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.
Best eco-friendly birthday party ideas
1. 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. You can even do something creative yourself in Canva and share it via Whatsapp – winning!
2. 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!
3. Go green with an outdoor party venue
The best venue for a birthday party is the great outdoors. Singapore has many gorgeous parks where you can easily park a fun birthday picnic. And don’t we all love picnics? There are tons of advantages to an outdoor venue – you can save up on electricity, mother nature becomes your decor, kids can go wild (with little to damage), and there’s nothing healthier than to soak up some sun and breathe in the fresh air. Psst, you get great photos too! Before you plan your outdoor party, keep a tab on the weather and choose a garden spot close to a gazebo or a shelter in case the heavens decide to shower you with blessings.
4. Bye-bye balloons (and while you’re at it, ditch the glitter and straws, too, please!)
You know the saying “What goes 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 decor 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.
5. Chuck the lavish buffet; choose bento boxes instead
Although it’s always easier to set up a buffet and let your guests help themselves to whatever they want, the post-party food wastage becomes a headache to deal with. Save yourself the hassle! Once you have a fixed guest list, order a fixed number of kids’ bento boxes for the party or make them yourself. Setting up bento boxes will enable you to fill them with healthier and lighter snacks. Plus, if there are leftovers, each kiddo can close up their bento box and take it home with them to eat it at a later time. This exercise will teach kids an important lesson about food wastage and not wasting what’s on their plate.
6. Replace disposable plates and cutlery with steel ones
A great way to minimise the build-up of plastic and paper waste is to make a one-time purchase of many steel/enamel plates, bowls and cutlery. These are super handy and will tide over future parties as well. Best part? You won’t have to make a bee-line to the party store for new sets of disposables each year. We say it is a great way to get the kids to tidy up after their birthday party by helping with the overhaul of dishes. Although it’s a little more effort to go green, we say it’s well worth the trouble.
7. Sustainable 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 (eek) 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 stuffing the goodie bags with cheap plastic toys, why not opt for more creative tokens like a book, a small potted plant, personalised cookies or even some chocolate chip cookies? To go a step further, pack all the goodies in a reusable cloth bag.
8. Overhaul the pressies
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… well, left in the toy box. Instead of having to Marie Kondo your kids’ playroom every six months. 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 can help save the planet and keep your littles happy at the same time.