Children’s parties are often associated with waste, and for good reason. Between paper plates and cups, plastic flatware, party hats, and favors, a child’s party can turn into a very wasteful event. If you’d like to host an eco-friendly kids’ party, here are some ideas.
1. Hand-make invitations (with your child’s input) on recycled paper. Or send electronic invitations.
2. Bake a healthier birthday cake using whole wheat pastry flour and honey or other natural sweeteners. Instead of a cake, you could bake healthy cookies or muffins disguised as cupcakes. Arrange them in an interesting, dramatic display (cupcakes can be stacked in tiers, cookies can be put on skewers to mimic flowers, etc.).
3. Serve iced herbal tea and water instead of artificially colored, sugary drinks. Brew up some fruit-flavored herbal tea, such as raspberry, and sweeten it with stevia or natural sugar. Iced spearmint or peppermint teas are also favorites with children, as is homemade lemonade and punch.
4. Ask for recycled or used gifts. Request that your guests shop at local antique, Goodwill or second-hand stores for your child’s birthday present, or even in their own attic or basement.
5. Request that gifts be wrapped in reusable totes, cloth, or newspaper.
6. Use reusable tableware and tablecloths, or go with those made from recycled materials. You can also rent party supplies that are reusable.
7. Favors do not have to be plastic trinkets in plastic bags. Use brown lunch bags, for example, decorated with stickers, markers, stamps, etc. Fill the goody bags with eco-friendly (or homemade) candy or cookies, art supplies, homemade play-dough, wooden toys, etc.
8. Party guests can plant a tree in the birthday child’s honor.
9. If it’s evening, have a campfire and stargazing. Daytime parties can involve a local park or playground followed by a nature walk. Camping out in tents overnight is another fun (and green) party idea for older kids. If weather does not permit, “camping” in tents in the basement or living room can be just as fun, and stargazing through windows works fine.
Your child’s birthday party does not have to be expensive or wasteful.