Your child’s birthday is approaching and you want to make it an occasion to remember for your child. The cake, entertainment, party games, food and invitations don’t come cheap. You can plan an eco friendly birthday party for your child and involve him/her in all the planning and preparation to teach the importance of environment protection. A green party will reduce environment and budgetary costs, and also impress the importance of the environment on your child and her friends. Check out how you can have a wonderful eco friendly party for your kid:
Send eco friendly invitations
Instead of using paper, send invites via mail. There are many invitation services online which have beautiful designs. If you want to use paper, use recycled paper or tree-free paper, which is paper but made out of sustainable materials. You and your child can color the invitations, after you print them out. Your child and her friends would love another thing – seeded invites, where you could embed perennial and wild flower seeds.
Contribute to charity
You and your child could look for a cause you’d like to support and buy everything from that charity, like UNESCO and CRY cards, gifts and thank you notes. All the money can help your favourite charity and you might get a tax deduction too.
Request gently used toys as gifts
You could ask parents to gift toy, accessories and books that have been gently used, rather than buying new ones. You could also have a registry listing eco-friendly gifts your child would like, including gifts which are homemade. Your child has enough toys already and definitely your house is getting too cluttered without adding more. You might convince your child to go the other way, instead of receiving gifts, why not go and donate to an orphanage nearby.
You can request parents to wrap presents in newspaper rather than using wrapping paper. Wrapping paper is usually torn and tossed aside, so newspapers might as well meet the same fate! Besides you’d be saving precious paper.
It is better to buy food from the farmer’s market, rather than big retailers, as your carbon footprint will be low because fewer resources would be wasted on transportation. You could bake the cake yourself rather than buying from the grocery store. You can use ingredients of your choice and bake colourful cakes with organic food colors, and cakes of different shapes using molds, so your child would love it too.
Tableware and dishes
One of the biggest causes of waste at birthday parties is the disposable napkins, plates, cups, tablecloths and cutlery. Instead of disposable items, buy reusable tableware and dishes, which can be used in future parties. This will reduce wastage not only in this birthday party but those in future too, save landfill space and protect the environment.
Eco friendly games
Have the kids play eco friendly games, like ‘hide and seek’, or ‘catch’. They can play ‘dance-stop’ – stop dancing when the music stops. Musical chairs hopscotch and charades need very little supplies and space, making them great choices for your eco friendly party.
Instead of serving juices that come packed in tetra packs, creating a lot of waste, fill a pitcher with lemonade and serve in sturdy glasses. Ask the children to ‘charge’ themselves with this healthy ‘fuel’ and they won’t notice the absence of juice boxes.
Eco friendly decor
Instead of synthetic balloons, opt for paper Japanese lanterns, which is much better for the environment. Using cloth tablecloths is far better than plastic tablecloths.
Place a labelled recycling bin where the kids can dispose of their trash. You could explain about recycling and limiting trash.
Green the goodie bags
Goodie bags filled with candy and toys have become the norm. But you don’t have to give in to this trend, and fill the bags with green things instead, such as art supplies, books or homemade granola bars. You could also gift a colourful pot with seeds that the child can take care of at home.
It might be tough for you to make all the choices eco friendly, but remember that every little contribution counts, and the environment is benefited. You would also be inculcating eco friendly habits in your child and his/her friends.