Updated: Jun 9, 2022
This year Squishy wanted a class birthday party; so far we've swerved the BIG DO and with a new baby I was hoping we could do a picnic with a few friends and a scavenger hunt instead, but he's missed out with having two lockdown birthdays and also a whole new school class of parties and friends and mum guilt hit so we had our first big birthday bash!
So how have we tried to make it a little bit kinder to the planet whilst still celebrating our best big boy?
Here's our experience...
We hired a very local venue to the school/families which was a community centre. It came with their soft play already installed in the price and we just provided some extra low waste entertainment and self-catering food which gave us a little more control. We also chose to hold the party 1-3pm which wasn't over a main meal time and accommodated foods but more on that later!
Invitations: Not wanting too much waste, we created digital invitations on Canva with all the details and dietary requirements.
Tableware and decorations:
Obviously, we run the reusable party kit via the UK Party Kit Network, so we hired our own kit with reusable decorations; bunting, banners etc. Hiring a party kit of reusable tableware saves an average of 100 single-use items from landfill and with everything you need in the box, including decorations, it's an easy way to make parties a little more eco-friendly and us cheaper than disposables too.
When it comes to food waste, parties can be particularly wasteful - the fear of under-catering is very real for many of us but with a bit of planning we can significantly reduce waste from food at parties. This is what we did:
1. Created a menu plan and try to be realistic about quantities needed (especially if your party isn't at a regular mealtime).
2. Wrote a shopping list to reduce last-minute panic buying in the supermarket.
3. Planned ahead for any leftovers, such as asking guests to bring food containers along to the party so they can take home any extra food.
Entertainment: As I mentioned, the venue had soft play included and a mascot to play party games.
We added a magic show (courtesy of my dad), the reusable pass the parcel from our party kit with seedball prize and prepared a few DIY 'party games' such as musical statues/bumps, corners and a parachute game from the kit.
We also got a local company to make a themed piñata, using reused cardboard and crêpe paper which went down a treat.
I absolutely hate party bags and so does Mr Ecologico, so we opted for a piece of birthday cake and a book for each child. These were new but we felt like it was a worthwhile purchase for each child.
Gifts: Which brings me neatly on to gifting.
We simply added a note to the invitation saying presence was more important than presents but if they really wanted to bring something for the birthday boy a donation towards some Pokémon from the toy library would be appreciated.
There was very little waste and Squishy had a great time! Have you got any other top tips for an eco birthday party?