As an Eco party planner, I thought I’d share my top 5 sustainable party ideas for you to try at your next event!
My family and I began our switch to a more sustainable lifestyle at the end of last year after seeing all the excessive plastics at our parties and the ones we’d attend.
For me choosing a more sustainable approach and lifestyle has been a HUGE unlearning experience.
It all began with my own kids’ parties. I wanted to spoil them with these wonderfully big celebrations as my parents did for me. I’d buy all the plastic party supplies without too much thought only for them to end up in the bin hours later– it made no sense!
Not only was it a waste of money, but there’s also the whole impact on the earth factor and then the mum guilt crept in, I thought …” What was I teaching my kids?” They’re so impressionable!
My eldest saw me throwing out all the party rubbish after one of our parties one year and asked me “why are you throwing all the party stuff in the bin? ” He was too little to understand and didn’t want the party to be over (bless his cotton socks) I wasn’t sure how to answer him properly. How would he learn to value things and take care of things if I was throwing away so much right in front of his eyes?
This moment led me to want to change.
I began questioning how much do I ALREADY HAVE?
What do I actually NEED?
What do I already have that can be REUSED?
How can I do/be BETTER?
I began researching sustainable options, what I found shocked me!
I didn’t know the real dangers of balloons, the way they broke up in the air and landed in the oceans, our sealife confusing the broken fragments and string for food and choking on them!
As if that wasn’t enough, I was completely unaware of the real risks of helium with kids and that it could be fatal if ingested?! YIKES!! My kids love balloons but I knew If I could make some changes and teach them from now, I could still create something special for them and make a difference without the danger, chemicals or plastics!
The truth is, single-use party items are so readily available at all the major department stores and party shops which makes it too easy not to give it a second thought when planning a child’s birthday party. There is a misconception that plastic is cheaper to mass produce and import but at what cost? With BIGGER and BETTER party trends, it has just become the norm and accepted as “party culture”, one that needs to change!
Some might think they’re more affordable. In reality, their Eco-friendly alternatives aren’t much higher in price, pose zero threat to the environment, are non-toxic which means better for our kids and with some items being reusable, you get much more value for money!
Along the way, I’m learning more and more about the different materials used in the products we buy, how much waste goes into the manufacturing process and the excessive plastic packaging! Shopping locally from a handmade and Australian made supplier would reduce a lot of these issues and waste!
I’ve compiled a list of my top 5 sustainable party swaps for you to try below!
1. Home deocr for Party Props
Use decorative items you might find around the home,such as vases, crates, baskets or trays to add to your display & create varied height, this gives a fuller appearance too. Use kids toys and room decor to match the theme, add your favour bags, some fresh fruit and flowers or plants so you’ll still have the same cake table impact, without all the excess waste!
2. Low waste activities as entertainment
Think sustainable party activities to keep kids entertained so that you can enjoy the day too!
Painting with non-toxic paints on plasters like will have them busy getting creative and make wonderful keepsakes. Find our range of plasters by pm Plaster Craft here https://partyora.com/vendor/pm-plaster-craft/
Think homemade and natural playdough with wooden play dough stamps, rolling pins and cookie cutters to match your theme. Find our wooden stamps By Eco Play here https://partyora.com/vendor/eco-play/
A cupcake decorating station, simply pre bake some cupcakes and set up all the topping on the morning of the party for guests to decorate, these can double as the take home gift!
For a quick and easy favourite: set up an activity table with colouring-in sheets or Activity bookelts like the ones by The Party Pack Co here https://partyora.com/vendor/the-party-pack-co/
Use coloured pencils or natural crayons and host your own colouring-in competition which is always a party favourite!
3. Labelling bins to sort waste
On the less glamorous side parties is the rubbish! Hopefully by choosing more sustainable options, the waste will be minimal!
Have a bin for general waste, one for food scraps, and one for recyclables. This will help your guests to sort out any rubbish on the day and stop items going in the wrong bins! Food scraps that end up in landfill produce greenhouse gasses which contribute to global warming! Label bins with clear bold labels to make it easy for your guests.
4. Use Eco friendly or DIY Decorations
Paper pom-poms, honeycomb balls, tissue paper balls, tissue paper garlands, felt or fabric buntings and pinatas are all great alternatives for you to purchase or even DIY! Set the scene and decorate your space using items that can be reused or will break down. Get crafty and make them from paper, tissue paper, crepe, newspaper and cardboard and stick them together sustainably using eco masking tape, staples or string.
We can show you how to make your very own Pinata using a cardboard box here https://partyora.com/how-to-make-a-diy-pinata/
Top your cake with pure Australian made beeswax candles and support our local Aussie farmers! They not only look Amazing but are free from any nasties and have a longer burn time than the usual paraffin-laden supermarket birthday candles. View our range of beeswax handmade birthday candles here.
Eco friendly toppers are also fantastic to adorn your cake, think bamboo toppers with a generic “Happy Birthday” message that can be reused for each party or again, make your own, there are lots of ideas on Pinterest for this too! Have a look here DIY cake topper ideas
5. Plastic-free & Eco friendly favour bags
One thing most mothers dread at kids birthday parties is the little lolly bag filled with cheap plastic toys and lollies galore! If your child takes home useful non-toxic favours, not only would they play with them longer, it would be all-around better for them! It’s no secret, kids love gifts and favours and at Partyora, we have a huge range of plastic free party favours including:
Fabric reusable favour bags view them here: Fill your own favour bags
Ready-made plaster favours in every theme you can think of with wooden brushes & refillable paint vials.
Pre-filled Organic Lolly bags with non-toxic temporary tattoos by theme by The Little Festival Company which you can view here https://partyora.com/vendor/the-little-festival-company/
Thanking your party guests with eco friendly party bags can start a conversation for change, as we have seen first hand!
What more could an eco friendly party planner ask for!!
If you like these ideas, feel free to share it around!
You can read more about how we threw together a recent Arty bug party here https://partyora.com/how-to-throw-a-wonderful-plastic-free-arty-bug-party/