Eco-guru Kristen Eykel from the Café Mom Channel offers these seven tips for throwing a green birthday party.
1. Eco-Friendly Invitations
To kick off the party with a green start, repurpose parts of used greeting cards for invitations, or print invitations on seed paper (that way, once the recipient is done with the invitation she can plant it and give it a second life).
2. Dazzling Decorations
Make banners and garland from second-hand materials—used magazines, old cardstock, or even your child’s abundant art masterpieces. Felt is also a green material (it’s made from recycled bottles—who knew?) so you could cut felt circles and string them together for a beautiful and eco-friendly garland.
3. Reusable Crown for your Birthday King or Queen
Felt is perfect for making a birthday hat or crown (complete with the party decorations or the birthday child's first initial). And, be sure to keep the hat so your child can don it for years to come.
4. Tablecloth that Doubles as Entertainment
Use butcher block paper as your tablecloth and put out a bunch of crayons for a practical set up that keeps kids entertained at the table. Make your placesettings green, as well, with cloth napkins and real silverware or flatware rather than paper and plastic.
5. Pretty Party Favors
Give out party favors that kids will be able to enjoy for a long time. Terracotta pots plus seeds give kids an activity to do after they go home. Cover the pot with muslin cloth to keep the pieces together and make it look pretty and festive. You can also have the kids decorate their pots for another birthday party activity.
6. Green Giftwrap
Whether your child is attending a party or you’re throwing a party for your child’s birthday, giftwrap is an area in which you can save a lot of paper. Have kids pick out pictures from old magazines and newspapers, and paste them together for a unique and personalized wrapping job. Or have your child draw or paint on the blank side of printed paper. For extra decoration, re-use old ribbon or add sprigs of plants or flowers to beautify the wrapped gift.
7. Create a Donation Tradition
Make a tradition of having your child give his old belongings to Goodwill, or a similar organization that accepts donations. Not only will It clear space for new birthday gifts, but it helps your child learn the importance of doing something special for others while enjoying his special day.
Check out Kristen every Thursday on MomEd: Green Living, where she offers other "green" tips and advice.
Got green tips to share? Post them in comments!