It’s summer and that means time for an overwhelming amount of birthday parties where the waste of paper goods, food, and energy would astound even the biggest global warming denier. From the Café Mom Channel, eco-guru Kristen Eykel offers some great advice for throwing a kids green birthday party. Check out Kristen every Thursday on MomEd: Green Living.
How to Throw a Green Birthday Bash
1. Eco-Friendly Invitations – kick off the party to a green start by repurposing parts of used greeting cards for invitations. Or print invitations on seed paper – that way, once the recipient is done with the invitation they can plant it and give it a second life. GGA Tip: Use an online site that makes gorgeous custom e-vites, like Paperless Post, and eschew paper invites all together.
2. Dazzling Decorations – make banners and garland from second-hand materials, like used magazines, old cardstock, or even your child’s abundant art masterpieces. Felt is also a green material (it’s made from recycled bottles – who knew?) so you could cut felt circles and string them together for a beautiful and eco-friendly garland.
3. Reusable Crown for your Birthday King or Queen – felt is perfect for making a birthday crown (complete with their first initial) that your child can don for multiple years.
4. Tablecloth that Doubles as Entertainment – use butcher block paper as your tablecloth, and put out a bunch of crayons for a practical set up that keeps kids entertained at the table. Another easy way to green your table is using your cloth napkins and real silverware and flatware rather than paper and plastic.
5. Pretty Party Favors – give out party favors that kids will be able to enjoy for a long time. Terracotta pots plus seeds give children an activity to do after they go home. Cover the pot with muslin cloth to keep it together and make it pretty. You can also have the kids decorate their pots for another activity.
6. Green Giftwrap – whether your child is attending a party or you’re throwing a party for your child’s birthday, giftwrap is an area that you can save a lot of paper. Have kids pick out pictures from old magazines and newspapers, paste them together for a unique and personalized wrapping job. You could also have your child draw or paint on the blank side of printed paper. For extra decoration re-use old ribbon or add sprigs of plants or flowers to beautify gift wrap.
7. Create a Donation Tradition – make a tradition of having your child give their old belongings to Good Will. It clears space for new birthday gifts, and makes your child feel the importance of doing something special for others while enjoying their special day.
GGA Food Tip: Serve organic and veg food and set a good example to other parents by making the food delicious and healthy at the same time. Avoid left overs by bringing tupperware to the party location and giving out extras to guests or bringing home and freezing. GGA Founder Chloé recently had a party for her 2 year old where she served cakes from Vegan Divas (made with maple syrup – rather than sugar – and a slew of other perfect ingredients!) the guests went crazy over them and “couldn’t believe” they were healthy. Since then she’s gotten a number of emails from people saying they have been trying more vegan treats and broadening their diet to include more healthful foods since the party. Swap unhealthy fare for comfortable alternatives; instead of cheese dip, try hummus or faux gras. Rather than pepperoni pizza, use a whole wheat crust and Daiya cheese laden with grilled veggies. Opt for gardein chicken nuggets over traditional animal food nuggets, etc.
GGA Gift Tip: Have an amazon wishlist of what your little one (or you) actually need and direct your guests to the wishlist in your invite to avoid the extra shipping and transport returning all those unwanted and doubled up toys. This makes life so much easier for your guests, and happier for Pee-Wee who will get just what he actually wants and needs.
Tags: advice for throwing a Green Birthday party, donations for kids gifts, eco party, faux gras, green giftwrap, healthy dips, how to throw a green kids birthday party, hummus, MomEd: Green Living, sustainable event planning, Vegan Divas