A child’s birthday party is typically an event full of consumerism and waste. Parents buy disposable decorations, over processed food and cheap plastic toys for goody bags. The tide has started to change, however, as families strive to “Go Green”.
Families are becoming more aware of the impacts caused by creating too much waste. Although switching to a completely eco-friendly design can be somewhat costly at first, reusing decorations and rethinking spending choices can add up to savings in the long run. These savings aren’t just in the bank account but also in the planet itself. So more than just Houston casino party rentals, these amazing summer birthday party ideas for kids can be very jolly, endearing and more practical.
Summer birthday parties lend themselves to natural decoration. Beautiful flowers make ideal centerpieces or table decorations. Butterflies flit across parks and backyards while birds sing crickets chirp. Nature doesn’t need much augmentation to be stunning and inviting for a party.
“Happy Birthday” banners are typically made of cheap plastic and thrown away at the end of the party. Substitute those drab and wasteful plastic banners with reusable cloth banners. These can be found online at places like etsy.com. There are some Hobby Lobby locations that carry them. Crafty party-throwers can make a birthday banner. Felt letters can be cut out and fused onto felt squares using fusible interface. Joann Fabrics carries felt made from recycled plastic.
Balloons are not only wasteful and bad for wildlife, but also dangerous to children. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, latex balloons are the leading children’s product that causes suffocation death in young children. Paper mache shapes can be painted and used for decoration instead. Flying a kite over the party spot is likely to garner more attention than latex balloons.
Paper plates and cups are a staple for backyard barbecues, but they are also the largest disposable aspect of a birthday party. There are several greener solutions for tableware. Many grocery stores now carry paper and plastic products made from recycled materials. Although some of these are compostable, most will end up in the trash. A more long term solution would be a set of Enamelware dishes, such as these. Most picnic shelters have access to water, so the dishes can be quickly washed as the guests finish their food.
Instead of plastic cutlery, guests can eat with PLA (made from corn and biodegradable), wooden (compostable and biodegradable), or even stainless steel forks and spoons. Paper napkins can either be composted or traded in for cloth napkins. A package of washcloths is another cheaper, greener alternative to paper napkins. Guests can deposit their cloth napkins or washcloths in a pillowcase or water-proof bag. Along with napkins, a cloth tablecloth can be purchased and set aside for parties.
Hamburgers and hot dogs can still come to the party, but consider reducing meat consumption and adding in more fruit and vegetables. According to John Robbins, author of The Food Revolution, it takes 16 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of meat. Reducing the amount of meat consumed is one of the greenest things an individual or family can do for the environment. Supplement protein with hummus dip for raw vegetables, or mixed nuts.
Goodie Bags are fun for the children attending the party, for a couple hours anyway. The small plastic toys lose their charm quickly and end up in the trash. Creating a craft at the party will serve as both entertainment and children will have a “goodie” to take home. Children can paint terra cotta pots and plant a flower or some herb seeds. Hats or shirts could be decorated with paints or fabric markers. Another alternative would be reusing materials, such as plastic water bottles or baby food jars, to make crafts like an I-spy bottle or snow globe respectively. Milk jugs and juice cartons can be made into bird feeders.
With these easy steps and tools, summer birthday parties can be eco-friendly as well as easy on the wallet.