I am not a big birthday party celebrating kinda gal, but for J.P, it was important to celebrate with family and friends for little E’s birthday a few weeks ago. I would have been happy just hanging out with my two favorite people while enjoying the beautiful day! However, who am I to argue with J.P.
We, of course, had to come up with some creative and fun ways to celebrate her birthday without creating mass amounts of waste and harming the environment in the process.
While I was beginning to organizing her party, I was wondering how I was going to create a Happy Birthday banner big enough. I am not very artsy, and my handwriting resembles that of a 5-year-old. But, it wasn't long after that the wonderful Suzanne from Green Planet Parties contacted me and offered me the most beautiful, eco-friendly, Canadian-made Happy Birthday banner.
I jumped on the opportunity to have this lovely banner hanging in my house to celebrate. To be honest, it has been a few weeks and it is still hanging in the living room. It just looks so nice.
The banner is 11ft long with 8 colorful flags made of cotton and felt. The banners are made locally in British Columbia by a mom just like me, except she has the talent to create these beautiful accessories. I can’t begin to tell you how pleased I am with this banner and that I am able to reuse it over and over again for really anyone’s birthday.
When I asked about the materials she uses to create the banners and all her party accessories on her site, Suzanne explained the focus of her store is to reuse and be green without the cost becoming unaffordable for the everyday person. The cost would be much higher if she opted for organic fabrics. I feel the mere fact that I can reuse the banner as many times as I please is much better for the environment and my wallet than a flimsy plastic Happy Birthday sign. And, did I mention how amazing it looks in my home?
Head over to Green Planet Parties and see for yourself how wonderful and beautiful all her green party supplies are!
Apart from having a reusable banner hanging in your home to celebrate, here are 7 other ways to make your next birthday a little more green.
- When it comes to the invitations, why not send out a fancy email, an event, create a Facebook event or even simply pick-up the phone and invite your friends and family.
- Whenever possible, use organic and locally sourced foods to feed your guests, and even try to make your own foods. Avoiding processed foods will help reduce your waste and the amount of plastic that is used.
- Balloons are not the best choice for decorations, as they are toxic and when released into the air end up polluting the environment, and when left deflated on the ground, they lead to trouble for local wildlife that may be killed after ingesting them. I would suggest a simple banner just like my Green Planet Parties one!
- Skip the disposables. Use the dishes and cutlery you have in your home, use cloth napkins, and a reusable tablecloth. Even if you buy napkins and biodegradable cutlery, they are still waste-full and unnecessary.
- The gifts. This will probably be the least green and most difficult aspect for the majority of people. I don’t know about you, but most kids already have way too many toys. Receiving tons of toys on one's birthday sends a message of over-consumerism that I just personally don’t like. Furthermore, many toys are plastic, which is so full of toxins and chemicals that may be harmful to children. Most of the toys are not made to last and seeing as they’re non-recyclable, they end up in landfills. I suggest eco-friendly wooden toys or organic plush ones. As well, you could give the gift of an experience such as the movies, a play gym or a kids museum gift card. The option to donate money to a non-profit on behalf of the child or contribute to their education fund are all great ideas. Here are some great waste-free ideas!
- What about wrapping those gifts? You could use reuse bags, and tissue paper form previous presents. Take a look and see what you have around the house such as newspaper, magazines, junk-mail or reusable bags that you just don’t need anymore. I have used glass mason jars or containers depending on the gift! Just think outside of the box and you will be pleasantly surprised by what you come up with.
- Some people like to give out a little something to the kids that are attending the birthday party. The most eco-friendly idea is to opt-out of giving a goody bag. However, if you would like to pass something on to the kids here are some great ideas, and I especially love the tree branch block loot bag and the tree branch pencils, or the gift of a tree in a box.
There you have it; 7 eco-friendly birthday party ideas – that are waste-free, too! I feel that birthday parties or any type of party can still be fun and enjoyable without the large environment footprint!
And, if I had at least one creative bone in my body, a scavenger hunt in the woods seems like the most awesome eco-friendly birthday party for an older child. Don't you think?
How will you celebrate “green” at your next party?