As a society we have got used to owning a lot of the things in our home, even if they are rarely used. We end up with cupboards full of items that take up space, have used vital resources to be made, and may only be used once or twice before we eventually throw them away.

Plates, cups, bowls and cutlery are a great example of this for BBQs, family get togethers and Birthday parties. We either store a cupboard full of crockery, or end up buying disposable items for an event that end up in the landfill.

Next time you are planning a party or social get together, think – can you hire instead of buy?

Often you can get better quality products for a lower price than buying outright. You don’t have to rely on disposable items so save waste, and there is just one set produced that can be used by multiple people, multiple times before it eventually wears out or breaks.

Children’s Parties

Children’s party kits are a great example where hiring items is becoming more popular. Whole kits of reusable child friendly plates, bowls, cutlery, jugs and serving trays can be hired along with coordinated decorations, tablecloths and reusable balloons. So much better for the environment than single use items.

The Party Kit Network is a charitable organisation that helps promote many of these kits. Take a look on their website to find a kit near you.

We know of at least 3 in the Shropshire area alone. Pop over to their facebook page to find out more:

Little Green Party Kits (Wellington, Telford) – Offering full party kits, decorations, balloons and more. Part of The Little Green Pantry refill shop on Crown Street.
Fun Filled Party Packs (Shrewsbury) Offering full party kits, alongside themed games and activities.
Reusable Party Packs (Oswestry) – Offering full party kits with bunting and tablecloths.

Special Occasions

For more grown up special occasions, take a look at the beautiful tea sets available through Agatha’s Tea Party (Telford).

Cloth Nappies

Thinking of using cloth nappies instead of disposables, great! Take a look at our earlier article, showing the real cost of using them. If you want to try a few and see how you get on, which ones fit your baby etc, then a nappy library is a great way to go. Try Newport Nappy Library or Oswestry Nappy Library. There is also a new Telford Nappy Library being set up shortly, so keep an eye out on social media.

You can also hire out baby slings to try different brands for baby wearing. South Shropshire has Kangaroo Sling Library and there is also Telford Slings, run in conjunction with Bundle of Love.


Did you know you can hire cars on a pay-as-you go car/share scheme. Ideal if you are an infrequent user.

Co Wheels Shrewsbury and Co Wheels Ludlow can explain in more detail what is involved.


It may seem obvious, but books don’t need to be bought outright! Libraries used to be the staple place to find out information, but with easy access to the internet, many are becoming less and less used. If you like to have a physical book in your hand, then please support the libraries. They are free to use and dotted all around the County.


Even toys can be hired/loaned instead of being bought. If everyone did this, there would be a huge amount less waste. Newport Toy Library is a non profit charity run by volunteers, offering a wide variety of toys and equipment that can be borrowed for up to 4 weeks at a time.

Anything you don’t need regularly, think about hiring or borrowing instead of buying. You will be reducing waste, reducing new items from being manufactured, saving yourself money and space.

Win win!

Know of a Shropshire business not listed on the Directory yet? Let us know! We would love to support them with a free listing.

Click the image below to explore more tips and challenges as they are added…

Caroline Talbot
Author: Caroline Talbot