If you have little ones, at some point you’ll be having a birthday party or two, so why not plan an eco-friendly event? Following are some simple ways to keep your child’s birthday party green and fun.
Green your birthday party invites: If possible, send electronic birthday party invitations by email vs. paper invites via snail mail. If you go with paper, buy recycled invitations or print some out on your printer using recycled paper and refillable ink cartridges.
Green your child’s cake: Always go organic and to cut down on costs, go ahead and bake it yourself. If a cake seems too hard, try easier cupcakes in reusable silicone baking cups. If even cupcakes seem crazy hard, consider going with organic birthday cookies. Place natural or edible decor atop the cake vs. little toss-away plastic toys.
Green your candles: Instead of smoky wax, try some pretty and less toxic beeswax birthday candles atop the cake.
Green your food: If you’re serving food for the kids, go organic and as healthy as possible, while still keeping it fun. For example, my son’s birthday is coming up, and I’m letting the kids make homemade organic pizza with wheat crust. I’ll also serve cut organic veggies and fruit, plus some sort of organic juice. We do this sort of fare every year and the kids eat it up. Healthy is perfectly okay.
Green your party favors: Bags of plastic junk are lame and no good for the planet. Choose better, greener favors that will get used up and actually enjoyed, like Crayon Rocks, recycled drawing pads and recycled smencils, organic flower seeds, homemade play dough or a small LED light.
Green your fun: Active or nature fun is perfect for kids. A sun paper art kit is a great outdoor summer party activity. You can also throw a nature scavenger hunt, plan some eco-friendly art projects, have a eco-friendly cookout or let the kids sleep outside in a tent.
Green your theme: You can easily plan an outdoor active party in the spring or summer, a tree planting party anytime or take all the kids somewhere cool like a Farmers’ Market or a national park.
Green your decor: Make your own decor when possible or use a previous year’s decor items. Hang recycled paper lanterns or use recycled luminaries. Always skip the balloons as they’re no good for the planet or animals when let off into the wild. Use nature decor like flowers and leaves. Use real dishes not paper and cloth napkins.
Green your gifts: First, go simple. Kids don’t need a million gifts. A few nice, well-thought out gifts will do. If you can choose green toys and gifts. You may want to consider a gift with an active nature slant or a cool DIY gift. Secondly, wrap those gifts right in recycled birthday wrap or get creative and use newspaper or other used items (like a scarf) to wrap with.