Concerned by all the waste involved in throwing a birthday party for your little one? Green enthusiast Will H. Sandford shares some ideas for throwing an eco birthday party to leave a greener footprint.
by Will H. Sandford
Children love birthday parties more than anything else and we are always trying to fulfil all their wishes and provide them with an unforgettable experience. However, in addition to focusing on our kids’ desires, we need to respect the environment. Try to incorporate as many green alternatives as possible. This may sound like a real nightmare at first, but once you think about it and research your options, you’ll realise that throwing an eco birthday party can be a piece of cake. Here are our suggestions and ideas for throwing an eco birthday party. Enjoy!
1. Eco-friendly decorations are a must
Colourful balloons and banners can look really awesome and are one of the most common decoration choices. Unfortunately, once the birthday party is over, all this will end up in the bin and then in a landfill – polluting the soil and the environment. So, instead of just selfishly caring about boosting your enjoyment, try to be more creative and come up with green decoration alternatives. For instance, you can use recyclable materials to craft party hats and let your children and their friends colour them any way they want. Or, you can use your old clothes to sew interesting banners and beautiful streamers. Make sure to include your children in the preparation process as well. Younger children will be particularly excited to play designers and tailors.
2. Use separate bins for recyclables
If you don’t have reusables, making separate bins for recyclable disposables is crucial, especially when you know that you’ll have full bags of cups, plates and juice boxes. However, while it’s fairly easy to make separate baskets for paper, glass, plastic and metal, it can be a bit of a challenge to get all the children to respect these rules. Try pretending it’s a game and that they need to match the trash to the appropriate bin if they don’t want to lose points. This way, they’ll take your request more seriously and encourage one another to abide by the rules.
3. Don’t forget birthday lights
If the party is fun, why not prolong it a bit? All you’ll need in that case is a set of birthday lights. These will create a pleasant and inviting atmosphere when the sun sets. You just have to be careful when researching your options and as well as focusing on the design of the light bulbs, make sure to opt for energy-efficient ones.Or you could exercise your DIY skills and create your own birthday neon signs by using your regular Christmas lights and painted cups. Simply place over the bulbs and write messages on them. Of course, don’t forget that you should never meddle with electricity on your own and if something unforeseen happens, you need to contact an electrician immediately. Owing to these professionals, you’ll avoid any further complications and can rest assured that all children are safe.
4. Bake the cake at home
Baking a birthday cake as opposed to buying one is a much better option for several reasons. Firstly, you’ll have control over the ingredients and thus be able to ensure that nothing goes to waste. You’ll also know exactly what the cake is made of, which is extremely important for children with food allergies. Furthermore, store-bought cakes always come packed in plastic containers or cardboard boxes which leads to more trash and further contributes to environmental pollution. Finally, children are always super-excited to roll up their sleeves and help you in the kitchen. This will be a fun experience for all of you. It can also help you teach your children responsibility from an early age.
5. Avoid the disposables
Unfortunately, children’s parties can have a huge environmental impact due to the amount of single-use straws, cutlery and cups used. Reduce your impact by using reusables instead of single-use items. For straws, opt for reusable bamboo straws instead of plastic straws. If you’re trying to get fancy, theotherstraw offers personalised bulk bamboo straws for parties. They’re reusable, sustainable and compostable – also a powerful conversation starter for the kids!
6. Use online invitations
Last but not least, since deforestation is one of the major issues of the 21st century, you can help fight it by sending your invitations via email or chat. Not only will you reduce the amount of paper waste, but your guests will get their invites much faster. On top of that, by using social media platforms, you can easily personalise the invitation without paying extra money for it. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it!?
As you can see, throwing an eco birthday party is not as difficult as you may have thought. You just need to research all the options and not be afraid to try out something new. After all, it’s important to make your kids happy, but we must take good care of nature as well.
About the Author
Will H. Sandford is a Sydney based writer, blogger and green enthusiast. He spends the most of his time with his family whether working or having fun and exploring nature together. “Having somewhere to go is home, having someone to love is family, having both is a blessing.” Connect with him on Twitter.