Planning a birthday bash?
When you light those candles take a little heat off the planet too.
When it comes to children’s parties, it seems that the clean-up often means dealing with a heap of packaging, paper plates, plastic and food waste. Want to make birthdays (or any special occasion) easier on the environment? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Don’t use paper plates, paper napkins or plastic drinking cups. Throwaway may seem cheaper and less hassle, but it’s not really, because you’re just throwing your money in the trash afterwards. Find fun and festive reusable drinking glasses, ceramic plates and pick up some inexpensive cotton bandanas that can double as party hats as well as party favours.
- Instead of loot bags filled with candy and plastic trinkets, have the kids make a craft or treat (cupcakes!) they can take home. Or pick up a set of bamboo cutlery for each child as a gift — they are reusable and made from a renewable resource.
- Plan an outing to a park, museum or art gallery. Try to choose an outing that you can walk to. It can be part of the party planning and help make the day memorable at a reasonable cost. How about a Pirate Party with a treasure hunt around the neighbourhood?
- Ask parents to bring an unwrapped gift and provide them with reusable gift bags or cloth wrap at the door. You can request gifts with no batteries or excess packaging. Wrapping presents in single-use foil or coloured paper isn’t environmentally friendly. Instead of plastic and over-packaged toys, suggest donations to a favourite local charity.
- Do a little event planning ahead of time and include your party girl or boy – have them come up with some creative ways to celebrate their special day while reducing your family’s footprint.