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Monday, April 7, 2008

Happy Birthday=Happy Environment

Birthday parties come and go in a whirlwind of shrieking kids, inflated balloons, sugar highs, and greasy pizza. Left in their wakes are piles of plastic cups, forks, and plates topped with barely eaten birthday cake. A dozen new toys means mounds of packaging and wrapping paper will end up in the trash, along with the old toys now being tossed to make room for the new. Why is it that kids birthday parties too often turn into a frenzy of waste? Having a green party can be as easy as pie. Just incorporate all the eco-friendly changes you have made in your home while planning your party.

Here's some tips to keep it green:

-Send out evites instead of regular paper invitations.
-Use real silverware, or reuse plastic ones.
-Use real or biodegradeable plates and cups.
-Use cloth napkins.
-Instead of giving cheap plastic party favors, be more creative and give something that you made, like these homemade crayons, or that will be useful, like pencils.
-Host a party outside and enjoy the day without depending on store–bought games. Go to the beach, the park, the pool or play games like tag and wiffle ball.
-Prevent all the waste involved in receiving gifts. Here's a guide to turning the usually wasteful and over done gift giving aspect of a birthday party into an opportunity to help out one's community.

Here's a video with some more earth–friendly party tips:

How To Host A Green Event


Deirdre Gill said...

I just stumbled across this great post about eco-birthday parties...well worth the read.

modmom said...

great post! i'm researching for an eco friendly birthday party post.
now i'm wondering what the ingredients of old crayons are, so they won't make dangerous fumes when they're heated

Deirdre Gill said...

I would check out They might have more info on what kinds of crayons to use.

ProgressiveKid said...

Hi, Deirdre. Great post. Thanks for all those ideas. I have been feeling frustrated with the waste of regular birthday parties for a long time and am glad to see someone taking on this important topic. At my business, ProgressiveKid, we offer some other Eco-Party ideas as well as an eco party favor bag that gives kids something worthwhile to take home, including ideas about how to help the planet. I hope people take your suggestions to heart. I'd like to add that the values that are communicated by the party are just as important; we need to think about what a makeover party teaches young kids, for example, versus an outside party.

Thanks again!



Anonymous said...

Thank you Deirdre. Birthday parties can produce so much trash! Thank you for the ideas and resources. Kids Konserve offers a party pak that comes with reusable plates, cups, and utensils. They also sell cotton napkins and reusable party favor bags; green drawstring bag, butterfly or caterpillar pattern bag.

Envelope Printing said...

Wonderful tips on how to celebrate kids' parties in a green manner. Just using regular dishes, or using recyclable ones are already a big help. You can hold tree planting sessions, or decorate gardens for an activity.

Proud Momma said...

Im planning a green birthday for my toddler's 2nd birthday. I made drawstring loot bags from colourful scraps of fabric and will put inside some homemade playdough, a cookie cutter, and a homemade chunky crayon and mini notebook. Im also going to ask parents to give gently used toys, books or outfits instead of brand new gifts. Thanks for your ideas!

Lynn said...

Great suggestions Dierdre. We write about greening up all celebrations, but are always happy to see others doing the same thing because this is so important. People don't realize how much we celebrate and if everyone were to start doing some of these things for EVERY birthday, we would be making a huge difference. Thanks for what you're doing.

Also want to point out that when it comes to older kids, it's important to include them in the planning. They will come up with amazing ideas that probably will go farther than you had anticipated. They tend to embrace the idea of eco-friendly, very quickly, when they are included.