GREEN Birthday Parties: Fun and Better for the Environment, Too!

Throw Your Child a Low-Waste PartyTwo Boys and Birthday Cupcakes

Kids’ birthday parties are fun, but you’re left with garbage bags full of crumpled wrapping paper and limp balloons. Combat consumerism by planning a low-waste party.

  • Start by sending recycled paper invitations or evites.
  • Location, location, location. During warm weather, a party held outdoors provides its own decorations in the form of trees, flowers, clouds and perhaps a swing set. Think of using your backyard, a local park or your nearest nature center. This will also eliminate the use of electricity for lights or air conditioning. Bring containers with you to collect recyclable items. Then take them home to place in your recycle bins.
  • Skip paper plates and napkins and look for some garage sale dishes. Or have a tea party and use real teacups!
  • Since it’s not a party without presents, suggest that your child’s friends bring small, inexpensive, or even gently used gifts (wrapped in fabric or a reusable bag). Or if you’re hosting a family party, ask relatives to give “activity gifts.” A hike with a favorite uncle, lunch with grandmother or a playdate with a young cousin will create lasting memories.
  • Look for local food from the farmers’ market. Make a birthday cake at home so that you can use fresh ingredients and eliminate the plastic serving tray that comes with a grocery store cake.
  • Ditch the goodie bags. Give your party guests an experience during the party, like a hike or a tour of the local fire station. Much better than a bag of candy and plastic!




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