As any modern parent knows, children’s birthday parties aren’t what they used to be. While once upon a time kids were happy with a slice of cake wrapped in a serviette, today’s parties are often expensive affairs featuring computer games, entertainers and elaborate gifts for each child. The competition between parents to host the best party can be hard on the wallet as well. Statistics show that the average children’s birthday party costs around £129.
Disposable plastic gifts, streamers and party food can be tough on the environment too. That’s why going back to basics for children’s birthdays can help the environment, and cash-strapped parents, without compromising on fun for the kids. Scroll down for a few tips that will help you plan an eco friendly birthday party to remember.
Have The Party At Home
Rather than following the crowd and booking a table at the local fast food joint, why not save cash (and little stomachs!) by hosting the party at your home? If space is an issue then check out your local community centre, or other independent venues where you can bring your own drinks, food and activities. Letting your kids help make their party invitations (with parents on hand to help with the cutting out) can be really creative. Use recycled paper for the final eco friendly touch.
Play Green Games
Try turning off the computer and organising some eco-aware activities instead. This doesn’t have to be as ‘hippy-dippy’ as it sounds. Planting a special ‘birthday tree’ is a lovely activity which younger kids will adore, while a simple walk around a local park spotting ‘mini-beasts’ is always stimulating. Make a list of insects that the kids have to spot in order to win a prize. Then, back at the house, they can make drawings of their favourites.
Make Eco Friendly Food
While you don’t want your little guests ingesting unhealthy artificial treats, it can be counter-productive to rule out cakes and only offer fruit and no fizzy drinks. Luckily you can offer fun fare which is healthy and eco friendly too. For starters, why not try baking an eco friendly cake? By using organic flour and sugar you can make the cake more nutritious without missing out on the taste.
Create Less Mess
Unleash a class of kids on any suburban house and the result is likely to be rubbish on a large scale with party hats and paper plates wedged in various pieces of furniture. To cut back on potentially planet-damaging rubbish try making streamers, hats and other party essentials yourself. By using paper you can keep plastic to a minimum and put the lot in the recycling when the kids have finished. Compostable paper plates and cutlery are also available from dedicated eco websites.
While every child wants something nice to take away with them, it doesn’t have to be a nasty non-biodegradable bag stuffed with yet more plastic. If you’re feeling flush then your local eco shop should have lots of pocket money toys made out of eco-friendly wood. If you’re on a tight budget then homemade sweets are a delicious way of cutting down on cost.
With these tips in mind, hosting a greener birthday party can be easier than you think. Who knows? You could even start a trend among families in your area to make all the local parties more eco friendly!