As parents we want to fill our kids’ childhood with memorable experiences and throwing an awesome kids’ party is right at the top of the list. There are so many options for parties these days, including keeping it low waste. This might sound like a daunting task, but with a little bit of planning, everyone can enjoy a fun-filled party without all the waste! Here’s how to go about it...
Zero Waste Invitations
First up, we need to let our friends know when, where and what our party is all about. Sorry Australia Post, but snail mail is a thing of the past for party invitations. Creating an online invitation with programs like Canva is the eco-friendly way to go. Not only is Canva easy to use, it also has plenty of fun invitation templates, if you’re a little design-challenged! Invitations can be sent out via text, email or even via Facebook. If you’re really tech-savvy, you might like to make a video with the birthday kid to send out to their friends. Plenty of fun and no waste yet!
This can be a tricky one, but encouraging friends to bring preloved toys or a voucher for an experience is totally acceptable. We love making little vouchers to give to our friends for an experience at a later date. Even simple things like playdates, bike rides or having a game of tennis that friends can experience together will leave a much longer-lasting impression than a plastic toy.
Low Waste Party Food
Firstly, work out how many people will be at the party. Over-catering can create a lot of unnecessary food waste at the end of the day. We always pick venues that allow us to take our own food or we have the party at home.
Finger foods that can be put out on a table at the start of the party are the way to go for simplicity. Swapping out the chips for pretzels and popcorn from the bulk food shop is a great start. Tick the healthy box by serving fruit on a platter or, with a bit more effort, cut-up to make fruit kebabs. Homemade muffins and cupcakes in silicone muffin moulds also add a pop of colour to the food table.
Don’t forget the reusable plates, bowls, cups and cutlery. We keep a set of colourful cups, plates and so forth that get pulled out for parties. The different colours help to distinguish whose cup is whose. There’s also lots of places popping up now that offer a reusable party kit to hire if you don’t have everything on hand. Alternatively, it might be time to invest in one you can reuse every year. Scroll down for a list of great places to hire or buy eco-friendly party supplies.
As for drinks, you can make water or juice that bit more special with rainbow stainless steel straws or even black if it suits the theme (pirates, Batman, space, spooky - so many ideas!). Encouraging kids to bring their own water bottle is another good way to lessen the waste and create good habits too.
For parties away from home, remember to use your reusables, such as silicone ziplock bags, stainless steel lunchbox and beeswax wraps. Also, take a container so the food scraps can be placed in your home compost and another container for any leftovers.
Spotted some essentials to invest in ahead of the party? Pop them in your cart now.
Reusable Party Decorations
The first question here is: do you need decorations? An outdoor beach party, for example, may not need anything more than a picnic blanket. However, If decorations are your thing, then look to avoid the traditional balloons and streamers that end up in landfill and opt for some reusable items, such as fabric bunting, a colourful fabric tablecloth or napkins. Making signs and banners out of recycled paper or scraps from around the home is a great way to get your kids involved too.
There are also many businesses specialising in eco-friendly party decorations and supplies that you can purchase or hire. We’ve listed a few below. Also, read this blog post by The Rogue Ginger - My Reusable Party Kit & How To Join The Party Kit Network Australia.
Eco-Friendly Party Supplies and Decorations:
Low Waste Party Games
A critical part of any fun party is the games. Musical statues will get the energy levels soaring. Creating a treasure hunt or a mini golf course are other good options for fun, low waste activities. If playing more traditional games, such as pass-the-parcel are on the wish list, electing to reuse newspaper or fabric are great alternatives to wrapping paper. Avoid the plastic toys and wrap things like pencils and crayons or keep it simple with jokes the kids can read out at each stop.
Eco-Friendly Party Bags
Once the fun levels have peaked and it’s time to farewell our friends, we can’t have them leaving without a traditional sugar-filled plastic lolly bag - or can we? Swap the plastic bag for a paper bag, which the kids can decorate, or collect some jars in the lead up to the party to fill with goodies. A reusable cotton bag is another great option.
Avoid the individually wrapped lollies - you don’t want to be picking up the wrappers that will inevitably get thrown in the mad haste to consume the entire lolly before the next kid. Source some package-free lollies from the bulk food store or an old-school lolly shop (yes, there are still a few around where you get to select how many of each variety you wish to purchase).
Alternatively, ditch the lollies completely and give a colouring book (the other parents will love you for providing further entertainment for their child), pencils or even a stainless steel straw to encourage more eco-warriors in this world.
Our most colourful ‘lolly bags’ were lolly crackers made from Who Gives A Crap paper (if you haven’t heard about Who Gives A Crap, you need to check them out now!). The birthday boy helped to load them up and proudly gave them out to his mates who totally loved them.
So, what do you think? Does it seem a lot more doable now? The key is to get planning early enough to source or create everything you need and to include the kids, so they take ownership of and feel proud of their fun-filled, low waste and, most importantly, memorable party.
Kids' Party Essentials:
Silicone Muffin Moulds
Stainless Steel Straws
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