Welcome to my first ever blog post! This is both equal parts exciting and scary for me but I feel now more than ever we all have a need to connect with like-minded people and if you’re like me and chasing some real and honest words around trying to be sustainable then get comfy and settle in for a few moments because I’m here for that.
If we’ve arrived on our web page and you’re not looking around in bewilderment and wondering why you’re here then you’re probably like me. You’ve got young kids, which means you’ve got birthday parties to plan for and you’re looking at ways to be sustainable and host a low waste party.
But where do you start? It seems everything marketed towards kid’s parties is made from single use plastics. From the decorations and disposable dinner plates down to the bags and the party bag fillers!
Children’s parties too often come along with unnecessary waste as it’s often perceived that it is cheaper and easier to use disposable everything, however with minimal pre-planning this doesn’t need to be true.
When you stop to consider the long term impact of your party waste you quickly realise it does not outweigh the time, effort, and cost of going low waste at your next birthday event.
Here are my top 5 low waste alternatives to start you on your way to hosting a great low waste party.
In today’s digital age its super simple to create your own invites online and text or email them to your guests. No paper waste as there is no need for them to print them either, we all have calendars on our smart phones.
If you’ve got young kids and you’re worried about glass and china plates getting dropped I can’t encourage you enough to invest in some reusable Ikea kid’s plates, bowel, cups and cutlery. It’s relatively cheap and can be used for years and years. Yes they are plastic- but they are not single use plastic. We’ve had our set for over 7 years now and it’s still going strong. If you have a certain theme and colour in mind there are many small businesses that hire out plate sets to suit. Wash and return and you don’t need to worry about storing them either
One of the biggest sources of party waste are decorations. There are so many things you can use that will create zero waste while still creating a fantastic looking party. Recycled fabric made in to bunting is a decoration that can be used over and over. Bunches of flowers and even your indoor plants can be made into wreaths, set up as table decorations and used as cake toppers. Recycled Paper garlands are great decoration and fun to make with the kids. Both can be composted at the end. When considering your decorations avoid balloons and keep it minimal. Use things that are either recyclable or compostable and please don’t add Glitter!
Food and drink
Stick to finger foods and serve them on alfoil trays (which are recyclable, just wash first) or your china plates. Foods such as slices, fruit and dips and veggie sticks are easy finger foods that can help eliminate the need for plates and cutlery. Using a Punch bowl or drink dispenser and reusable cups also eliminates waste. Definitely skip the plastic straws and if straws are really needed stick to silicone straws for kids to avoid accidents. Another way to reduce your food waste is to send guests home with left overs.
If you’re hosting a low waste party then there’s no point sending your guests home with plastic party bags filled with plastic wrapped lollies and flimsy plastic toys that will break 2 seconds after they get home. Instead make sure you gift the party loot in a paper or cloth bag or something else reusable. Make sure the loot is reusable and recyclable too! Choosing items that can have extended play options is a great reminder to your guest of how much they enjoyed themselves at your party too.
So next time you are considering throwing a Birthday party remember that just implementing a few of my simple suggestions will have you on your way to low waste partying. With a little forward thinking it can be easy and very achievable to have the low waste party you want.
If you have any questions send them my way at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to answer them.