Children’s parties…..Love them or loathe them? I love them, especially now i’ve nailed no waste when it comes to organising my children’s celebrations! It’s Jacks birthday in 3 weeks – how is my first born nearly 5 years old?! and I can’t wait.
How do I do it? I’m really lucky to live in a community that is embracing my ethos of single-use being ruled out of events so i have some amazing resources at my finger tips. Here are my tips for achieving a zero waste children’s birthday party!
Paper plates and plastic cups are simply no longer needed at kids parties! Instead I am renting a party kit from Jack’s school. These party kits vary in content but the one available to us in Seaford includes all the plates and cups I could need, I simply wash them and return them after the party. Anyone can use them, and I now manage the rental for the school! If you would like to set up a party hire kit please check out the party kit network for one local to you.
Want to make an effort to create party food without the plastic? Get creative…. Homemade meringues, flatbread quesadillas, hummus cucumber cups with homemade breadsticks, chocolate cups. It doesn’t take too much time and it reduces all the plastic waste associated with ‘traditional’ beige party food!
OLIO – Share More, Waste Less is a brilliant App that connects you with perfectly good food that would otherwise be thrown away like Bread, pastries, fruit. Although some of these may come in packaging, you are at least helping stop food waste.
If you still want to give a party bag to your little party guests then consider a paper bag instead of plastic, check out The Paper Party Bag Shop for ideas. Avoid small plastic toys which last two minutes, and choose colouring cardboard wrapped pencils or crayons. Or just give a whopping big slice of birthday cake wrapped in a paper serviette!
This is fast becoming a staple at kids parties, but they come with some serious plastic footprints so lets look at some alternatives to the single use bags. I’m lucky enough to have a scoop and weigh shop where I live so I’ll be getting sweeties from there to add to pass-the-parcel. You can scoop into a tupperware and decant into individual paper sweet bags to use how you like! There are stores like this across the country, or pick and mix newsagents also still exist!
I’ll be using newspaper not wrapping paper for pass-the-parcel, and putting little dares like ‘run like a chicken’ or ‘hop on one leg’ in there too! You could also make your own bags that get smaller (I’m not crafty enough to do this!). The reason I avoid traditional wrapping paper is that its often non recyclable, with foils, coated finishes and dreaded glitter. The newspaper will be read, used for the party then fuel my log burner!
Say bye bye to balloons, which create an enormous amount of plastic waste and start to think a little differently about your party decorations! Some good friends of mine have a massive collection of family bunting, its added to by various members of the family every year, and its made using all colours and patterns of fabric. It comes out for birthdays, weddings and even funerals. If you cant make your own, them simply investing a good set every few years means you will have a stash to bring out time & time and again! Such a brilliant idea!
Invest in a good disco light (I promise these will be used all year round for surprise kitchen discos!), get all the christmas fairy lights out and fling them everywhere! Then create a play list and let the kids go wild!
If glow sticks are on your shopping list lets think again about them. Single use plastic stick filled with chemicals. There are alternative solutions if you relay wan them, such as reusable ones you can make using glow in the dark safety tape, which you simply recharge under lights and use again and again! Tutorial coming soon!
Feeding The Parents?
Its a party so why not crack open a few bottles of fizz and make some tear & share bread for them to graze on! Tea and coffee is also a staple for them!
Sometimes life means you need a little help to make the day special, and If you want to go all out for your child’s birthday, I cannot recommend Party Auntie enough. Carla who runs it has a great imagination and is on my wave length of using as little single-use plastic as possible.
Less is definitely more.
So good luck with your first zero waste kids party – do send me some pictures and let me know what you did to reduce that waste!!
Photos by Lanty