Author: Verena Frei, Freistyle
As a mom of twin girls, Verena Frei of Freistyle gets to host just ONE birthday party a year. They’ve exhausted a lot of themes over the years, including dolphins, horses, and even a forest theme. But as her girls were so indecisive in the lead up to their last birthday, they agreed to let Verena surprise them with a special (and sustainable) theme. In this article, Verena breaks down how-to host an awesome sustainable kids birthday party without making them feel like they’re missing out!
In our family, we’ve always made an effort to talk about sustainability and consider our impact on the environment. I proposed to the girls; instead of buying special decorations, why don’t we get creative using things we can find around the house? I’m sure that most of us parents have a designated supply cupboard at home for arts and crafts, seasonal decorations, and gift wrapping materials. You will be surprised by just how much you can use for a birthday party – which brings us to my first tip!
1. Use the things that you already have at home
- Use wrapping paper as table linen! The kids could even colour it in, and you could still use it to wrap presents afterwards.
- Christmas lights always add a little bit of magic, no matter what season it is.
- Use ribbons as table decorations.
- Paper lunch bags double as decorative items and also for snacks!
- All kind of jars can be used as vases for pretty flowers, and also to hold vegetable sticks and cutlery.
2. Use natural materials such as fruits and plants as decoration
- Use seasonal fruits like oranges, berries, apples, etc. as decoration – and let the kids eat them afterwards!
- Go hunting for pretty pieces of wood and moss with the kids – these are great for natural decorations.
- Big leaves and eucalyptus branches look beautiful in large vases or placed around for a natural touch.
3. Use Coconut Bowls, Bamboo Straws and wooden cutlery instead of single-use items
- Instead of buying paper or plastic single-use items, use Coconut Bowls to serve snacks and treats. They also double as beautiful decorations!
- Not only will kids love eating out of these bowls that look like real coconuts, but they will also have fun spinning them as a game.
- Use eco-friendly Bamboo Straws instead of plastic or paper straws. Kids will love drinking out of them!
- Use Coconut Bowls wooden cutlery instead of plastic alternatives that will just be thrown away afterwards.
4. Choose a conscious party gift
- Instead of sending your guests home with things they don’t really need or would use once before throwing it out or forgetting about it, give them something useful that fits within the sustainable theme.
- We had wooden birdhouses, the only thing I bought for the birthday party, and we coloured them in with the kids. Everyone got to take their house home along with some bird food – a sustainable gift for the animals!
- Other ideas may include:
- making something edible and plant-based, like cookies, that the kids could decorate at the party.
- seed packages they could craft themselves.
- soaps they could make themselves.
- homemade, plant-based chocolate spread.
- There are so many things you could make that the kids would love – it just requires a little eco-friendy imagination!
5. Offer healthy food and some treats
- Last but not least is the food you offer. We always offer a balanced mixture of vegan treats, such as gummy bears, chocolate drops, but also a lot of fruit! We like to put them on skewers and cut them up into fun shapes. Along with vegetable sticks, nuts and pretzels, these are always the first things that are gone!
- There’s always gotta be a cake. It was chocolate this time (and vegan of course, which no one ever notices).
- We also served dinner in our Coconut Bowls – spaghetti with tomato sauce and vegan parmesan. Always a winner!
I hope you can implement some of these tips for your next eco-friendly birthday party! I can only tell you that my kids were super happy with how everything turned out and super impressed with the decoration. What’s more, throwing the whole party together did not take long at all. I did not have to rush to the stores or spend hours on the internet to get all the supplies – most definitely another win, especially for busy parents.
I think that it’s super important to talk with our kids about how to throw a sustainable party that will be fun for everyone while also being good for the environment. Kids are much more understanding and adaptable than we may think. Being 7 years old, my kids are already well aware that single-use plastic is a big problem for our planet (they have seen first hand on vacations), and are keen to make sustainable changes. I hope this inspires you to make positive changes, perhaps starting with hosting a sustainable party!