported by MasterCard, Kingsmill and Asda, encouraging neighbours to share a few hours of food, friendship and fun on Sunday 2 June 2013.

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