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Eco-friendly birthday parties

All Areas > Environment > Save the Planet

Author: Lois Kingscott, Posted: Saturday, 23rd February 2019, 09:00

Whether you’re a parent of young children, or just a big kid yourself, birthday parties can be a fun way to mark special celebrations. They can, however, be quite wasteful occasions, so how can you organise a birthday party while being kind to the planet?

Instead of buying tons of balloons and plastic decorations, why not purchase some paper alternatives – or make them yourself. These come in all shapes, sizes and colours, often fitting into any theme you may have decided upon.

When the party is over, you can either recycle the decorations, or store them away for another event.

Party bags
If you’d like to give your guests a little something to take home with them, change up the usual plastic party bags for paper versions. Like your decorations, paper bags come in all sorts of designs – they don’t just have to be plain and boring.

When it comes to goodies to put inside, why not include a packet of wildflower or herb seeds? This will give something for your guests to grow at home that they can either enjoy with their food, or admire when they look out into their garden. Bees and insects will be especially grateful for new wildflower patches.

Cutlery and plates
While paper or plastic cutlery and plates can be convenient, the waste they produce is really bad for the environment. There are billions of pieces of plastic in landfill and the oceans, so why add to that?

I would suggest you have two options:
1. If you’re not too concerned about the odd dropped plate, use your existing kitchenware.
2. Buy a new set of plates and cutlery that can be re-used for future parties. It’s alright to get a plastic set if you’re going to use it a lot of times.

Party food
Try to make as much of your party food from scratch to avoid excess packaging – think home-made sandwiches, cakes and dips. If you’re not confident enough to make the birthday cake yourself, enlist the help of a local bakery rather than running straight to a supermarket. They’ll be grateful for the business, and it’ll probably taste better!

If your guests will be bringing gifts for the birthday boy or girl, encourage them to wrap with brown paper or newspaper, as opposed to glossy wrapping paper that often can’t be recycled. This will further help to reduce the amount of waste your party produces.

If you’d rather not risk ending up with several unwanted gifts, you could ask your guests to make a small donation to a charity close to your heart.

Get out in nature
Whether you want an activity-based party or just to enjoy nature for an afternoon, if the weather is good then get outside! Children are spending far less time outdoors than they used to, so this could be a great opportunity to get them out in some fresh air. Just remember to clear up any mess you make and take home rubbish to dispose of appropriately.

Have fun!
Eco-friendly parties don’t have to be boring – you can still have just as much fun, but be mindful of the impact you have on the planet. If you start organising these parties with young children, it could help to encourage them to grow up to be environmentally-conscious and less wasteful.

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