Eco-friendly Birthday Parties
Eco-Friendly Birthday Parties
Eco-themed and eco-friendly birthday parties provide the perfect opportunity for children to learn the value of nature as they celebrate their special day.
Location & activities
Eco-themed birthday parties can be hosted at home, in a public space or at a rented venue. Tyler Arboretum in Media, PA, offers parents a variety of nature-themed party packages. “The children love our eco-birthday parties! The themes and activities include a dose of ‘edutainment’ and allow the children to get outdoors and engage in nature play,” notes Amy Mawby, the arboretum’s director of public programs.
The Delaware Museum of Natural History in Greenville, DE, will come to your home or a local park, which is great option for families that do not live near the museum.
According to Jennifer Acord, the museum’s communications manager, all of the birthday party themes they offer connect to nature and the environment. “Our live animals are very popular! We have three bearded dragons, snakes, geckos, an albino African pygmy hedgehog, frogs and more. Our mascot Dude, a large orange tabby cat, also will come to parties on request,” she says.
At Creamy Acres Farm in Mullica Hill, NJ, kids take a hay ride and interact with animals. Matt Tuttle, a dad from Glassboro, NJ, brought his 2-year-old daughter to a party at the farm and says, “Emma especially loved getting to feed the pony a carrot. She colored a planting pot to take home with a flower in it, too.”
Food and party supplies can create the majority of the waste at birthday parties. If possible, purchase fresh fruits from the local farmer’s market, rather than a grocery store. The closer the food originates to where it is being sold, the fewer resources were wasted on packaging and transporting it. Baking birthday sweets at home will lessen the waste created by the disposable pans and boxes of store-bought desserts.
During mealtime, use mason jars as eco-friendly alternatives for serving cold drinks. Biodegradable cups, plates and utensils can replace their plastic versions. Or eliminate the need for plates by wrapping sandwiches in a reusable cloth that can double as a party favor.
To embrace the nature theme, have your party guests eat picnic-style or in a tent.
For an eco-friendly table cloth, use a roll of brown paper and let the party guests draw on it. After the party, you can toss it in the recycle bin.
Homemade or purchased decorations made with felt fabric — woven either from 100% wool or recycled plastic bottles — or zero-emissions paint are safer for the environment and guests. Consider flower bulbs or potted plants as decorations because they will biodegrade or can be planted at home.
Eco-friendly presents for the birthday child might include edible or reusable items, such as baking ingredients in a glass jar, or even a donation to a charity on his behalf instead of a physical gift. Wrap presents in newspaper to reuse an item that often ends up in the trash.
An eco-themed party can be a fun opportunity to teach children about protecting the environment, an important lesson for each generation to understand.
Trianna Overton has a BA in public relations from Temple University and is an intern at MetroKids.