5 Ideas For A Green Birthday Party

Birthday parties are all too often lavish and excessive, even when they are for small children. Sometimes it seems like it is a competition for parents. Who can throw the biggest most lavish birthday party ever?! The birthday boy or girl usually ends up with too many toys that they don’t need. They probably aren’t the best quality, and they might be hard or even impossible to recycle. The sheer amount of waste generated at these parties might be staggering with disposables for eating and drinking as well as party streamer, deflated balloons, excessive toy packaging, and wrapping paper. Add this mountain of garbage to the stress created by all day sugar highs and the inevitable sugar blues that follow and it is easy to see why many parents are making the switch to greener, lower impact birthday parties.

Here are 5 tips to help you green your child’s next birthday party:

1. Request previously loved toys or books instead of brand new gifts. This encourages recycling of goods already in existence. No doubt your child will enjoy these items just as much as new and your guests will thank you. Wrap the gifts in newspaper of fabric.

2. Decline gifts altogether. Ask your guests to bring a donation to a local animal or children’s charity. This gives kids an opportunity to learn that they too can help their community and they will feel a great sense of pride.

3. Instead of paper invitations send online invitations or Evites. This saves paper and money spent on stamps. You can also use seeded paper invitations. After the party your guests can ‘plant’ their invitation in their yard. The paper composts and wildflowers will grow. This gives everyone a visual reminder of your party too.

4. Pass on disposables and use your regular plates, cups, and utensils to serve guests. It will mean more washing but also less waste. Ask one of the other parents to help you out and you should have it all cleaned up in no time. You can also buy eco friendly disposable dinnerware from Preserve if you need to.

5. Place recycling bins front and center at the party and give kids a quick lesson about what goes where. Doing this will help educate guests about recycling and it will reduce the amount of clean-up you have to do later.

For more ideas check out this guide to Green Birthday Parties.

You can read more from Tiffany at her blog for Green Moms, where she writes about green family living, parenting, natural health, safe children’s products, and homeschooling. Subscribe to her blog here.

Original post written for 5 Minutes for Going Green.

6 Responses to 5 Ideas For A Green Birthday Party
  1. One Mom
    August 10, 2008 | 7:32 am

    Great ideas! I notice your original blog on giving a green birthday party goes back over a year ago. Since that time I have started http://www.onemomandaparty.com which is dedicated to offering ideas for eco-friendly party themes, activities, party supplies and recipes. I hope you’ll find some more ideas there. Even the baby steps taken toward a greener lifestyle have value!

  2. Lisa @ JujuBoo
    August 10, 2008 | 1:46 pm

    Great ideas!!

    At several of my daughters b-day parties, I wrote on the invite (yes I did real invites, but they were printed from my home comp on recycled paper) to please not buy any gifts but instead give them a book. My girls ended up with an entire shelf of books and we still have them and read them. Books are something we will always keep as opposed to a toy that is no longer fun long before the next b-day. Plus, most books cost much less than a toy.

  3. […] 5 Ideas For A Green Birthday Party […]

  4. birthday cake ideas
    December 15, 2008 | 1:53 pm

    I have another sense of it, for me as my interpretation of a green party. I am preparing vegetables foods. From the main course to the dessert. Love it!

  5. […] are 5 simple ideas to throw a greener birthday party, by 5 Minutes for Going Green. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Revelation?Agenda […]

  6. barb
    August 31, 2010 | 1:06 pm

    I use http://www.kidscangivetoo.com for my kid’s birhtday parties. They print custom invitations (18 to choose from) with a special account code and an explanation for your guests not to bring a wrapped gift. Instead, they are directed to go to http://www.kidscangivetoo.com and use the birthday kid’s party code to make an online doantion. HERE’S THE BEST PART… The kid keeps some of the money that is sent on a VISA Gift card and the rest goes to a charity of their choice. It’s a Win, Win, Win. Parents win cause they don’t get all of the junk and they are teaching their kids about charitable giving. Kids win because they get to buy a big gift with their Visa gift card. The charities win because they get much need funds.