An imperfectly eco kids birthday party
We've just moved to a new area. In a happy twist of fate the twins' birthday is early in the term and provided a perfect opportunity to both celebrate and meet some local families.
The girls hadn't had a proper birthday party for 2 years (thank you Covid) so we went all out. We planned, shopped and (my husband) cooked like mad to be ready.
How eco was it?
The MOUNTAIN of cardboard from all the deliveries made me feel such shame.
The miles spent delivering supplies to our house made me feel shame.
The plastic that surrounded their gifts made me feel shame.
But it was glorious, fun and the girls were happy. Was it worth it? Yes.
The shame sucked 'though.
Here's what we learned did do to make the kids party eco-friendly.
1. Banned party bags. Children had painted small pumpkins as an activity and they doubled as a useful and cheerful take-away at the end. I re-used the mountain of cardboard to protect the table from all the paint and used small squares to put the still-wet pumpkins on. Note, we still gave the children all one small squishy each. Although we bought a bulk pack sadly they still came in plastic. I did get asked by children where the party bags were and when I explained they were normally filled with rubbish that was bad for the planet they totally understood!
2. Created games using mainly what we had in the house. Three legged races and sack races. Lego tower building competitions, a scavenger hunt and paper plane flying competitions.
3. Thoroughly going through all the wrapping paper from gifts given. Saving what we could, removing sellotape where necessary and recycling where we could. Sadly, we could only re-use about 5% and recycle around 30%. The rest needed to go in the bin. Sparkly, shiny or foil-embossed paper cannot be recycled. Here's a short article on how to tell if your paper can be recycled.
4. Invested in reusable plastic cups and simply used proper plates for food. A small amount of washing up for a big saving in waste. We put a sharpie pen by the cups so each child could put their name on their cup.
5. Used reusable party decorations made from paper. They are so cheery and just folded up for next time. There are some examples here, including other good eco-friendly kids party tips.
6. Used fabric gift wrap, furoshiki and vintage scarves to wrap all the girls presents. Here you can see the stack of used wraps, ready to be put away and reused next time.
Fun fact - the girls had 6 birthday cakes for their birthday. Their choice on the actual day and 4 for the party. YUM :)
Do you have any eco-friendly kids birthday party tips you could share too?