7 Green Tips For Organizing An Earth Friendly Kids Birthday Party

Monday, August 9, 2010

7 Green Tips For Organizing An Earth Friendly Kids Birthday Party

earthcakeAs my son’s very first birthday approaches, I consult friends to see what types of parties they had for their kids or if they’ve ever considered an earth friendly kids birthday party. What I found was a wide range of ideas of what a birthday should be. So, does a first time Mom just follow suit, or is it ok to plan an earth friendly kids birthday party and still be cool?

Although true, an earth friendly kids birthday party is not topping the charts in terms of the most popular theme at the party supply store, I can`t help but cringe when I think of the enormous mounds of garbage generated from the wrapped presents and boxes, streamers and themed tablecloths, plates, napkins and cups. So after searching through magazines and browsing the internet, I found that I do not need to sacrifice the planet in order to throw a great bash for my son`s first birthday.

Here are 7 tips to help you plan an earth friendly kids birthday party:

1. Select central stores when stocking up on the must haves for the party. Map the locations and organize your errands so that they are located in the same vicinity to avoid excess carbon emissions from unnecessary travel.
2. If you do not want to go as far as requesting previously loved toys or books instead of brand new gifts, you can always just encourage eco-friendly and sustainable gifts that can be recycled. These days, it is not difficult for guests to purchase a variety of earth friendly kids birthday gifts that will sure to please any child, such as organic clothing and hats.
3. The same rule for gifts applies to loot bags. Set a green example and purchase eco-friendly gifts to send home with your guests instead of the standard plastic toys, bags and candy. How about a sprouting tree, wrapped in organic hemp or a potted flower or plant? Kids are guaranteed to love it, the parents can use it, and what a fun family activity to get the kids out of the house and doing something good for the planet.
4. Wrapping paper and boxes are an obvious no no for an earth friendly kids birthday. Yet, despite the trend of Moms to reuse their children’s gift bags, there are still certain guests that feel compelled to wrap a gift elaborately. So, in order to eliminate this, you can inform guests to forgo the fancy wrapping and to only use newspaper or fabric as an alternative. They will end up thanking you for the cost savings.
5. Instead of traditional paper invitations, why not opt for email invites. This is much more earth friendly, and helps save money spent on paper on stamps. You can also check out the new seeded paper invitations, where the paper composts and wildflowers will grow after they are planted. If you do decide to go the paper route, insist on cardstock printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper.
6. Make sure that plates, utensils and cups are washed instead of tossed. Yes, this means you must pass on all disposables and use your regular plates, cups, and utensils to serve guests. A little extra elbow grease will mean more washing but also less waste. With a house full of guests, it should take you no time rallying up someone to help. If you prefer not to use your own stuff, you can also rent real glasses, dishes, linens and cloth napkins to avoid congesting landfills with disposables or buy eco friendly disposable dinnerware. And please don`t forget that a pitcher of filtered water and reusable cups does a better job than bottled water.
7. Make sure you pull out plenty of recycle bins and place them strategically to make it as easy as possible for guests to divide their garbage. You may even wish to give the older kids a quick lesson about what goes where and in doing so, this will help encourage guests about recycling and while reducing the amount of clean-up you have to do later.


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