Green Hen Do Ideas For Eco-Conscious Brides

Author: Katie Lewis

Organising a hen do for your dearest friend is all about honouring them with an unforgettable experience they’ll really love. It can be hard to know where to start, so focusing on their passions and preferences is key to creating a unique celebration of who they truly are. So how to go about throwing an eco-conscious hen do for your most sustainably-minded pal? Whether your bestie wants a big-budget trip away with a programme of activities, or a low-key day out with simple elements that don’t break the bank, we’ve got some pointers for planning a hen that celebrates their greener side.

Green Group Activities

Eco-focused tourism is a thriving industry and there are all manner of classes and activities out there to help us do our bit to help the planet. This is where you can really embrace your friend’s eco-credentials and have some fun, and book some unique and alternative activities to make this a hen do to remember.


If your friend is outdoorsy, why not book a foraging trip to learn more about natural plants and species, or prepare a meal with foraged ingredients you can enjoy together? Cracking Good Food runs foraging and cooking sessions in locations around Manchester, Forage Kitchen is based in Suffolk and also has a restaurant serving up locally-sourced meals, and Fat Hen is a super-sustainable outfit in Cornwall where you can book in to forage, cook and dine. Don’t be tempted to do your own thing – be sure to book with an officially accredited organisation that not only recognises which plants are safe but also the legal parameters around foraging – for example, some species are protected and it’s not always permissible to forage where you’re free to walk.

Image credit: Fat Hen
Image credit: Ian Lean/ Surfers against Sewage

Something you can do under your own steam is a beach clean or litter pick at a nearby beach or park. Split into groups, set a timer and compete to see how much litter you can collect. Add a bit of fun by incorporating challenges or awards – the strangest or biggest item collected, for example. Again be sure to do this safely with litter pickers and gloves. It’s also completely free, so a good wallet-friendly option if you’re finding the hen do budget is starting to bulge.

If your group would prefer a more indulgent experience, opt for a spa day instead. Book in for a treatment at Titanic Spa near Huddersfield, one of the country’s first eco spas which draws its water from a natural source below the building or visit Cloud Twelve in London, which uses sustainable products such as B-Corp certified Comfort Zone and non-toxic Nailberry nail polish.

Farm-to-Fork Meals

A special meal is a great way to celebrate your friend, and there are plenty of places that cook up delicious dining with locally sourced produce and a farm-to-fork ethos (meaning you can trace your food back to where it comes from). 

Veg delivery-box retailer Riverford has its own field kitchen in Devon, offering an organic dining experience in the heart of their farm. They offer a set menu of tasty food centred around the fabulous flavours of their organic veg in a communal setting, either in their attractive restaurant or on the garden terrace. Riverford also runs classes which you could tack onto your time there, from fermentation workshops to gut health masterclasses.

Image credit: Riverford

Enduringly popular hotel chain The Pig is another great option for a special meal, well-known for its commitment to local, home-grown produce. Most of The Pig locations have their own kitchen gardens alongside other sustainable elements such as their own chickens and pigs, beehives, fruit cages and smokeries, and their 25 mile menus offer dishes made from at least 80% local ingredients.

For a more metropolitan vibe, Skye Gyngell’s Spring restaurant in London offers daily-changing menus that deliver big flavours while making the most of seasonal produce. In addition to the à la carte and set menus, a scratch menu is offered each evening which uses ‘waste’ produce (that would otherwise be discarded for aesthetic reasons) to create nutritious, hearty meals.

For a more metropolitan vibe, Skye Gyngell’s Spring restaurant in London offers daily-changing menus that deliver big flavours while making the most of seasonal produce. In addition to the à la carte and set menus, a scratch menu is offered each evening which uses ‘waste’ produce (that would otherwise be discarded for aesthetic reasons) to create nutritious, hearty meals.

Image credit: The Pig Hotel
Off-Grid Stays

If you’re planning to spend time away, you can opt for accommodation that will put your pal’s sustainability credentials front and centre. Glamping is a great greener option with a low carbon footprint, using less energy than more traditional accommodation – just remember to pack your thermals. While you can’t guarantee the weather, cosying up under blankets or making a fire is all part of the fun, and brings the perfect vibe for the ubiquitous hen do challenges and games.

Some glamping spots have activities on-site, so you can immerse yourselves in your natural surroundings and even give back to the place where you stay. Stay at Meadowsweet, a safari tent in Sussex, and you can choose from guided walks, massage treatments and even a whittling workshop that teaches you how to carve your own object. Canopy and Stars is a great directory of sustainable places to stay, from cabins to tree houses and everything in between, and is a certified B Corp, meaning it achieves high standards for social and environmental performance.

