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10 Tips for Having an Eco-Friendly Birthday Party PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jacqueline Bodnar   

Let’s face it: we all love a good party. Whether at school for the holidays or at home for birthdays, parties happen frequently throughout the year, and they can be a lot of fun. But they can also create a great deal of waste, and wreak havoc on the environment. The good news is that there are ways to have a green party. Your guests will have every bit as much fun, but you can take comfort in knowing you did your part to help the planet, in the process.

Keep these 10 tips in mind for having an eco-friendly party, no matter where you have it or what it is for:

Invite fewer.
Really think about how many people it is important to have at the party. The more people you invite, the more waste is created. Consider throwing a party with just the closest of friends, in order to cut down on waste and expense.

Inform online. Rather than send out a paper invitation to everyone, opt for something a little greener. You can easily send invitations online to everyone on your guest list. If you really want to hand out paper invitations, opt for those that are recycled or seeded, so that they serve a dual purpose.

Decorate green.
While balloons may look nice, they are not very environmentally friendly. Many of them end up in landfills, water supplies, and even in the stomachs of sea turtles that mistake them for jelly fish. Instead, decorate with streamers made out of newspaper, signs made out of reusable items, and decorations created from old fabrics. You may even want to scour a local thrift store to see what you can find to use.

Eat friendly. Food production is an important part of green living. Opt for meat-free dishes, since meat is one of the leading causes of environmental damage; instead, serve up tasty and organic dishes such as fruit kabobs, bean burritos, pasta salad, veggie burgers, hummus and chips, etc. Not only will the kids be eating healthier, but your eco-friendly efforts won’t be sacrificed when it comes to eating.

Serve smart.
One of the biggest areas of waste at parties involves what is used for serving the food. Skip paper plates and plastic cups, which are not environmentally friendly. Instead, provide re-usable dishes or opt for biodegradable versions that are non-reusable.

Green projects. Kids like to “do something” at parties. Pick a project that is environmentally friendly, such as painting pottery or a planter, finger painting, decorating a re-usable cup, creating a bottle bank, making soy candles, making a backyard birdhouse, or creating a natural tie-dye shirt or canvas bag. This is a great time to reuse items to create a nice take-home project.

Skip loot.
Many people opt to give a party bag to kids, filled with lots of… junk. The bags usually contain candy that the parents really don’t want the kids having, and plastic toys that will break within days. The plastic is horrible for the environment. Instead of having take-home gift bags for attendees, opt for a green project (see above) that they can take home instead. If you want to give away prizes, purchase items from thrift stores – books, games and stuffed animals make good choices.

Forget individual. When you buy things that are single-serve, such as drinks, you not only pay more, but you are creating more waste. Instead, have kids use their own reusable cups (which can be decorated by them or can be prepared with their names before arrival, and later taken home).

Recycle everything. Do not be shy about setting up a recycle bin at your party. This will encourage others to do the right thing, and will make your job easier. This way, whatever can be recycled, will be.

Inform guests. Let your guests know that the theme of the party is ‘being green.’ Challenge them to stick with it, if they want to bring a gift. You may even want to create a list of possible eco-friendly gifts, such as stainless-steel water bottles.

Jacqueline Bodnar owns Bodnar Ink (BodnarInk.com), a professional writing service.


10 Tips for Having an Eco-Friendly Birthday Party

Last Updated on Friday, 31 December 2010 02:58
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