10 Tips to Throw an Eco-Friendly Kids Party
It is no secret that kids parties (birthday or not) are full of friends, laughter, excitement, sugary treats, amazing gifts and fun activities, but they are also where balloons, disposable plates, cups, straws, wrapping paper, tablecloths and party favors, will be trashed quickly, and end-up into our landfills. A standard kid's birthday party usually generates a lot of rubbish in just a few hours, as well as making a big dent in every parent's wallet. By making more eco-friendly choices when planning your child's birthday or sleepover party, you can keep the earth a little cleaner and save the planet one party at a time. Your wallet will also thank you, as you will reuse and recycle of lot of items. Here are 10 tips to keep your carbon footprint low and still throw an amazing bash for your little one:
Invite less people
Nowadays, there is a lot of pressure (don't ask me why...) on parents, to invite pretty much everyone from their child's school or sports team, as well as as to return any invitations that their kid got in the past year. With fewer guests chosen by your child, the party will certainly be more intimate, therefore more fun, as everyone can play "together," and it will be a lot less overwhelming for everybody. Less people will also generate less trash, so it is certainly a win-win situation. Ask your kid to give you a list of x number of friends and/or family members that he or she wants to invite
Send electronic invites
This way you can save some trees, you are be able to track your RSVPs, and to send friendly reminders before the party.
This is actually one of the biggest sources of waste at any party. As much as disposables are convenient, they also get tossed after only one use, and unfortunately they are not always recyclable. Lots of items are made of plastic and I don't need to lecture you about what a high level of plastic consumption, does to our planet... With less guests to serve, using inexpensive dishes (garage sales and thrift stores are good places to buy) is a great way to reduce garbage. Serving finger foods is also a sure way to reduce waste. If you really can't avoid disposables, try to use compostable ones, such as paper plates, paper cups and paper straws.
Keep food simple
Bake the cake at home! Make brownies and lollipops yourself! Your kid can help you, and he or she will certainly enjoy preparing things for his or her own party! Serve veggie and fruit platters, they are healthy choices and they don't come with the packaging (buy in bulk!). Homemade party food will make you avoid buying packaged food and will also give you a clear idea of what your child and his friends are ingesting.
Make the drinks yourself
Avoid the juice boxes and make a big batch of orange juice with real fruit (so much better tasting than the packaged ones). Make smoothies, milk shakes! Kids love them! You can also make infused waters, with water from your tap and cut up veggies or fruit.
Avoid goodie bags and party favors
When did this become the norm??? Kids don't really need more trinkets that are going to brake after a few days (hours?...) and end up in the trash, they also don't need more plastic-wrapped candy (your kid's teeth will thank you...). If you feel like you really have to have something for the guests, try to gift an earth-friendly party favor (little seeds that they can plant at home for example)
Skip the balloons and plastic garlands
Decorating for a party can reach over-the-top levels, and end up being a huge waste generator, especially if there is a theme involved. Some franchises are really good at selling their products, but unfortunately they only sell disposable items, which will end up in the garbage can within a few hours. Hire a party rental service (like Dreamcatcher Sleepovers) that will come with all the supplies (Make sure their decorations are all reusable. Ours are!), decorate for you and pack up after the party. If you really want to decorate yourself, make paper garlands with your child before the party, use recycled paper (wrapping paper from previous parties is a good choice), buy a fabric garland (or make it if you have time) that you will be able to reuse year after year, use paper streamers and poufs instead of balloons.
Nix the gifts
A party should be more about the people and the fun than the gifts. If your guests are ok with it, ask them to make a donation to a charity your child will choose before hand. If they still want to bring a gift, ask them to buy (make?) an eco-friendly one.
Keep the games simple
Outdoor activities such as ball games, tug-of-war, hide-and-seek, tag, Simon says, a nature scavenger hunt, are all eco-friendly and so much fun!!!
These are a few tips to make your chil's party a more earth-friendly one, and that are not difficult to achieve. Be gentle with yourself though, don't go overboard if it is going to stress you out or if it will take too much time. Keep it simple. Remember, less is more...