Birthday parties are special for any kid. I remember the slumber parties, invitations, excitement of who I will ask, what games I we will play and movies we will watch. Birthday parties seem to have gotten very lavish and extravagant and I’m guilty in having too many party favors, buying too many gifts and going over the top for my own children. I’m also guilty of attending children’s birthday parties and tossing the goody bags full of junk and thinking of the excessive toy packaging, wrapping paper and all of the waste from the disposable paper plates, napkins and party streamers. Making the switch to a greener and leaner birthday party usually means money saving, less stress and no more sugar highs that turn into the sugar blues!

 Some ideas for a green and low impact birthday party:

1.  Ditch the paper invitations! Instead of sending traditional paper invitations pick up the phone or send an online invitation. This saves paper, stamps and money!
2.  Uses wildlife paper lanterns that you can make yourself instead of traditional balloons.
3.  Have children make their own party favors for fun play at home. Make play dough, silly putty, finger paints or bubble mix!
4.  Go with regular plates and silverware if possible. It will be less waste and if you have to use disposable think compostable from Preserve.
5.  Encourage recycled wrapping paper or newspaper verses expensive wrapping that cannot be recycled. You’ll save your guests money and help the environment.
6.  Help reduce consumerism and encourage recycled goods for gifts such as used toys or books.
7.  Host a charity party where instead of gifts your child can collect items for the local food pantry or animal shelter. Take your child to visit the animal     shelter and deliver the gifts of dog food or cat litter – this will make your child feel very special.

Having a low impact birthday party is possible even if it means that this year you decided to do just one of the items on the list. What tips do you have for greening a birthday party?


  1. We just had our son's 2nd birthday family party and used our plates, silverware, and glasses. I also made 90% of the food to further reduce on waste. The only disposable thing we used were paper napkins that we've had for almost 6 years!

  2. Excellent suggestions! My goddaughter is celebrating her 1st birthday next month and her mom is thinking about a big party. I'll definitely pass this on to her — so she can say that her baby girl had a great, green, first birthday party!

  3. I've got a great + super simple tip. The next time you're purchasing a gift card– go for the electronic (and paperless) option, an eGift card. Each year, 75 millions lbs of PVC is dumped into landfills from plastic gift card waste (Plenty Magazine). That's an astronomical amount of waste for something that can easily and conveniently be sent virtually. PVC is notoriously difficult to recycle and cannot be tossed into the recycling bin along side your other household items. You must send those pesky plastic cards to a PVC recycling plant, the only one I know of is EarthWorks. For a directory of retailers that offer an eGift card, try …it is the most extensive one I have found to date. Hope that helped. 🙂


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