From endless paper plates, plastic cups, napkins and at least 20 rolls of streamers, children’s birthday parties can be Mother Nature’s worst nightmare. Although traditional celebrations might be anything but green, you might be surprised at how easy it is to substitute these classic items with more environmentally-friendly accommodations. Eco-friendly parties aren’t just better for the earth, they’re easier on your wallet as well. This means more money for presents and fun, so everybody wins! To celebrate responsibly this year, check out the following tips for a green children’s birthday party.
Go Digital to Save Trees
We live in an age where children who haven’t yet learned how to ride a bike can operate a computer better than we can, so it only makes sense to go digital when planning your child’s birthday party. Instead of using a whole tree to make and send out paper invitations, use Photoshop and other fun editing software to create cool and interactive invitations you can email in seconds flat. If you and your child aren’t exactly Photoshop-savvy, try websites like Evite, GroupCard and Paperless Post for simple templates and user-friendly systems for creating invitations faster than the time it takes to RSVP!
Use the News
Even though physical newspapers might be a bit obsolete by now, there’s a good chance most households still have a few old issues lying around. When wrapping your child’s birthday presents, use newspaper comics or another fun, reusable material that can easily be recycled when the party is over. Request that friends do the same for the party, and encourage re-gifting or donating some gifts to a shelter to help save the world and do a little good for the people living in it.
Ditch Paper Dishware for Reusable Alternatives
As mentioned earlier, napkins, plates, cups and tablecloths can be the biggest sources of waste at children’s birthday parties, so do your part to prevent waste by opting for reusable alternatives. Scour garage sales for inexpensive, reusable tea sets for a kid-friendly solution to this problem, or look for other character-inspired, kid-friendly dishware to fit the theme of the party. For a festive, reusable tablecloth, decorate an old sheet to mirror the theme of the party. Fabric pens, paint and other decorative items can also allow you to customize cloth napkins for a unique and reusable table item that can double as a party favor.
Make Party Favors Planet-Friendly
Speaking of party favors, you can exchange the party poppers and noisemakers for items that won’t get thrown out by irritated parents a few days later. Hair accessories are a cute, budget-friendly option for girls on the guest list, since you can count on these favors being kept and reused year after year. Small racecar toys and other little trinkets can also be a great green gifts for any boys in attendance.
These environmentally friendly rules can be applied beyond birthday parties, so you can save money and help preserve the earth’s resources all year long. Keep recycling bins at home to keep up with this helpful practice, and try to limit your consumption of paper, plastics, glass and other disposable items wherever possible. Doing so ensures the earth has several more happy birthdays herself.
Brooke Samsonite (@brookesamsonite) is a twenty-something residing in Indianapolis who is inspired by Lifestyle & Entertainment, Home Décor /Home Improvement, Travel, and writing. Brooke loves to blog (over @ Belts & Bangles and Cooks & Travel Books) about her extensive experiences and offer valuable resources to inspire others.