Planning a Children’s Eco-friendly Party

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by Linda Castillo

Saving the our planet earth for future generations is so important to me and for that reason as I started to plan my daughter’s first birthday party I wanted to make sure it was as environmentally friendly as possible. Here are five simple things that you can do to make your child’s birthday party better for our mother earth.

Green Planet Parties Goodie Bag

Available for sale at http://www.greenplanetparties.com

  1. Invitations and Thank You Cards: You can actually start on a more eco way before the party even begins by using electronic invitations. I am most familiar with Evite online invitations. The Evite platform has many cute designs to choose from and this will also make tracking responses a breeze too.  By sending electronic invitations you will not only save on paper and postage costs but in the process you are saving the planet by reducing the omissions for sending postage out and sparing some trees from creating the traditional invitations. Moreover, when the party ends you can also send thank you emails instead of the traditional paper thank you cards.
  2. Tableware: If you are having a small party, I recommend that you use your own glass tableware.  However, if you are hosting a party for several children and parents purchase recyclable paper plates and cups and disposable utensils made from corn starch that can biodegrade and compost.
  3. Goodie Bag: The goodie bag is typically a small plastic bag filled with high sugar candy and little plastic toys that can end up in the garbage or on the floor at the end of the party. So why not use a reusable small bag instead in place of the plastic bag. Fill the bag with items that the children will use such as such as pencils, fun toothbrushes and healthy granola bars. You can also find some fun sustainable goodie bag options at http://www.http://www.greenplanetparties.com
  4. Decorations: While streamers and balloons create a festive atmosphere, the waste produced from balloons and streamers have a negative effect on our environment. Balloons in particular can pose as a choking hazard for small children but when balloons are released into the sky they can end up in our oceans where they are frequently consumed by ocean wildlife. Rather than the typical decorations, why not make a reusable “Happy Birthday” quilt that can be used for many years of children’s birthday parties. It could become a family tradition to put the birthday quilt up.  Not the crafty type, then check out http://www.etsy.com/ for some homemade birthday quilts. Also, think outside of the box when it comes to decorating the space. Perhaps use plants or small herbs as table centerpieces so that the guests can take home to start and grow their own garden.
  5. Green Themes: As your child becomes older you can incorporate green birthday themes. For example, if your child has a favorite animal, such as the polar bear, you can use the party as a time to educate the kids about saving the planet and sharing what they can do now to make a difference. You also can incorporate activities in the party that is green or saves the planet. For example, you can host a beach clean up followed by a BBQ or try planting a tree providing the kids with seeds that they can plant at home. For more great tips on planning a green activity party visit http://www.progressivekid.com/shop/Planet_Friendly_Party_Tips.aspx

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Linda Castillo is the Founder and Executive Editor of www.ModernLatina.com. She writes on topics that empower and inspire Latinas including art, motherhood, green living, culture, travel, and issues transforming the Latino community. Linda has earned a B.S. in Business and a M.S. in Mass Communications from San Jose State University.