Your baby’s first birthday is a milestone to be treasured — and you can certainly keep your green wits about you while planning baby’s big bonanza. Birthday parties seem to abound during the spring and summer months, and we’ve put together a list of 7 tips for ensuring your babe’s bash is BIG on fun while leaving a small footprint on the earth. Read on for ideas on how to throw an eco-friendly first birthday party!
1. SEND OUT GREEN INVITATIONS
Go virtual when it comes to sending out invitations to your baby’s 1st birthday bash. Paperless Post is an online stationer which offers colorful and adorable designs created especially for kids. Cards may be designed, customized and personalized, and look like they came from a bespoke letterpress. Paperless Post‘s custom cards are delivered in personalized envelopes to recipients’ inboxes and the senders are able to track and manage their invitations receipt and guests’ responses. Now, no one has an excuse not to RSVP, and no trees need to be harmed by sending snail mail back and forth.
2. ASK FOR 529 DONATIONS IN LIEU OF GIFTS
In lieu of having guests bring physical gifts for your baby (which typically come wrapped in oodles of cute, albeit wasteful wrapping paper!), ask them to donate to your child’s 529 college savings plan. In 20 years, your kid won’t remember that ring stacker… but he’ll be thrilled with the gift of a college education.
3. MAKE A HOMEMADE CAKE AND HOMEMADE PARTY FOOD
Make your baby’s special first birthday cake from scratch using organic, locally grown ingredients that are in season. Make the cake even more precious by going berry picking as a family at a local farm, and use the berries to decorate the top! Buy party food snacks in bulk to cut down on packaging, or make special treats yourself!
4. START TRADITIONS WITH REUSABLE DECOR
Paper streamers and pointy disposable party hats are decidedly passe’. Reusable decorations and birthday crowns will be cherished mainstays at every eco celebration during your child’s youth. Start the traditions with Jr.’s first birthday party. Place a sweet felt party crown on his regal noggin, drape a cloth Happy Birthday banner across the venue, and get creative making your own decorations and centerpieces from household items including baby photos and favorite toys.
5. HOST A GENTLY USED BOOK EXCHANGE IN PLACE OF PARTY FAVORS
Plastic party favor trinkets no longer get the last word! Ask each guest to bring a gently used baby book that they would like to trade-in for a ‘new’ one in a book exchange. Guests can place their book in a basket on the way in, and pick a new one when they leave the party.
6. GREEN THE PARTY ACTIVITIES
Give the poor donkey a break by leaving his tail on… and don’t bash him with a bat either! One year olds certainly aren’t ready to be spun around with a blindfold to pin a tail on a donkey, or to hit a pinata that rains candy! Instead of planting one on a candy bearing beast, plant miniature gardens. Babies will enjoy the tactile experience of digging and planting in the soil, and guests will have a blossoming keepsake to take on their way. Older sibling attendees and parents can plant herb gardens for their baby if the bambinos are too busy eating cake.
7. GIVE REUSABLE PLATES AND UTENSILS ‘TO-GO’ INSTEAD OF USING DISPOSABLES
If possible, serve birthday cake and party food on reusable dishes with stainless steel utensils instead of opting for wasteful, one-use paper plates. If you aren’t in the position to bust out your china, give guests reusable plates and utensils that they can take home and use again long after the candle has been blown out. Dandelion serves up great tableware for tots: child-sized plates, bowls, sippy cups and utensils made from eco-friendly Corn PLA.
Do you have any great green birthday party tips you’d like to share? Please leave a comment below!