We love to create fun and excitement on our children's birthdays. The downside is all of the waste. With plastics making its way from landfills into the oceans, and plastic being a major component of birthday decor, I decided to come up with A way I can stop that from happening. I've come up with a few ideas so you too can throw an eco-friendly birthday party you and your children will love.
- Buy or make a paper,wooden or fabric birthday banner. Paper is recyclable, you may have wood or craft scraps if you are a crafter, means up cycled and recycled. Since I love handmade products and supporting small entrepreneurial companies, I looked to Etsy. This election is amazing, and the quality – especially of the wooden ones – is fabulous. You can buy one from five dollars to $50. If you don't include the age, you can use it every year for any member of your family and lend it to friends..
- Don't buy plastic party favors. Instead, give out something fun and edible. That way all the other moms don't have to find a place for the hundreds of plastic dinosaurs they get at parties every year. Children don't often appreciate those small gifts, and you eliminate plastic, and create joy with the small handmade chocolate treat. I create allergy and nut free birthday balls are packed with healthy ingredients (Black beans, honey, coconut oil cocoa powder rolled oats, coconut flakes and mini chocolate chips) lots of protein, and minimal added sugar.
- Eliminate plastic plates and cutlery. When you serve finger foods you can usually skip plates altogether. A napkin for messy fingers will suffice. If you must use plates for the cake try one of these two options. Use eco-friendly paper plates by Earths Natural Alternative. They are biodegradable and compostable. I have a subscribe and save at Amazon.com and have have seen them in local whole food markets. (whole foods, sprouts, Wagman's) Alternatively, I have a second set of plates that I use outdoors. They were an inexpensive purchase at under a dollar per plate and are all white so I have a lots of flexibility with the decor used around them; if one breaks it's not an issue and ceramic is recyclable.
- Ask people to skip the gift. I've been to so many birthday parties where a child opens a gift and is disappointed. You can see it on their face. Instead of having people run around and buy toys that the birthday child doesn't like, encourage a gift certificate as a fun treat instead. We have Legoland and Knott's Berry Farm in California. Having moms chip in for a trip for the kids is fun for all and you don't have to find space for those unwanted gifts. Depending on the age of your child, you can also ask for donations to your favorite pet charities. The child can get a picture of a "foster pet" and be truly happy that they have help save a life.
5, Hand it all down. If you do have items that you must use that are non-recyclable, don't toss them! Hand it all to another mom so it can be up cycled for another birthday party.