Everyone loves a good birthday party and celebration. While certain traditions tend to define what usually happens at birthday parties, such as having balloons, decorations, and platters of finger food, there are plenty of ways to switch up these traditions to represent an eco-friendlier celebration, that is rewarding for guests and better for the world as a whole.
If you’re planning on throwing an eco-friendly birthday bash, why not consider the following alternatives for celebrating in a sustainable way?. Your guests will enjoy it and the planet will benefit from your kinder, greener approach.
1) Go Fresh and Healthy
Frozen food leaves an enormous carbon footprint on the environment in a variety of ways. First of all, the amount of fuel needed to transport frozen food across the world affects air quality negatively and works against environmental sustainability.
Other factors can have an adverse influence, including the need for temperature control and high storage times requiring more electricity. Rather than buying frozen food to heat up for a birthday party, go for fresh veggies, fruits or other food which can be purchased at fresh markets. Veggies like carrots or celery sticks are big hits at most parties, as they are easy to eat and go well with all sorts of dressings or dips. They also act as a healthier alternative and can help to promote healthy eating habits.
Speaking of healthier alternatives, you can also consider offering different kinds of drinks than the usual party drinks like soda or similar sugary beverages. Water filters such as berkey water filters remove harmful toxins that can often be found in regular water beverages and make for the ultimate, hydrating drink to have on hand at any kind of party. Alternatively, consider making fresh juice that uses fresh ingredients over frozen or processed ones to be extra eco-friendly.
2) Forget the Disposables
Often, birthday celebrations include the use of many disposable items, such as plastic tableware, non-recyclable decorations like streamers or balloons, and plenty of wrapping paper that will eventually be tossed out. These can be detrimental to the environment, as they’re often non-recyclable and made of materials that cannot break down properly. In fact, some plastic items can take up to 500 years to fully break down. That’s a whopping number of years!
Luckily, there are plenty of other options for tableware, decorations and wrapping material, that also offer a great chance to get creative. For example, why not try using old pieces of cardboard or construction paper for making party hats or party invites. You can additionally reuse old wrapping paper and tissue or use some old newspaper for a truly unique wrapping paper choice.
Even better, old fabrics can make for innovative and colourful party streamers! Finally, consider opting for balloon alternatives like pompoms, pinwheels or paper flowers, which can also either or be made or bought in-store or fresh flowers are even better. For tableware, purchase a cheap set of non-plastic cutlery, plates and cups, or those made of materials that can decompose easily, like bamboo.
3) Consider an Eco-Friendly Venue
Lastly, for the ultimate fun and friendly eco-conscious experience, look for an outside venue that can provide an exciting celebration experience. Plenty of nature spots, aquariums or parks offer birthday services and celebrations with hefty discounts. If you’re planning a kid’s party think of the added bonus of a birthday trip to a planetarium where kids can learn about the stars; a nature reserve can also lead to firsthand experiences with endangered species, or an educational boating trip can lead to introductions of new sea life. Not only will you and your attendees remain eco-friendly, but you can also make the birthday celebration educational and extra memorable!
If you want to stay local but remain eco-friendly, consider having your party in your backyard with eco-friendly games. Popular ones include arts and crafts using recyclable items like cardboard, using old newspapers to make a pinata, having a nature-oriented scavenger hunt or playing board game classics! Being outside will not use up electricity and promote an environmentally conscious atmosphere.
Having an eco-friendly birthday celebration does not mean having to sacrifice the fun of having a regular birthday party. My own thrifty bohemian wedding was an eco-friendly affair. Our life and belongings are pretty minimal and we needed those values to be reflected on the day, with everything second hand or homemade or able to be recycled in order for it to have the least amount of impact on the planet. You can read more about what we did on our $5k budget here.
There are plenty of ways to have a good time while remaining eco-conscious and help out both the Earth and the people inhabiting it!