With the anniversary of the first UK COVID-19 lockdown approaching, many of us are starting to reflect on our experiences of the past year. This couldn’t be truer for new parents, many of whom have little ones nearing their first birthdays.
Having lived the whole of their lives so far in a strange pandemic world, we’re sure most of you will agree 12-month olds (and all kids, really) deserve exciting celebrations full of love and laughter. Of course, the practicality of hosting an eco-friendly party will depend on whether the unlocking process laid out by the government goes to plan. However, with garden parties soon back on the menu, we’re optimistic that kids and adults alike will soon revel in some much-needed socialising.
If you’re anything like us, however, you’re probably a little worried about the impact your kid’s celebrations, gifts, and party bags could have on the environment. With around 90% of the toy market currently made up of plastic (often unrecyclable) items, who could blame you? So, how do you host an eco-friendly party?
You’re probably a bit bored of being instructed to stay at home (sorry!), but hosting an eco-friendly party in your local area will reduce travel requirements and encourage guests to pick an eco-friendly method of travel to reach you.
Eco-friendly party invitations
Sending online invitations reduces waste and ensures that your guests are given prompt notice of your bash. This could prove very important as people’s post-lockdown schedules fill up! Paperless Post is a great resource that allows users to design their own invitations and send them directly to friends’ inboxes. Even better, some templates are free! If you have the time, create homemade invitations using recycled paper and old cards.
Eco-friendly party signs
Don’t waste paper or other materials with a disposable welcome sign. Get creative and write your own decorative welcome sign on an easel or chalkboard.
Eco-friendly party decorations
We’re sorry to say that many traditional party decorations such as foil banners have no place at an eco-friendly party. Balloons are often mistaken for food by wildlife, killing them when eaten, in addition to not breaking down. Fortunately, however, this gives you a great excuse to experiment with eco-friendly fabrics and ribbons, paper pom poms, flowers from your garden, or any other materials you care to upcycle.
Eco-friendly party confetti cannon
Thanks to recent innovations in partyware, you can now enjoy guilt-free biodegradable party canons! They’re great for ensuring your party goes off with a bang.
The birthday cake
Get your chef’s hat on or use a local baker to make your child’s birthday cake. Once baked and decorated to your standards, you can add a few of these natural beeswax candles – perfect for making wishes.
Eco-friendly party food and drink
Try to make most of your party snacks vegan (while accounting for allergies and other dietary requirements, of course). The good news is that vegan snacks can be just as (if not more) delicious than traditional party food. Take a look at this great guide for inspiration!
In terms of drinks, try to avoid soft drinks in plastic containers and serve liquids in jugs. If possible, make your own juice before the party starts. Kids will love it!
Cutlery and cups
You may think you’re running an eco-friendly kids’ party by opting for paper cups and wooden cutlery. However, this waste still takes time and effort to recycle and may end up in a landfill site. Fortunately, the Party Kit Network offers another way, allowing party organisers to hire reusable partyware by connecting with others in their local community. Try it out today!
Gift wrap for the birthday boy or girl
Tactfully request that guests use eco-friendly gift-wrap for your kid’s presents. Give them a few tips such as reusing recyclable paper, investing in some furoshiki wrap, or purchasing from eco-friendly outlets such as Wrapped by Alice. It may also be worth providing guests with a wish list to ensure your kid receives gifts that will actually get used and won’t go to waste! For some more tips check out our sustainable gift giving blog!
Eco-friendly party bags
Traditional party bags are an environmental nightmare as they’re usually full to the brim with plastic. To break free from the mould and ensure your kids enjoy a sustainable party, shop around for recyclable paper party bags and eco-friendly favours. If you lack inspiration, check out Eco Party Bags. The company sells bespoke eco-friendly party bags your guests are sure to love.
Forget plastic prizes and party games involving single-use plastic! There are plenty of ways to have fun in a way that encourages kids to get close to nature, we love treasure hunts with clues aligned to your party theme. Or set up a craft table and let the kids make something they can take home instead of favours. Of course you can hire entertainers to take the pressure off!
Make a fully recyclable and fun pinata from recyclable tissue paper and papier mache. Then fill it with tasty treats to ensure the party ends on a high note!
Don’t forget that if you pack your decorations away with care you can reuse them for future birthday parties or other celebrations. Or better still, lend them to a friend and help them have a party that even Mother Nature can enjoy.
So, what are you waiting for? Get your organising cap on and enjoy the first taste of freedom from lockdown!
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