Image Credit: Canopy and Stars
Eco-Friendly Hotels

If your group is set on staying in a hotel, there are plenty of options to keep your sojourn eco-friendly. The Scarlet Hotel in Cornwall is a true eco sanctuary – reclaimed materials were used in the very fabric of the hotel, and its raw construction materials are fully recyclable. The indoor pool is heated with solar and biomass energy, no chemicals are used in the outdoor pool, the roof is lined with native plants – a haven for local insects – and lighting comes from low-level LEDs that are motion-activated. Even better, a percentage of your booking goes to their community fund, which invests in environmental and social enterprise groups.

For a Cotswolds getaway, Whatley Manor, near Malmesbury, is a great sustainable choice. They have a commitment to decarbonisation including reducing energy usage, ditching single-use plastics, installing beehives and sourcing 90% of their produce from the UK. They already hold a Green Michelin Star for their efforts in sustainable gastronomy. And you don’t need to escape to the country to find an eco-friendly retreat – London’s Zetter Townhouse sources its water from a borehole beneath the building and has an energy loop system which means energy is used more effectively. Bath products are selected for their environmentally-friendly formulae and packaging, and local and British brands are used as far as possible.

Image credit: The Scarlet Hotel
Carbon-Conscious Holidays
Image credit: Le Citizen Hotel

For the bride-to-be for whom only a trip abroad will do, you can still make carbon-informed choices. Travel by train to romantic Paris, charming Bruges or hedonistic Amsterdam – each destination can be reached by Eurostar, using an average of 93% fewer emissions than flying (source: Le Citizen Hotel in Paris has a great location in the 10th arrondissement, and uses sophisticated water conservation techniques, gets the majority of its food and supplies from local sources and offers a steady supply of fresh drinking water – in glass bottles, naturally – from French streams. Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht in Amsterdam is Green Globe Platinum Certified (meaning its been audited according to international criteria), regularly donates food to local homeless shelters and serves up zero-waste cocktails, using items from the kitchen such as peels and fruit that would otherwise go to waste.

If your group does jet off somewhere, consider offsetting the carbon emissions of the flights as a gesture your friend will really appreciate. Airlines like Easyjet and British Airways give you this option when booking, or use a site like Shorter flights aren’t necessarily more sustainable than longer ones as they are so carbon-intensive; if you’re serious about being green, a better option is to check airline websites and fly with a carrier that operates a newer plane on your chosen route, since they are more fuel-efficient. 


If you fancy a weekend in the sun, Casa Vale da Lama is an inviting eco resort on a permaculture farm just outside Lagos in Portugal. They generate renewable energy from solar panels, serve farm-to-table meals using organic produce from the farm, run programmes for the local community and even have two resident rescue donkeys.


For a fancier escape, consider Vigilius Mountain Resort in Italy’s South Tyrol (open in summer), a sensational spa hotel designed with nature in mind, with larch-wood panelling from the surrounding forest and stunning views through panoramic glass. Winner of a string of sustainability awards, it can only be reached by cable car and uses biomass energy as well as wood chips from surrounding farms.

Recyclable Goodie Bags

A bag of treats is a cute addition to any hen do, whatever the budget, and can help with ice breakers and hangovers alike. They are an easy element to make greener, since it’s more about fun and surprise than the actual contents. Keep them small scale with a few items that the group will actually use and won’t be left behind or get thrown away unused.

Include tipples in glass bottles or cans, such as pre-mixed cocktails or fizz: Buck and Birch do cute mini cocktail sets you can divide up, Luvjus does ‘craft pops’ in a can, or get mocktail sachets from Nio. Add a sweet treat such as a fair trade chocolate bar – Tony’s Chocolonely never disappoints – or source some retro sweets from Handy Candy, a family-run UK small business that uses sustainable packaging. Add some plant-based glitter from Festival Glitter and a small gift like a handmade soap or vegan lip balm – green tulip is a handy site that stocks ethical brands, with lots of gift ideas to suit all budgets.

Order some craft paper bags to hold everything – no-one needs another tote bag and you can easily customise them – and both the bags and their empties can be dropped into the recycling when the weekend is over.

Image credit: Nio cocktails
Pre-Loved Outfits
Image credit: Hurr

It’s a given that everyone – especially the hen – needs at least one sensational outfit, but you know what we’re going to say… suggest renting instead of buying. Peer-to-peer sites like By Rotation and Hurr have fantastic options that will make you all feel a million dollars while supporting circular fashion. When it comes to accessories like jewellery or (size permitting) shoes, consider lending between the group or using a resale site like depop so you can enjoy fresh, new-to-you looks that don’t involve additional purchases.

If you’re planning on dressing up, consider simple themes that allow people to use an item already in their wardrobe to enliven their outfit – a pop of colour or a touch of sparkle are good options – or suggest accessorising rather than creating entire outfits. Alternatively, try your hand at creating some sustainable accessories as part of the hen do – flower crowns for example, which you can make at a Frog Flowers masterclass in Manchester, make everyone look fabulous while being mostly biodegradable.

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