10 ZERO-WASTE KIDS BIRTHDAY PARTY TIPS
Written by Katie
So my daughter turned one, so I put my zero-waste abilities to the test for her birthday party! ... and if I do say so myself, I crushed it! No trash (well, hardly any trash) was created by using items I had in my house and around my yard.
These tips I directly used for my kiddo's birthday, but I feel like they are applicable for ANY type of party, whether that's a baby shower or a retirement party!
Hope you find this helpful :)
1. Upcycled/reused wrapping
Once you start properly saving and organizing all the bags, tissue paper and bows from given gifts over the years, you'll NEVER have to buy wrapping again. So it goes without saying, that if you can, wrap all birthday presents in upcycled or reused wrapping, whether that's a brown paper bag tied with string, a mason jar with a bow or a bag you already had! The options are endless once you start saving.
We have a WHOLE podcast episode on holiday wrapping, check it out here!
2. DIY Banner
Instead of buying those big, plastic banners with the bright, bold colours (hello, NOT aesthetic!) try making your own! I made Lilah a banner by cutting strips of material out of drapes I found in my mothers basement, and tying them into knots that hung loosely down! It came out looking like the one in the banner of this photo, which is just so cute, and I can use it for YEARS to come! I wanted neautral colours so it can work for most parties. Plus, banners are just a great way to say "HEY, THIS IS A PARTY!" :)
3. Confetti made from leaves
This is the cutest birthday party decor idea ever and so zero-waste! Just take a large leaf from your back yard or the park and use a hole-punch to make cutie patutie green confetti. I sprinkled it all over the counter and table tops for a light pop of colour and fun! This is a great decor idea for kids birthdays, because again, confetti just say's "party"!
4. Homemade lemonade for drinks
Opt for a homemade beverage, such as lemonade, instead of plastic-packaged (and unhealthy!) pops and juices. Lemonade is universally adoraed, and can made completely zero-waste with lemons and bulk-bought sugar!
Here is a great recipe!
5. Homemade Food or... Pizza!
It's so easy to go the packaged root for kids food, but there are a few easy dishess that are very low-waste, which are great for kid's parties!
- Bulk snacks such as candy, pretzels, peanuts and chocolate covered almonds
- Veggie strips with hummus
- Little finger sandwiches
- Cut up watermelon
- Stove-top buttery popcorn
And when in doubt, order plant-based pizzas! All kids love it, and the packaging is just cardboard, which is very easy to recycle! Pizza Pizza has a great vegan option :)
6. Resuable napkins
I mean, this is a bit of a no-brainer, but try to invest in reusable napkins for any occasion, that way you can avoid paper towel or specialty napkins.
7. Secondhand or local toys as gifts
Kids truly cannot tell if toys or books are new or used, so definitely scan your own kid's toys or a local thrift shop for good quality birthday gifts. Some of my favourite toys I bought for Lilah wer ethrifted, and some of my favourite baby shower gifts were used kids books. I just appreciate the thought, and that other kids had great enjoyment from them previously.
If you aren't comfortable shoping secondhand, try to support local toy makers or businesses!
8. Make your own cake
Most storebought cakes comes in bulky plastic containers, so try your hand at making your own! My mom made Lilah a plant-based chocolate cake with chocolate icing, and brought it over in a glass cake plate. It was perfect! I don't even think we had candles :P
If you don't have time or hate baking, considering buying a cake from a specialty or local cake store, where you are not only shopping local but typically the cake comes ina cardboard style box, which can be recycled!
9. DIY Card
There are so many ways to give a birthday card that isn't store bought! You can try making your own paper (watch the tutorial here!), using the back of another card, making your own homemade card out of paper in your house etc. Get creative and save money! Store-bought cards are PRICY!
And when in doubt, are cards even necessary for every occasion? Write them a poem? Give a audio birthday card? Most cards get tossed, unless it's from a grandparent!
10. Loot bag
I forgot to hand out loot/party bags for Lilah's first birthday, but I love the idea of doing bulk-bought candy in mason jars as a lootbag instead of classy plastic bags filled with useless toys. It's cute, the jar can be reused, and what kid doens't love candy?!
I will definitely be doing this for a future party!
I hope this was helpful!