Going green is all the rage these days – from electric cars and paperless bills to upcycling and composting – incorporating green ideals into your child’s lifestyle is key to helping them grow up with green habits. Birthday parties are a great way to show your child how your ideals can be put into practice any time.

Here are a few tips to help get your green party started.

  • First, find a local outdoor place to hold your gathering, or hold the party in your own backyard to cut down on energy use and enjoy the great outdoors. Then, send tree-free invitations (and thank you notes) made from alternative fibers, like Green Field Paper, made of hemp and recycled paper, or use other alternatives to paper invitations, like email, E-vite or Paperless Post.
  • At the party, serve an organic cake using pesticide-free ingredients. If it is in the shape of a globe, that’s a plus! Also, recycle gift-wrapping materials by using paper bags from the grocery store or using salvaged wrapping paper from previous gifts. Finally, invest in plant-based cleaning supplies for the after-party cleanup, because they are safer for the environment and healthier for your home.

For gifts and party favors, use a few of these fun ideas:

  • For a unique present, buy your child an acre of rainforest or other natural habitat to protect. This is easy to do online and will be a lifetime gift for your child.
  • Celebrate by planting a tree in your child’s name or by simply creating a garden for your little one.
  • Plant trees or flowers in the number corresponding to the child’s age.
  • For take-home gifts for guests, use recycled paper bags that can be decorated and include natural treats and gifts, avoiding harmful plastics.
  • Ask that guests bring a plant or flower as a birthday present.
  • Have guests create their own party favors using materials from nature, such as a flowered tiara, a basket woven of pine straw and yarn, or a centerpiece made from materials collected in your own backyard.

Decorating for a green party really lets you get creative. Here are some tips to get you ready for your child’s special day:

  • Make colorful pompoms to hang using recycled tissue paper and newspaper.
  • Recycled tissue paper and newspaper can be used for making your own piñata. Fill this with organic candies, fruits and raisins.
  • Use paper products made from recycled materials for food and drink, or invest in party-friendly, reusable plates and cups.
  • Use natural materials from your own backyard to decorate the mailbox, doorways and the table.
  • Give take-home projects in goodie bags that incorporate natural materials to give the gift of going green.
  • If you must use balloons, buy ones made of latex and not Mylar. Mylar takes several hundred years to biodegrade, while latex only takes six months.
  • For candles as decorations or on the cake, try natural or multicolored beeswax candles to avoid chemicals like petroleum.

-Sarah E. King

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