Sustainable gatherings, including children’s birthday parties, are “in” these days, which is good news for the planet. But organizing one can be too complex and cumbersome, especially for first-time hosts.
Celebrating life milestones with family and friends—with Mother Earth in mind—is nifty and noble. It means making merry without being wasteful and environmentally unfriendly.
Doing so can be overwhelming, however, with so many sustainability-related actions to consider: Reduce, reuse, and recycle are just three.
If you want to give your child a “green” birthday party, here are five (5) fairly simple ways to do it:
#1- Reduce potential waste.
The excitement of throwing parties can lead to excesses in eats, drinks, favors, decorations, and other items. So, plan properly to save money and Mother Earth’s resources.
Create a guest list and make sure to write “RSVP” on the invites, along with your contact information. You should be able to estimate the guest count this way and prepare for the right number of attendees, thus minimizing waste.
Moreover, strategize a way to deal with untouched food and beverage. An example is to have reusable or recyclable containers on standby to store the leftovers in, for you and your little one to consume later or to give away to guests who would be happy to bring some home. Another example is to have a bin ready for food scraps that can be composted.
Apart from the edibles, party materials that are in danger of becoming waste include disposable décor and wrapping paper. Avoid using these trashcan-bound things as much as possible.
#2- Reuse tableware.
Whether it’s at home or in another venue that you’re holding the birthday bash, get eco-smart with washable serving dishes, dining plates, snack bowls, drinking vessels, and cutlery.
If you don’t have reusable tableware on hand, invest in some instead of buying the single-use type. “Reusable” being the key word here, you will be at liberty to serve snacks and refreshments with washable tableware on special occasions in the future. You could even loan it to relatives or rent it out to friends!
Remember that for every guest at non-sustainable parties, at least five items will likely end up in a landfill. On top of disposable plastic tumblers, utensils, and drinking straws, there are articles that, while paper-based, can’t be recycled because of the laminates or dyes added to them: plates, napkins, and gift wrappers.
If you don’t have a choice other than buying disposable tableware, pick compostable products, which do the least damage to the environment.
Wooden Cutlery Set from Caelis
#3- Repurpose existing materials into décor.
Just because the gathering has a Barbie or Harry Potter theme doesn’t mean the venue should contain brand-new decorations that scream the character’s name or picture.
When looking to go green, get creative!
Improvise, innovate, and gather what’s available, such as your daughter’s beloved Barbie dolls or your son’s prized Harry Potter figures. Deck the room with these objects, putting emphasis on the cake table where the young guests tend to congregate.
Some existing materials that you can put a fresh spin on are:
⦁ Used gift wrappers
⦁ Completed coloring pages
⦁ Themed t-shirts your child has grown out of but still have vivid prints.
#4- Give recycled or recyclable party favors.
Loot bags are optional. But if you feel that your kid’s guests could enjoy them, offer superb yet sustainable goodies.
Ideas for eco-friendly favors include:
⦁ Origami recycled paper
⦁ Washable bags that have animal designs when folded.
Biodegradable Ballons from Caelis
#5- Go digital.
Why not send out virtual invites and thank-you notes to save trees and do away with potentially harmful chemicals? After all, there are no rules of etiquette that forbid technology-driven correspondence between children’s birthday party hosts and their guests.
If going digital isn’t possible, your sustainable option would be distributing attractive physical cards made of recycled, reused, or repurposed paper.
Environmentally friendly and responsible parties are more than just a trend and passing fancy. Because they honor Mother Earth and inspire eco-smart living, their concept is definitely here to stay.
Suppliers everywhere, in fact, are expanding their “party lines” and now carry a gamut of beautifully designed sustainable products to make the planning and sourcing easier for hosts. Many of these items are toxin-free, which means that they’re safe for both humans and nature.