There is nothing more magical than celebrating your little loves’ milestones. However the traditional birthday party can often go hand in hand with excess, which can feel in conflict with otherwise considered lifestyles.
With sustainability at the heart of Pekpi (and our family), we recently decided to host a Sustainable Birthday Party for our daughter’s third birthday with the help of eco party planner, Jasmin from My Little Party Hire.
So what is a Sustainable Birthday Party we hear you ask?
Well, think of a standard childrens party… disposable dinnerware, wrapping, balloons, decorations… unfortunately we have normalized this very wasteful approach. It is absolutely possible (and easier than you think!) to create the celebration your mini dreams of in a more sustainable manner and with far less waste. And what a great example to set for your children and their friends that you can still have a whole lot of fun whilst being environmentally friendly!
Here are some of our favourite tips and inspiration on how to throw a sustainable birthday party of your own.
Instead of paper napkins for the inevitable sticky hand situation, cut squares of fabric to use as serviettes and have a washing station nearby with a little tub of water and soap.
Rather than single use plates, cups and cutlery, either find biodegradable alternatives or take it one step further and source reusable items in neutral colour ways that can be used again at the next party.
Wooden platters, plates and cups made from silicone, bamboo, metal or even coconut fibers can all be found with just a little bit of extra effort… a little trick is looking at your local camping supplies store. Buy them once and keep them forever!
The benefit of catering for children is that it is quite easy to stick to finger foods to eliminate the need for cutlery all together.
Opt for non-plastic gifts, baked cookies or a creative and crafty activity to do either at home or at the party. For our ‘Under the Sea’ theme we had special wooden Mermaid Tails that each guest could paint themselves and take away in a small hessian pouch. These were made by We Have Made who has a gorgeous selection of craft kits to suit your party theme.
To avoid any food waste, you could even include something to carry home any leftover food as part of the take-home gift.
Rather than paper, go digital with your invitations. Use Canva or search for a premade template online to DIY your design.
Birthday presents can sometimes feel like a tsunami of plastic but don’t be afraid to kindly suggest an alternative to your guests. Make a note on your invitation requesting no plastic gifts, for example saying something like “books and experiences are always welcome” can steer people in the right direction.
Or if you would prefer to reduce the number of gifts entirely, if you’re having entertainment at the party like pony rides, face painting, a jumping castle or the likes, ask for a donation towards the fun on the day in place of a present.
Do away with balloons and throwaway decorations, and instead get crafty and make your own decor such as a simple fabric bunting, flower garland or painted table cloth. Pinterest is a plethora of ideas and inspiration, or just as we did find an eco party planner to source or hire decor for you.
Whilst the aim is to eliminate waste completely, responsibly dispose of any unavoidable rubbish in marked bins (rubbish, food waste and recycling) so that you can ensure that this is disposed of in the most eco-friendly way possible.
Our Mermaid Party with My Little Party Hire
With the help of the wonderful Jasmin of My Little Party Hire our daughter’s dream Mermaid party was brought to life. Jasmin is an eco party planner based on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland who creates beautiful events with handcrafted plastic-free decor and furniture, as well as catering options and activities.
It was such a joy to plan our event with Jasmin, you can just see the love that she pours into your event. She’ll often go to great lengths to bring your chosen theme to life and make your little one's party as memorable as can be. You can find out more about My Little Party Hire here.