It seems everything is going green these days and that includes birthday parties. More and more parents are choosing an eco-friendly slant on their children’s celebrations, aimed at reducing waste, saving money or encouraging a spirit of giving. If you’re interested in a greener celebration this year, here are some ideas you may like to incorporate.
Forget Snail Mail Bye, bye paper invites! Using cyberspace is a great way promote your party. Opt to use services like Evite or Facebook to create a snazzy invitation where you can also track responders. You save on stamps, the cost of the invites and reduce waste.
Ditch the Decorations Yes, the balloons and the cartoon-themed tablecloths eye-catching, but will the party be less fun without them? Instead of splurging on disposable decorations (which creates trash and mess to clean up) use a cloth tablecloth and set up a nice frame of the guest of honor as your party focal point.
Choose Green Products If you don’t want to be stuck with endless dishes, choose biodegradable flat wear like Mountain Gear, Trellis Earth or Branch Home. These companies manufacture plates, cups and utensils from earth-friendly materials.
Think Fruit They’re a sweet alternative to candy and most kids will eat it. Use it for party snacks or even inside a homemade birthday cake. Pull out the juicer to make a fruity punch (with veggies too). Make sure you add ice and drain the pulp so it has a light juice taste, versus the original frothy texture.
Party Old School Organized activities don’t have to be expensive if you’re creative. You probably have all you need at home for a fun round of “Musical Chairs”. Play “Freeze Dance” using music right off your computer. Check out some short stories at the local library for a neat Story Time session. Play trivia using your child’s globe. For a list of other fun activities for a bargain, check out websites like www.essortment.com or www.childfun.com. Also, don’t underestimate how fun free play can be too!
A Green Activity If your child likes to get their fingers dirty, a cool nature-related activity may be in order. Include planting a tree or a new garden on the birthday agenda. How about a fun composting lesson?
A Birthday Tour If you ask, you may receive. Schedule a tour with a local factory, farm or even a local TV station. Some stations may even let the children do a pretend weather segment if you can arrange it during off hours.
Choose to Give Back Forget the wrapping paper and bows. Instead of bringing a gift, encourage guests to donate something to a worthy cause. Want to donate to your local school? Have guests bring school supplies. Have the birthday boy/girl pick a cause of their choice (local food bank, animal shelter, Good Will etc.) for the donations – a priceless lesson in giving back!