Looking to throw a party for your little one, but conscious of the environmental impact it could have? Here, Mike Hardman from Alliance Online shares his top tips for hosting a low-waste children’s party – all to help you do you part in saving the planet.
We’re all becoming a little more conscious about preserving the planet we live on, especially given the IPCC has reported we only have 12 years to reverse the damage we’ve already done. While many people will already have made the pledge to use less plastic and recycle more, when you’ve got your child’s birthday coming up, it can seem almost impossible to throw them a party which limits waste.
But luckily, there are plenty of ways in which you can host a birthday bash they’ll remember, without filling binbags full of food, decorations, and other things set for landfill. Here, I will be sharing my top tips for throwing a low waste party for your child.
If you’ve got a theme for your child’s birthday party all planned out, you’ll no doubt want to create invitations to match. But, having lots of embellishments on these can mean they’ll take longer to break down. Plus, many of these will include materials that will make your invites unrecyclable.
When making your invitations, it’ll be important to only choose materials that can be recycled, such as paper and card. Avoid adding stickers, as the adhesive can get trapped in recycling machines, and the laminated paper these come on contained unrecyclable plastic and paper. Instead, try making your invites on the computer. This way, you can include images and colours on the invite, without having all the fussy bits that can be harmful to the environment.
If you aren’t set on having tangible invites, you could always opt for e-invites or text messages to parents. This way you can still send something out, so attendees have all the details and are able to RSVP easily, at the same time as not wasting a single thing.
It’s all too easy to be tempted into bulk-buying single-use cutlery and paper plates that can be tossed into binbags once the party is over. But, if you’re looking to reduce your environmental impact, it’s best to find reusable tableware. Of course, if there will be plenty of children at the party, letting them loose with your finest china won’t be a good idea, so make sure you choose tableware made from appropriate materials, like plastic or wood.
Although the washing up might take longer, choosing reusable tableware will limit the amount of party waste you generate. So, you don’t have to feel guilty about throwing the bash.
Decorations can make or break the party, so you’ll still want to ensure you have enough going on to make it a special occasion. Shopping for plain decorations, rather than those that signify your child’s age, can mean they’re reusable for years to come. Or alternatively, why not create your own bunting, paper decorations, and party hats with your child? Not only will it give you some great quality time and get you both excited in the lead up to the part, but if you carefully choose the materials, these could be put straight into the recycling bin when you’re done.
Whether you’re after some vegetables for some healthy crudités, fresh fruit to top off the birthday cake, or some potatoes to make crispy chips with, shopping at your local stores will help you to reduce your environmental impact.
Many smaller, local shops use little to no packaging too, so you can be sure you’re reducing waste along the way. You could even see if there are any local zero-waste shops near to you. These require you to bring your own containers and bags, to cut down on packaging and plastic. Plus, the added benefit of portioning your own produce out means you won’t have to buy more than you need, like you might with pre-packaged goods. Therefore, helping to reduce the amount of food waste created at the party.
Games are all part of the birthday party fun and, while pass the parcel may go down a treat with the kids, it creates a lot of paper waste. Instead, why not invest in some board games that the kids can sit down and play?
Using what you’ve already got available is also a handy way to reduce waste and keep the fun going. So, consider playing old classics like musical chairs, or simple card games to keep the little ones occupied.
If you want to take the stress away from throwing a low-waste party, why not consider hiring a party planner? These people will be qualified to meet your every need and will work closely with you to ensure you’re producing as little waste as possible, while still making sure everyone is having a good time.
As well as getting somebody to sort the party out, renting a venue could be another solution to your problems. Some of these places will work closely with decoration rental companies, so you can be sure none of yours will end up in the bin after the party.
Your child’s birthday party doesn’t need to be wasteful to be great event. Follow my top five tips for throwing a low-waste bash that still has everything from invites to decorations and a fantastic food spread.