Mom of two Mischievous Monkeys: Earth Day: Hosting a Sustainable Birthday Party

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day: Hosting a Sustainable Birthday Party

My son had a sleepover for his birthday yesterday and while sitting up waiting for them to fall asleep I came up with some tips to share for hosting an Eco Friendly party. A fitting topic given that today is Earth Day.
Amidst all the chaos of planning and executing your party there are some easy ways to reduce your parties carbon footprint!

Serving Food

-use reusable items rather than disposable cutlery, dishware, napkins, etc. If you don't have enough, consider buying some extras at a thrift shop and store away for occasions such as this.
-if you have too many people attending to warrant using reusable dishware, there are lots of options to purchase biodegradable items.
-Make your own cake from scratch, avoiding the packaging included with a store bought or from buying cake mix.

Loot Bags
A friend of mine shared the first three ideas that she has used or will be using for her son's parties and I included some of our favourite ideas too!

-use paper bags (made of recycled paper) and decorate them at home, . Inside include a rock and paint set for child to make pet rock. They had their party at a nature centre and went with a nature theme.
-packets of seeds for flowers or herbs, a clay pot and a magnifying glass or a book about gardens or seeds.
-sew your own loot bags. This would be a great way to use up scraps of fabric.
-think outside the box when it comes to party favors. Find unique reusable, quality items related to your theme.  Kids love books, pens and  notebooks, gift cards to ice cream shop, etc.
-Use multipurpose items. This year we bought popcorn tubs which were used to serve popcorn during the party and sent home with the kids to hold their loot bag items, rather than a throwaway plastic bag. In previous years, we have had kids decorate paper bags as a craft activity and used them as loot bags.
-home made items, such as silly putty and play dough are great items to make.


-You can always include suggestions for presents that match your lifestyle- create a registry online to refer people too, give suggestions to family members or let them know your child is saving towards special item.
-Have family contribute to  education savings plan for the birthday child
-One year we asked each child to bring $4 in lieu of a gift, $2 was donated to food bank and the other $2 went to our son who was saving to buy Thomas the train toys. This saved us from pile of plastic gifts that he didn't necessarily wanted and saved on gas from not having to go and return any duplicates.
-If tissue paper is gently and it can be reused later if in great condition. And of course gift bags can be reused for the next time your child has a party to attend.

-make your own party decorations if you are crafty or buy items that can be reused such as banners, posters, etc. Kids can help to decorate with paint, markers, stickers, etc.
-make your own invites using recycled or seed paper.
-skip the paper invitations- Use Facebook to create an event or email people you are inviting. You could also print on recycled paper or seed paper.

The added bonus to many of these ideas as not only are they good for the planet, many of them are also good for your wallet, saving you money!


  1. Those are amazing ideas! THANKS SO MUCH! I love so many of them...the popcorn container, the gift (split to a food shelter) the homemade party favors...both my boys bdays are coming up and I really appreciate your help as I plan! ;)

  2. Think outside the box when it comes to party favors. Find unique reusable, quality items related to your theme. Kids love books, pens and notebooks, gift cards to ice cream shop, etc.I know many people not follow this rules.

  3. All such ideas are great, I'll definitely consider all off them on my kids birthday.

  4. Idea is good but Keeping 6 seven year old boys entertained can be a challenge. The birthday was in the winter, and we don’t have a TV. With a little planning, it isn’t a problem. My teacher-background helped me out here