Children’s parties take up an enormous amount of time and energy to organise.
Once the two hours of party time is up, all that is left is rubbish bags full of decorations, disposable tableware, balloons and mountains of gift wrap – not to mention the loot bags usually filled with unhealthy sweets, plastic toys or “slime”.
Cutting down on unnecessary waste whilst still holding a beautiful and fun celebration for your child are not interchangeable!
From the perspective of the child – at parties, all children just want to play and have fun with their friends. It is exciting enough to have all their friends at one place outside of the classroom, and young children can be easily overwhelmed by all the attention at elaborate birthday parties which parents have lovingly stressed over for weeks. It requires just a small shift in mindset away from the traditional idea of the “kids’ party” and a little inspiration and extra thought, to hold a more eco-conscious event.
We have come up with the following three simple ideas for cutting down on waste at your next children’s birthday party. We challenge you to hold a “green” birthday party for your child in 2020!
1. Use environmentally friendly decor
Avoiding the disposable decorations and the balloons without compromising on the look and feel of the occasion is not as difficult as you may think.
Creating homemade decorations can double up as a fun project to do with the birthday child and his/her siblings the week before the party. You can make your own painted and personalised party banner, paper pompoms or flowers, hats, and garlands – or have a “Rustic” or ‘Nature” theme and use actual flowers and leaves as decorations. It is also possible to just use household items as decor, or at least reusable material banners, bunting and tablecloths.
2. Simplify the food and drinks
Children’s parties are notorious for the abandoned plates of half-eaten food, cake and half-empty juice boxes, which are thrown away at the end of the party. Parents often provide far more food than is needed, when the kids are too excited to even eat.
Simple, healthy finger foods are more than sufficient. Providing each child with a recycled paper “deli” box filled with nutritious snacks that they can take home at the end of the party is a great idea to avoid the use of paper plates and food waste. Get your child involved in decorating the boxes as a fun pre-party activity. A Grazing Platter filled with kid-friendly snacks is also a wonderful (and photogenic) way to minimise food waste.
Instead of juice boxes, invest in a juice dispenser with reusable cups and straws. We love this easy recipe for delicious Strawberry Rooibos Iced Tea.
8 Rooibos tea bags
1.5 litres of boiling water
1 litre of apple juice
2 cups chopped fresh fruit (strawberries are a great choice)
Pour the boiling water over the tea bags and allow to brew for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and allow to cool. To speed up the cooling process, add some ice to the brewed tea. Once cool, pour the cooled tea into a large jug or water dispenser together with the fruit juice. Add the strawberries or chopped fruit of choice, just before serving.
3 . Skip the take-home “goodie bags”
There are many more thoughtful, sustainable ways to continue the trend of having something to take home at the end of the party, without having plastic loot bags filled with unhealthy snacks or plastic toys that break almost immediately (how did this become a tradition anyway!?).
How about a craft or “experience”-based party? Children can make crafts during the party which both assist in developing motor skills and encourage creativity, whilst doubling up as take-home gifts.
Alternatively, opt for something that is environmentally friendly and fun, such as a tiny succulent, a craft item or homemade play dough.
Peaches & Mint offers an event management service for all types of events, including birthdays for adults and children. Our Flower Crown Workshops, where the children make beautiful natural creations, are ideal as party entertainment for ages 4+, with other Craft Options on request. We also offer healthy and organic Grazing Platters/Boards. Please enquire regarding our special options for children.