This is Day 170 of the Green in 365 series!
My little guy is turning 4 today! And my baby girl turned 1 a few weeks ago! So to celebrate, I thought I would share some ideas for throwing a Green Birthday Party!
To be honest, I’m not one of those moms that’s into Pinterest worthy, themed birthday parties. I don’t have anything against them, they look beautiful and fun, but I’m just not good at stuff like that. We keep our parties simple, and usually just with family. My daughter’s 5th birthday last year was the first time she had a friend party. And we’ve decided on a policy of a friend party every other year, again just to keep things simple. That’s just what works best for our family.
When your throwing a birthday party though, whether a small one with family, or a large one with lots of friends, there are lots of ways that you can reduce your waste, save resources and be kind to the planet, and your bodies – in the case of cake and ice cream! Here are a few ideas:
Throwing a Greener Birthday Party
Send out online or email invitations to save paper, and allow parents to more easily RSVP.
Games and Favors
Play simple, classic games that don’t involve too many props or create waste. An outside obstacle course or scavenger hunt would be super fun for a summer birthday party! Good thing there’s lots of inspiration on Pinterest!
Instead of sending home cheap plastic favors or goodie bags, do a craft that party guests can take home with them and actually get some use out of. At my daughter’s friend’s party a few years ago we made cute and easy pinecone bird feeders.
At my daughter’s party this past year, she and her friends spent some time just coloring and drawing pictures. They also made beaded necklaces and bracelets to wear home. They loved it!
I really love the idea of having a reusable banner bunting that you can use for decorating every year. It may cost a little more than disposable decorations at first, but it will save money in the long run!
One thing I love to do is hang streamers and balloons from our hall doorway for when our kids wake up and come out of their room on their birthday morning, but I haven’t come up with a good non-disposable option for that. Anyone have any ideas for me?
When our kids have parties they can invite their friends to, we have a no-gift policy. We like to keep gift-giving simple in our family, and don’t want our kids to come to expect a bunch of presents from friends for their birthday. I’ve also been to enough kid birthday parties to see the waste and excess that comes along with guests bringing gifts!
Our kids get birthday presents from our family, their grandparents, and aunts and uncles, and they recieve more than enough. Honestly, I can’t imagine bringing all the extra toys into our home from a birthday party with gifts! Craziness!
Also, when we wrap presents for our kids we try to use either recycled paper, like newspaper or art projects that the kids have done, or we also like to use reusable gift bags. Actually, I need to invest in a set of birthday reusable gift bags because usually I pull out the ones that are the least Christmas-y and use those!
Dishes and Tableware
Like always, it’s best to use real plates, cups, and silverware instead of throwing away disposables after just one use. Make sure your dishwasher is empty and ready to be filled up after the party, and clean up will still be pretty easy! Try to also use real table linens like a tablecloth and cloth napkins, if you can. Cloth napkins will work better to wipe those sticky, frosting covered hands and faces anyway.
Speaking of cake, be sure to come back on Monday to find lots of ideas for healthier birthday cake and dessert options. Mmmm, I want some cake right now! Good thing my son’s party is tonight!
How do you throw a greener and less wasteful birthday party?
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