Low waste, low stress and lots of fun
- Book a venue ahead of time (at least a month in advance as popular venues fill up fast) – Instead of having it at home, consider a local venue that organizes birthday parties and has fun activities for kids. You can put the costs that would have gone towards purchasing games and supplies, towards the venue.
- Give a small gift instead of goodie bags filled with plastic toys. – Instead of stressing about what to get and include in a goodie bag, purchase a small gift or edible that your child’s friends can take home. For example I ordered cookies with beautiful designs from one of my daughter’s favourite books, that were boxed with a ribbon and the kids thought they were the coolest things.
- Ditch plastic cups, plates and utensils and opt for reusable. Okay so bringing glass or ceramic dinnerware, is not a good option for a kids party, especially at an offsite venue. But there are several other options. I couldn’t find biodegradable paper cups at the store I went to (most were plastic or lined with wax) and so I thought I’d get reusable cups and utensils for every attendee that they could take home with them. For reusable sporks, you could go to a local outdoor store or purchase them online. For plates, while there are fancy colourful, plastic-lined or styrofoam ones, opt for those that are biodegradable instead. They are super affordable too.
- Use table cloths you have instead of buying single use plastic ones. If you have colourful table cloths at home, especially ones that can be thrown in the laundry after, it makes things super simple. If you don’t, you can purchase a couple that you can reuse each year. The single use plastic table cloths, while they can be crumpled up and thrown in the trash, create a lot of waste that goes to the landfill. I was able to use a large table cloth I had, including a reusable one I’ve used each Halloween. The designs were different, but the kids didn’t care. They were having fun and everyone enjoyed the snacks and cake too.
- Forget about using balloons – Balloons are pretty popular for birthday parties, but they create unnecessary waste and negatively impact wildlife. Plus, you don’t need them for fun or for decorating….there are plenty of ways to decorate or plan a birthday party without them. Marine life can often mistake them for jellyfish and sea turtles often die from eating them.
- Avoid bottled water and small juice packages with straws – bring large juice bottles from the store and a water pitcher you can fill up at the location where you’re having the party
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