Want to save the planet but make sure that your kiddies are having a great time too? Read on for tips on how to throw an eco-friendly bash.
As parents, it’s our mission to teach our kids to live each day like it’s Earth Day. And that means showing them how to be grateful for all the beautiful gifts Mother Earth has given us, appreciating them and not being wasteful. We should do everything in our power to make sure that we leave our planet a better place than it was when we got here. So where do we start? Through leading by example and making small changes – like the way we celebrate birthday parties, for instance – in our daily lives.
If you’re throwing a birthday party for your kids but want to make sure you aren’t being wasteful or damaging the environment, here’s our guide to throwing a sustainable, eco-friendly birthday party:
Skip the paper invites and use online invitations instead
Remember when we were kids and handing out paper invites was all the rage? Instead of wasting all that paper, why not go the online invitation route? Both Evite and Punchbowl have a wide selection of online invitations, including Disney-themed cards and hand-illustrated designs. Apps like Bazaart and WordSwag are also great options and easy to use too.
Bye-bye balloons (and while you’re at it, ditch the glitter and straws too, please!)
You know the saying “What comes up, must come down”? Well, it works that way for balloons. Which is horrible, especially since they’re made out of plastic. And since plastic never biodegrades, you’ll always find them in places where they aren’t meant to be, including beaches or even coral reefs. With this in mind, doesn’t it seem pretty silly to cause such big trouble for something your child will only enjoy for a few hours? Instead of using balloons to decorate, why not opt for felt party decors or forego decorating altogether and rent a bouncy castle? If you’d still like to keep your decorations, why not reuse old party decors or keep the ones you have now to use them for another party? Trust us, your child will be so busy eating their birthday cake and playing with their friends that they’ll have forgotten about the balloons. Your child won’t know the difference.
Keep guest lists to a minimum
Be strict about your guest list and about RSVPs. Sure, it can be a pain (and maybe annoying) but in the end, double checking your RSVPs will prevent lots of food waste and other kinds of waste in general. Also, don’t feel obliged to invite everyone in your condo or your child’s class, especially if your bub is still a toddler. Remember, a birthday party doesn’t have to be grand for kids to have fun. You’ll be surprised at how much fun a handful of kids could have on their own – with and without birthday cake!
Ask guests to bring their own utensils and plates
Another great thing about having a small guest list is that you can dictate a lot of what goes on at the parties. Asking your guests to bring their own utensils and plates means minimising the chances of using disposable (and probably not very biodegradable) utensils and plates. It also prevents the hassle of having to buy disposables, meaning you’ll save money – and therefore have more at your disposable for the fun stuff like a bouncy castle or a projector!
Skip the goodie bag
How many times has your child come home with a goodie bag filled with plastic toys that they’ll probably only play with once and (eeek) candy wrapped in – you guessed it – even more plastic? It’s a LOT of waste, especially when you multiply it by 15 or how many kids you have attending the party. Instead of giving goodie bags, why not opt for more creative tokens like a book, a small potted plant, personalised sugar cookies or even some chocolate chip cookies? You could even have an arts and crafts session or blow some bubbles instead!
Ask your child to make a gift wishlist
We know that kids are a fickle bunch. And that usually means that their toy boxes are 20% toys they actually play with and the rest is just… trash. Instead of having to Marie Kondo your kids’ playroom every six months, why not ask them to make a wishlist for their birthday so that guests know EXACTLY what to get them. An even better option? Choose organisations near and dear to your child’s heart and ask your generous guests to donate money on your child’s behalf instead. It’s a win-win for Mother Earth, your conscience, and bub!
See, being eco-friendly and fun IS possible! With a little bit of creativity, you too can help save the planet and keep your littles happy at the same time.