Sounds impossible…party waste-free. Even more for an expat living in plastic heaven like Vietnam.

And you know… You care about the environment. Climate change, plastic pollution really does scare you.
You do everything you can to help fight it.

But what if you just want to have fun tonight?! You want to go dancing, have a beer and get wild! You live to party. Though wait, how do you do it creating no trash?

Party usually means tons of trash (especially the day after). If you’re a party animal, you know this better than anyone else. This is why you don’t throw parties at your place anymore. Everything will get messy and heaps of trash all over.

“Party usually means tons of trash”

4 ways to party waste - free (even in developing countries like Vietnam)

You rather just go out and let someone else deal with the mess. Though now, you decided to change your lifestyle. You decided to be this proud ‘waste-free dude’. Does it mean you’re supposed to also stop drinking and stop going out? Is there actually such a thing as a party without waste?


Is your life about to turn super boring right now?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some big drinkee here. I definitely don’t like getting wasted and stuff. That’s sad. However, I do enjoy having a chat over a beer with my friends, go out and dance in club sipping on my gin tonic.

I was trying to find a simple solution on this for ages. I usually excel at zero- waste lifestyle. I practically don’t create any trash unless I go out and party. I researched what other zero – wasties do in this situation, but man, it seems like they don’t party at all!

Most zero-wasties create their own zero-waste gatherings, in nature, picnics, or host their own sustainable events where everything is beautiful. Hosting a zero-waste dining party yourself is definitely an option, check out Polly barks post or Going zero-waste post for some awesome inspiration. However, what about the clubs and bars?

Going zero-waste doesn’t mean you can’t have fun anymore!

4 ways to party waste - free (even in developing countries like Vietnam)

I’m a traveler in my 20s, so obviously, I love them! What do you do when you happen to live in a big concrete jungle like Hanoi and clubs and bars are your only option?

To be honest, I didn’t find any simple solution. The answer is, you just need to be weird! Again! 😀

As always when it comes to zero-waste. Don’t worry though! Do you remember how awkward it felt when you first came into a coffee shop and asked for a coffee in your own cup before it was all cool?

If you were one of those early ones, you know what I’m talking about. If not, you have a chance to experience it right now. 😉

So here are my simple findings that you can implement next time you party:

1. Stick to bars where you know they serve drinks in glass

4 ways to party waste - free (even in developing countries like Vietnam)

The obvious and easiest solution in this case. If you have bars and clubs where they serve cocktails in a glass you’re super lucky and I envy you. Of course, if they serve them with straws, make sure to tell them no straw.

You may also like this post “Living plastic-free in South East Asia”

2. Time to be the confident weirdo again and use that keep cup of yours

Yes, yes. You’re just about to ask for a gin tonic in your own cup. Because you’re the responsible drinker. 😉

I know no one does it. It’s not like you’re the ‘hip eco-warrior’ here like in coffee shops where the keep cups are highly appreciated.

If you walk into a bar with your own cup, (imagine even in a place like Hanoi) the music is loud, the poor Vietnamese hardly understand you, everyone’s going to look at you like at the biggest weirdo out there. At this point, you just need to remember your whys, be confident and pull out that beautiful smile of yours! After all, you’ll see it’s not as bad as it sounds.

3. Leave your mark and make the bar a better place

If you really love the bar, why not to just talk to the manager or shoot them an email saying how much you enjoy it there but you would appreciate it even more if they at least stopped using plastics?

You can also explain how other bars are doing it (Google it with examples like ‘the world’s most ethical pub’ in Shoreditch, UK or ‘world’s most sustainable bar’ in Oslo) and that even if they don’t go that extreme, it will most probably help their marketing as well.

Sure, you won’t do this in every bar you ever go to. Try it on your favorite ones, where it would help if you didn’t always have to bring your own cup or stick to drinks in a glass.

4. Save yourself the trouble and money (in clubs)

4 ways to party waste-free in 2019

I know many people who do this but it’s certainly not for me. The pre-drinking. You know, when you have a few beers (cocktails, whatever) at home and then party just like that without anything to drink.

You save money and a couple of plastic cups and straws too. With no uncomfortable situation.

However, in my case, I enjoy more the atmosphere that comes along you’re sipping on your drink rather than just getting drunk. However, this is very individual so do whatever you prefer.

These are my best tips. Nothing magical. Yet, this way you can fight climate change, plastic pollution, and still party! It’s not going to be the easiest. Just wait for the reward!

Imagine this..

The bar that stopped using plastic cups thanks to you. Or the bar that at least replaced their plastic straws for some reusable ones.

How would you feel to inspire others to party plastic-free too? How would it feel to say you were one of the first ones who started to bring their own cup to a bar?

You can stop being guilty of your nights out.

So, now, get out there, buy a beautiful stylish lightweight cup and party your ass out!

As always, don’t forget to let me know how it all went in the comments. Was it fun, weird, totally normal, or are you one of the lucky bastards who have sustainable bars around?

Thank you for being your awesome you and all of your efforts!



Traveling in Vietnam? Have a look at my “Hoi An vegan food guide”.


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(even in developing countries like Vietnam)