Updated: Mar 31, 2018
It was recently my toddler son's birthday and we threw him a little celebration in his honor. As per requested by the birthday boy himself, the theme was dinosaur party. He actually said he wanted a 'dinosaur volcano party' to be more precise. But I went with dinosaur party. Since the volcano part sounded like a mess.
His first birthday party we did at home and was semi eco-friendly, as we used our own plates, glasses and cutlery from home. But still paper plates for the birthday cake landed in trash. His second birthday I went the other extreme, practically no decorations at all, in order to eliminate as much waste as possible, except for a few photos of Levin and a small banner which we created together with finger paint out of recycled gift wrapping paper.
This time I wanted to do something in between. It became my quest to come up with a more sustainable solution for our party decor.
You may be asking does it make any difference? And I'm here to tell you - yes, it does! Where the future of our planet is heading, we need to come up with more sustainable and durable solutions. Below I came up with a guideline on how a more conscious approach to party decor.
How to create less trash and have more sustainable party ware:
1. Get re-usuable plates, cutlery and glasses. Even metal straws. It's a small invest to make, but so practical, as you can use them for years to come, or even for your own personal use at home. Preferably, they're not not made of plastic but rather a biodegradable material such as bamboo. I started with cups based on biodegradable bamboo, which I've order from Zuperzozial order via greenyourlife.de. The plates are from Oecoplan Coop and are biodegradable. My goal is to invest in bamboo plates and metal straws for future events.
2. Another option would be to get biodegradable plates, glasses and cutlery, if re-usuable ones are too expensive at the moment. Personally, I'm slowly going to build up my party tableware.
3. Replace the party bag with something more sustainable. We ditched the candy and gave every kid a little toy dinosaur to take home. We called it "adopt a dinosaur".
4. Invest in party decor, you can use every year. For this year's theme, I bought tropical leaves purchased in IKEA, which I know use as decoration in our bedroom. I also printed out photos of the birthday boy and placed them around the food buffet and party room.
5. Say bye to confetti or any of that other party mess. Make it something more memorable such as with Polaroid photos. My mother brought party masks of different animals for the kids and they were a big hit. Something I can use again in the years to come or pass on to someone else.
6. Consider throwing the party at home so you can use your own plates and glasses.
7. Get biodegradable balloons. For eco-friendly party supplies, you can order from the UK online shop, Little Cherry. Link will be provided below. Also the ballons from Bonacker Ballon Versand in Switzerland sell biodegradable ballons, if you live in Switzerland and are looking for a more local company.
Did we make trash? We did, either way, through all the gift wrapping and packaging my son's gifts came in and plates that still landed in the trash. However, we minimized a lot of unnecessary waste and will continue to stick with our values and strive to a less wasteful lifestyle.
How do you guys do at your kids birthdays with gifts and trash? Anyone thrown a zero-waste party or a "no presents" birthday? If so, I'd love to hear your stories and experiences!
- Little Cherry UK: https://www.littlecherry.co.uk/
- Bonacker Ballonversand GmbH: https://www.ballonversand.ch/
- Green Your Life: https://www.green-your-life.de/