When we have to prepare a birthday party of any kind, decorating and finding everything we need is fun but it can also be somewhat complicated if we want it to be a more environmentally friendly celebration. Here are some easy ideas for a sustainable birthday party. Taking care of the environment does not have to be complex or expensive.
Some easy ideas to decorate a birthday in a sustainable way
Opt for biodegradable tableware: glasses, plates and cutlery made of cardboard or vegetable fibres. Also, a good option is to use your normal reusable glass, ceramic or bamboo tableware (ideal because it resists falls or bumps better when there are many children) and wash it later in the dishwasher. It is increasingly possible to find it in more places such as supermarkets or online birthday celebration stores.
To invite friends to the birthday, you can make very beautiful digital invitations with simple and free programs such as Canva or use paper for the invitations, a postcard or a drawing that your child makes and that will be a very nice detail as a souvenir for those who come to the event.
If you want to go a step further, although it is not the cheapest option, you can choose to use a paper that contains seeds and can be planted; thus, after receiving the invitation, the guests can bury the paper in a pot and water it until a little plant blooms. It is a good memory.
If you are going to offer straws, do not buy the traditional ones but the paper ones that biodegrade without leaving a trace of microplastics or harming marine fauna. You also have aluminium, bamboo or glass straws that are reusable if you don’t want to even waste paper.
Balloons are one of the most polluting wastes from parties and celebrations, but they are very beautiful to decorate. As an alternative, you can use biodegradable latex balloons, which are becoming easier to find and more affordable.
Important note! Although the balloons are biodegradable, they can take a minimum of 6 months to biodegrade, so they should not be left in the wild or lying on the ground as they can be dangerous for animals that may ingest them. The organic bin must be used to discard them.
You can also give up the balloons and replace them with paper or fabric garlands and also make a less common and more original decoration to stand out among all the birthday parties.
To fill the party with a colour, a good option for confetti is to make it at home with the children and take advantage of it to reuse wrapping paper, drawings or magazines and newspapers that would otherwise go directly to the trash. In this way, they have a second life and can have another use. It can be cut by hand or with different shapes.
We all know that it is an almost impossible mission to get rid of glitter and when we dispose of it in nature this is no exception: it is a material that pollutes a lot and spreads through the water making it impossible to filter and clean. There is, however, biodegradable glitter made from eucalyptus cellulose (among others) that you can buy in stores if you want to include it in your birthday craft or face painting activities.
Leaving recycling bins visible where all attendees can separate their waste is a good way to recycle, and make the celebration more sustainable. Even if it’s a party, it doesn’t cost us anything to put 3 or 4 different buckets (or boxes, or bags) where attendees separate between glass, plastic, paper and organic waste.
Detail or gift for the guests
If you want to replace the classic plastic cone with sweets, you can make homemade cookies or muffins (or whatever sweet or savoury you want) and wrap them in a nice tissue paper or cardboard box to give as a gift at the end of the birthday.
There are also seed bombs that are being sold in more and more places and that are a nice detail. Children love to see how, after planting a simple small clay ball in a pot, with patience and after watering it for a few days, they get a little plant or some flowers.
They can be found in stores and online or you can even make them yourself with your children so that they are the ones to give their classmates a gift: you just need to mix seeds with mud, shape them into a ball (or whatever! whatever you want…) and let them dry!
Last, but certainly not least, is to consider the food. The more homemade things we make, the less plastic or single-use packaging we will consume and the less packaging we will need to throw away.
For example, it will always be more sustainable in terms of environmental impact to make a simple homemade cake than to buy a prepared cake for the simple fact of not needing packaging and transport.
In this article, we at Jalsa Homes talk about sustainability, since the fewer packaged things we buy, the less garbage we will have to throw away. Obviously, it is just an idea that can be realised to different degrees and according to the possibilities, availability and wishes of each family.