The climate crisis is one worldwide topic that is just as important to our future generations as it is to us. Needless to say, the only way to begin turning the crisis around is to get children actively involved in doing their part.
One of the best ways to bring awareness to your child and his or her friends is with an eco-friendly birthday party. Birthday parties designed with the Earth’s health in mind significantly reduce waste and, in doing so, serve as a great way to educate children on the importance of caring for the planet.
Brainstorm With the Birthday Person
Before you begin planning an eco-friendly birthday party for your child, you should first discuss the option with him or her. Explain why it is important to reduce waste and work together to come up with some exciting waste-saving solutions. Prepare to be amazed at how informed your child already is about global warming, and don’t be surprised if he or she jumps at the chance to help out.
With your child now on board, work together to come up with some wonderful alternative ideas for his or her party.
Visit a Zoo
For instance, rather than having the birthday party at your home, try having a party at the zoo. No child can resist a party at the zoo and it presents the perfect opportunity for them to learn about natural habitats and the animals that live in them.
Turn Gifts into Giving
Another great idea is to accept donations for a certain charity in lieu of gifts. This may be harder to get your child to accept, but through a good conversation, your child should be accepting of the idea. Instead of gifts, ask children to bring canned goods for the local homeless shelter or make it a dog and cat themed party where guests can bring dog and cat food or other needed items to be given to the local pet shelter. You can even call the pet shelter in advance for a wish list.
The traditional birthday party entails rolls and rolls of wrapping paper, decorations, gift boxes and packaging and various other temporary items which only end up filling the local landfill.
Make Your Own Wrapping Materials
A great tip for a “green” birthday party includes making your own wrapping paper. Home-made wrapping paper will save you money and provide a special look to the gift. You can use a few drops of food coloring to lend color to the home-made paper. Or, make a home-made canvas sack to hold all the gifts. If you have more than one child, make one bag for each and personalize them so they can be used on the appropriate birthday.
Consider Your Gifts
Of course, because much of the waste that arises from birthday parties is from gifts, strongly consider the types of gifts you’re planning on giving your child. Gifts that come with a minimum of packaging are the most ideal. Rather than get him another video game, pick him up a new football and basketball. Try to come up with gift ideas to get him out of the house and away from the television. For instance, a pair of binoculars and a bird-watching book make a great gift combo for any child over five years old.
Use Reusable Party Goods
In an effort to keep waste to a minimum, use cloth napkins and washable dinnerware. You’ll also want to avoid giving out throw-away party favors. Spend a little more money if you can and give each child that attends the party something more useful, maybe a small plant or packet of seeds. A great party favor idea is to pick up some small journals and pens and give one to each child, Writing a small note inside reminding them to take care of the Earth.
By using an environmentally friendly theme, you are able to make an impression on many children, as well as their parents, and you’ll help increase awareness of the planet’s needs. Start a revolution to save the Earth, beginning with your own child’s birthday party.