Throwing birthday parties for kids is one of the best ways for us as parents to demonstrate our love. It is a physical and enjoyable experience that brings together those we hold dear. In recent years, however, children’s birthday celebrations have become “big business,” with parents spending enormous sums.
As expectations continue to rise, so does the potential for enormous amounts of trash as waves of party goods become accessible. Everything costs a fortune, and in most cases, it must be discarded after a single use (assuming it doesn’t break before the end of the day).
Why not keep the next children’s birthday celebration simple? It is possible to throw a zero-waste birthday celebration, and the little extra work is well worth the reduced trash and money saved.
Here are five ways in which you can throw a low-waste kids’ party while ensuring it is a successful one.
- Decoration ideas
Plan for the celebration to be plastic-free and use natural elements to decorate, such as flowers and foliage from your garden and the surrounding region. Arrange them in different size vases. Moreover, instead of a plastic tablecloth with a theme, consider a sheet of butcher paper (with pens and crayons on hand for scribbling). Or brave to go without a tablecloth and leave the table uncovered. Creating bunting is simple if you have pieces of fabric and a sewing machine.
Alternatively, if you’re not crafty, you can opt for professional party planners like All Fun Parties for comprehensive party services, including party entertainers, toy hire, and event decorating. Doing this will save you from the trouble and stress of planning a successful event.
Kid parties should have a sustainable number of guests. Invite as many friends as you age of your child. For instance, your child can have eight guests for his eighth birthday celebration. A modest party is easier to organize and provide for, and “keeping it small” means you do not need to invite the entire class.
Instead of sending out invitations (only to find half of them crushed in the bottom of your child’s backpack days before the event), phone or text the parents a few weeks in advance or send them a Facebook invite. If you need to give physical invitations but do not have the parent’s contact information, get creative and make them out of recycled cards or wrapping paper instead of purchasing invitations.
- Concentrate on the experience
A piece of handmade fabric can be used to decorate your child’s celebration. Additionally, you can create a letter board that your family carries to all your celebrations and utilize the replaceable letters to wish your child a happy birthday on their special day.
For games, you can construct an obstacle course in your backyard, set up an electric car racing circuit for the children to compete in, and hold a cubby construction contest. The children will then have free time to eat and play outside. Remember to keep it simple.
Moreover, keep the gathering small and intimate, and include nature-themed activities like crafting a wand from a stick, colored wool, dried flowers, and a nature trail hunt. Passing the parcel can be fun for children ages 4 to 6. You can also consider placing a sheet of adorable stickers in each layer and a book as the final “prize.”
Avoid packaged food and beverages in favor of a modest fruit dish (watermelon and berries are always winners). Place some homemade popcorn or chips in a large bowl to be shared. Moreover, avoid soft drinks and prepare a pitcher of pure fruit juice diluted with carbonated water instead.
If you don’t over-cater, you’ll reduce your potential for waste and clean-up time.
Remember, kids are typically too distracted and delighted to consume much food at celebrations. Hence, avoid disposable plastic plates, cups, and silverware. Instead, use your reusable plates and cups wherever possible, or borrow from neighbors or friends. Certainly, they must be cleaned, but this is not a difficult task if the quantity is minimal.
After paper plates and cups, the next eco-friendly choice is compostable plates and cups (not coated, so it’s compostable). If you are well-prepared, you may be able to get a local “reusable party kit” that includes cups, plates, tableware, and silverware (and sometimes decorations too).
As a family, you can reduce your consumerism and offer presents that are as practical and sustainable as possible. Emphasize giving books, board games and puzzles, experiences, artwork, and things you need.
Instead of giving a present, parents can donate to a charity. Similarly, participating in the day’s activities by providing something that can be utilized on the day (i.e., one person brings sprinkles for the cupcake decorating activity or brings along specific craft supplies for a planned craft activity).
You might also invite individuals to deposit $5 to $10 into your child’s bank account to encourage saving. The kid can then participate in the savings process, and you can assist them in establishing savings targets.
Try not to compare your child’s party to their friends’ festivities, as difficult as it may be. You will likely discover that paring down the extras (from all aspects of your life, not just a child’s birthday celebration) can provide more space for enjoyment and presence. Life is not a competition, despite the best efforts of the marketing and film industries to tell you differently. Life should be lived on one’s terms in a manner that excites and warms the heart. Simple things are frequently the finest.