Planning your child’s birthday party can be stressful. There are so many things to think about. Trying to be more environmentally conscious in your decisions while planning can seem like a bridge too far. But we’ve collected together some great and easy ideas that you can incorporate into your planning. With these, you can throw a party that the birthday boy or birthday girl will love, without destroying the planet to do it!
#1 Make Your Own Birthday Cake
Even if you’re not the greatest baker in the world, it’s pretty easy to whip up a birthday cake or a batch of birthday cupcakes. There’s a lot less waste and packaging involved.
If you’re worried about your decorating skills being up to par, there’s a fun and easy solution. Go for personal cupcakes, provide some icing, and sprinkles and let the kids go nuts at the dessert table. They’ll remember the fun longer than they do what theme cake you bought them.
#2 Keep Snacks Simple
It’s essential to have food at a kid’s party, but if you go down the route of buying bags and bags of snacks, you’ll be sending mixed messages. After all, the packaging isn’t great for the environment, and most of those snacks are processed beyond belief.
A good alternative is to provide simple things that most kids like. Fruit is a great option. You can jazz it up by putting it on small skewers, all you need are a few different colored pieces, and suddenly you’ve got a healthy rainbow snack.
If you bake bread, that’s a great one to have out, along with some ham and cheese, and the party guests will feed themselves.
Veggie sticks and hummus or other dips are good options to consider as well.
#3 Keep Everything Simple!
Throwing a birthday party can quickly run away from you. In a desire to make it a great party, you can end up planning a hundred different things. The critical thing to remember is that the party’s point is to let the kids have fun together. For most kids, if you just leave them to it, they’ll entertain themselves.
Venue choice can really help here. For instance, if you hold the party at a park, the kids will have all the fun they need without you having to lift a finger. They won’t care what party supplies you bought when they can be playing on the climbing frame instead. If you’re worrying about hygiene, just bring a simple outdoor wash station (make sure to get a portable one!)
#4 Paperless Birthday Invitations,
Oddly, kids’ birthday party invitations are still mostly done on paper in our primarily digital world. I know they look pretty and can match your theme, but let’s be honest, they’re just going to end up in the bin. Why not send an electronic invitation to all the parents, either by text or email. You can send a simple invite, and just send detail to those who are coming.
#5 Replace The Balloons
I know that balloons are a real staple of birthday parties, but environmentally they are pretty terrible. They are single-use plastic items that go in the bin after hardly any use at all. Some balloons are marketed as being biodegradable, but even these aren’t that good.
There are loads of great alternatives that can be even better. If you’re outside, then garden spinners are fabulous moving party decorations. Bunting can brighten up your party room wonderfully. What’s even better is that you can keep them and reuse them over and over.
Rather than giving kids balloons which they will end up popping or losing, why not try ribbon dancers. These fun pieces of fabric on sticks get kids moving and creating and are far more interactive.
#6 Supply Reusable Wet Wipes
Party food can get messy, especially if there’s icing involved. So giving everyone a napkin can seem like a good idea. Unfortunately, they aren’t recyclable. So why not provide some reusable wet wipes. All you need is two small waterproof boxes and some scraps of cloth. Fill one container with water and the cloths. The other is to collect the dirty wipes. We use these at home instead of wet wipes, and they are straightforward to get started with.
#7 Have A Trash Bag and a Recycling Bin
Most people will recycle if you make it easy for them. So just remember to include a recycling box with your party supplies. It’s always a good idea to set up a trash station to make tidy up at the end of the party much quicker. As long as the recycling box is prominently on show by the trash bag, you’ll save yourself the effort of sorting through the trash later, if you could even bring yourself to do so.
Theme and Activity Ideas
When you’re trying to throw a green birthday party, it can be easy to fall into the trap of letting that be the whole party theme. But there are loads of great themes and activities that can mesh really well with an environmentally friendly party. Here are a few fun birthday party ideas you might want to try
#8 A Mermaid Theme
If the birthday child is a fan of mermaids, then it’s an excellent opportunity to plan some activities to highlight pollution in the water. You could make a game where the kids have to try and fish as much trash out of a bowl of water in a given time limit. You can make it as silly as you want. For instance, you could provide them chopsticks to pick up whatever waste you had lying around at home.
#9 Garden Party
Having a garden party is a great option. With the garden as your backdrop, you can turn it into almost anything you can imagine. It could be a princess party with flower tiara crafting. Or you could have a dinosaur party and let the kids uncover ‘bones’ from a sandpit.
#10 Go To A Children’s Museum
Anyone looking for a great party idea that hasn’t been overdone should consider a trip to a children’s museum. They’re an excellent place for kids to run a little wild, and they also offer the opportunity to spend a bit of time learning about the natural world.
#11 Ask For Green Gifts
There are a few different options when it comes to presents. But, if you have strong feelings that you want to avoid certain types of toys, then the best option is to ask for things you’d be happy to receive. Just make sure to ask politely, phrase it as a request, not a demand, and offer a range of options so that there is something to suit anyone no matter their financial situation.
#12 Ask For No Wrapping Paper
One of the biggest potential pitfalls to planning an eco-friendly birthday party is wrapping paper. Parents will automatically gift wrap presents, but it’s a nightmare as most wrapping paper can’t be recycled. So, don’t be afraid to ask for gift wrap-free presents. I’m sure most parents will be delighted to hear they have one less thing to do.
#13 Rethink The Goodie Bag
A party bag might be a staple of kids’ parties, but it’s the one that most parents would happily see the back of. After all, most gift bags just contain cheap toys that will break or get lost in moments.
If you want to give party favors, why not set up an activity where the party guests can make their own favor. You can set up a craft table with a suggested activity that matches your theme. The kids will have something that means more to them at the end. If you’re stuck on ideas, you can use paper, some tape, and crayons and make party hats.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you throw an eco-friendly birthday party?
Throwing an eco-friendly birthday party is mostly about mindset. If you can make the shift from disposable to reusable as your standard choice, then you’ll be well-positioned to make green choices.
What is a green birthday party?
A green birthday party means different things to different people. An excellent way to think about it is that it’s an event where you aim to make as little waste as possible.
What do you do for an outdoor birthday party?
There are loads of great activities you can plan for outdoor birthday parties. Some favorites include scavenger hunts, water fights, and silly Olympics.