My daughter just turned six years old. This birthday was an especially big deal because I threw my first children’s birthday party. We pulled out all the stops and hosted a bunch of little girls dressed in fairy wings. It was actually very sweet, and I enjoyed the chance to decorate, get festive and celebrate my not-so-little girl.
Like a lot of moms, in my daily life I try to make greener choices. I carry reusable bags to the store, recycle, compost and all that stuff. So when it came time to plan my daughter’s party, I wanted to keep it as green as possible. Here are some of my tips for greening your own child’s birthday party.
1. Think reusable.
Reducing waste is the name of the game, here. Instead of disposable tablecloths, use the real thing, or re-purpose an old sheet. Instead of plastic cutlery, use your own. And instead of balloons and streamers, invest in some decorations that can be used again. I chose a beautiful cloth name banner that we can hang every birthday.
2. Opt for biodegradable.
Plastic and parties often go hand-in-hand, but plastic is hard on the earth. The less your party produces, the better. If you do choose disposable decorations, dishes or cutlery, try to opt for biodegradable products, with little or no packaging. I used paper sacks as goody bags, which I decorated myself, and they worked great.
3. Make it yourself.
Whether we’re talking about food, loot for the goody bag, or decorations, getting your craft on can be a green way to go. There’s less packaging, and you have more control over how it was produced than if you hit the dollar store. And remember, this stuff is for kids, so it doesn’t have to be perfect.
4. Less is more.
The less stuff that you buy, the fewer resources that you’re using, and the smaller your environmental footprint. So go minimalist on the decorations and don’t overdo it on the goody bags. You’ll save a few bucks, and the planet will thank you.
5. Consider hosting the party at home.
I know, I know, a bunch of sugared-up kids rampaging across your living room may not sound like a lot of fun. But taking the party elsewhere almost always results in more waste. I know that when I’m out of the house I’m more likely to use disposable dishes and pre-packaged convenience food. So stick close to your own dishwasher, or find a way to carry reusable dishes with you.
Have you done anything to make your parties greener? Share your tips!
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