Celebrate your little one’s birthday in sustainable style with easy eco-swaps and earth-friendly decor. By using products that are naturally grown and created or easily biodegradable and compostable, you can be kind to the planet while still throwing an epic birthday bash.
Easy Eco Swaps
Swap out a few party staples to reduce waste and save some trees.
Instead of going with traditional paper invitations, set up an e-invite or online event where parents and guests can easily RSVP. E-invites not only save paper, but are great ways to set up reminders, share photos from the event, and more.
Bake your cake and eat it, too! Opt for a homemade cake made with local organic ingredients rather than a store-bought cake in a plastic container. Home baking can cater to allergy needs, reduce sugar and fat, and allow you to create a completely customizable cake.
Encourage guests and family members to wrap any gifts in leftover newspapers, magazines, or reusable bags. This not only saves them money, but makes it easy for them to recycle and reuse any wrapping left over.
Get creative with gift giving and create your own DIY Eco-Friendly Printed Gift Wrap. Add a splash of personal and whimsical fun to any present with bright prints and patterns.
When it comes to decorating, skip the balloons and plastic and opt for natural or recyclable accessories.
To create a beautiful green space instead of decorating with plastic, use colorful and fun indoor plants to dress up any party space while also improving indoor air quality. For extra pops of color, gather seasonal and locally-grown cut flowers to brighten up any room.
Skip the tissue paper poms and tassels and instead opt for sturdy paper fans and lanterns or fabric tassels that can be used over and over again. Tissue paper decorations are often only used once, and while they are more easily biodegradable than plastic, they still clog up landfills. Try to find decorations that can be reused for more than one celebration.
Order a customizable plantable seed paper banner to say “happy birthday” in a sustainable way. Once the celebration has ended, plant each banner piece in the yard or garden to grow a variety of beautiful plants and flowers.
This chic Botanical Paperworks Custom Plantable & Eco-friendly Party Banner is made with wildflower seed paper and biodegradable white raffia. The banner even comes packaged in biodegradable corn plastic with a recycled kraft paper backer that includes instructions. (Starting at $33.95, botanicalpaperworks.com)
Inevitably, at the end of celebrations the trash is piled high with plastic plates, cups, silverware, and more. Avoid using plastic tableware and look for compostable or reusable options.
Many companies now make affordable plant and wood-based plates, bowls, and silverware that make cleanup easy and guilt free.
Kids get messy, and cleaning up the table after a celebration can be a chore. Instead of using a plastic disposable table cover, cover the table in newspaper or brown paper. Once the celebration is over, pull up the paper and recycle it.
MOM PRO TIP: Make it interactive and lay out markers to encourage guests to draw or write notes.
Choose functionality when it comes to party favors. Seek out high-quality, on-theme cups that guests can take home with them at the end of the celebration. Before the party starts, place a small piece of masking tape across the front of the cup for guests to write their names on.
Go greener with Earth’s Natural Alternative Fiber Tableware, made from unbleached, chlorine free, pesticide free, dye free, natural discarded wheat stalk and bagasse (sugarcane fiber). This tree-free alternative is environmentally beneficial and compostable. (Starting at $7, amazon.com)
Gifts that Give Back
If you just want to celebrate without acquiring all that extra stuff that comes with gift giving, ask your partygoers instead to donate to a worthy cause.
Either have attendees bring canned goods or pet food with them to the party to collect and donate or allow your kiddo to pick a cause that they care about to share with guests. This could be a great way to get your little ones excited about helping others.
Skip the goodie bags and plastic toys and instead find waste-free alternatives to give as party favors.
Visit a local garden store to find small pre-potted plants or miniature terrariums. Great options include succulents, air plants, and cacti. Encourage guests to change to waste-free alternatives by giving out metal straws, reusable beeswax covers, or personal reusable silverware sets. Thank your guests for attending with themed plantable cards or seed bombs they can grow their own plants and flowers with.
Eco-up lunchtime with a Pottery Barn Kids Utensils & Carrying Case Set that includes a fork and spoon, comes in fun colors, and is BPA-free and tested against strict FDA regulations. (Starting at $9.50, potterybarnkids.com)
There’s still plenty of ways to show that special someone you care on their big day even if you can’t get together in person.
With safety measures still in place for COVID-19, many families feel safer meeting online. Make it an event to remember by singing to the birthday person, sharing something you like about them, and playing virtual games. Try a game of personalized trivia, a fun multiple choice quiz, or even a birthday-centric Mad Libs.