Sweet eats and treats
Parents know that birthday parties are all about the favors and goodies heaped on their kids! Opt out of sugary candy, and send young party-goers home with a special bag full of treats that parents can feel good about, such as FruitaBü Fruit Rolls from Stretch Island Fruit Company. If you want to add just a hint of natural sugar, YummyEarth Organic Lollipops are an excellent choice. Throwing a summer pool party? Consider giving each child their own bucket and shovel to play with and take home at the end of the party. For a safari-themed party, Green Planet Parties offers an O'BON Animal Fact Book & Wildlife Pencils for older kids or Froggy Friends for little ones. To add a natural glow to any celebration, top the cake or cupcakes with 100 percent pure beeswax candles that don't emit toxins. With a little ingenuity, parents can find items that are healthy for both children and the planet!
Reduce paper waste
Add style and color to any child's birthday party table setting with MYdrap napkins and placemats. Perforated on a roll for easy tear-off convenience, they are ideal for busy parents. Made of 100 percent cotton fibers, MYdrap napkins are biodegradable, compostable and recyclable. Available in 20 colors, four patterns and five sizes, MYdrap is designed to be mixed and matched to your party with ease and affordability!
A quick chat with Beth Aldrich, a certified nutrition and healthy lifestyle counselor, spokesperson and author of the book Real Moms Love to Eat: How to Conduct a Love Affair with Food and Still Look Fabulous! provided some additional planet-friendly tips that are easy to incorporate while planning for the party.
Save the trees -- go electronic
Gather friends and family for the big party without chopping down a single tree for invitations. Consider sending electronic invites with a service such as Evite, Paperless Post, and/or GroupCard. Afterwards, send an email thank-you note for attending the party from a classy online service such as Cocodot. The trees will breathe a sigh a relief!
Eco-games and activities
Adults and children alike will love the concept of "recycle bin" basketball! Use a recycle bin and create a game for kids to learn how to recycle. Plastic bottle in the bin: 2 points; balled-up piece of old newspaper: 3 points! For a fun party activity, reuse dry water bottles to allow each child to make their own sand art creation! Remove the paper labels and fill with colored sand for a gorgeous effect.
Opt for reusable or sustainable decorations
Instead of using disposable party plates, buy reusable, colorful plastic plates and make them the "special birthday party plates" so the kids look forward to the party plates each year. Remember to store them in a special box for their important day! The sight and smell of fresh-cut flowers and potted plants are a welcome sight -- and such a beautiful way to decorate for parties. Whether used as a centerpiece for the table or placed around the home, consider purchasing your child's favorite flowers or plants as a special surprise!
Serve up some local fare
Buy produce from the local farmer's market and share the importance of buying local with the kids, all while enjoying the rich flavor of fresh berries, juicy slices of watermelon, and scrumptious corn on the cob. All provide kid-friendly eats! What you serve your party food on is just as important as what you eat, so take care to use recycled or reusable serving plates for a small carbon-footprint party.
More ways to go green
8 Eco-friendly party favors
10 simple ways to green your next party
Plan a green couple's party with these 6 recipes and tips