Kids love the outdoors! Add a party, and it is a magical experience! Outdoors or in, show a child ways that a low waste celebration – without items that can generate trash and possibly litter, like streams and balloons – can be just as festive. Reduce your use of single-use plastic and paper items, and you can make an impact for life – on your child as well as for the environment. Below are some ideas foy joyful and litter-free birthdays. Their are many more on the Internet. Let your imagination go wild!
A Good Seed
Handwrite invites on plantable wildflower paper. Instructions on the back told can tell guests to lay paper in a pot of soil or a small garden patch that gets plenty of sunshine, cover with a thin layer of dirt, then water well.
Provide the party guests with recyclable wands made from fringed, rolled-up newspaper to run around in play. Or provide them with resusable pinwheels they can take away rather than balloons.
Greet the birthday girl or boy with a welcome sign that spells out their name with sticks, flowers, vines, and greenery, using thin garden wire to secure the various elements.
Made in the Shade
Celebrate an outdoors party under a simple tent made from curtain panels (strips of fabric work well too). Suspend it from a branch, making the perfect dining room for an outdoor party. A rainy day? You can acheive the fairy tent effect indoors too!
A Sweet Drink & Cake
Fill old jam jars with juice and keep them cold in an ice-filled pail until ready to serve, or use them to create individual cake trifles.
Whoopie pies are making a comeback. With no paper wrapper and no need for plates, they are the ideal sweet for a green party. Top a platter of pies with all-natural beeswax candles.
Utensils made of cornstarch are a great option too!
A meal wrapped in a bandanna-turned-napkin creates a paper-less lunch.
Lead partygoers through the house or through the trees, following a red string to discover small notes and a treasure box. It’s a new take on the standard scavenger hunt!
Have each child plant seeds to bring home, or send each child home with a small sapling bundled in burlap.
Encourage guests to save on wrapping paper by using reusable wooden boxes, fabric, or sheets of newspaper comics.
In leiu of gifts, ask party goers to donate books to a local library, food to a local food bank, or pet food to a local animal shelter. Or adopt an animal at a local nature center.
Plant a tree or flowering bush in honor of the birthday child. Take pictures of the with the tree each year, and watch them both grow! Or make it a day to get dirty! Create a wildlife garden that will attract butterflies and birds. What an adventurous playground to celebrate life!
Some of these ideas are courtesy of article originally published in the July 2017 issue of Parents magazine.
Want to use balloons to celebrate an occasion or loved-one? Please do so responsibly.
- DROP balloons (non-helium filled) from a tall building. Watch people have fun kicking and playing with the balloons. Then, pop them and dispose of correctly.
- Release balloons, without attachments, INSIDE a church, gym or ballroom, and then dispose of them properly.
- Cancer or other illness-free celebrations — Give everyone a balloon, a pin and a marking pen. On the count of three — everyone bursts their balloons. Messages on small pieces of paper can be inserted into each balloon with an inspirational message. After the fun, dispose of the trash correctly.