**This article has been translated automatically and will be reviewed soon.**
It's our youngest's birthday and we want to organize a party with friends. However, we want a party that won't produce a ton of waste.
How to organize an eco-friendly party? I'll share a few things with you.
When we think of a party, the first things that come to mind are: balloons, decorations, piñata , party hats, surprises for guests, cake, candles, gifts, confetti.
That's a lot of things... But beyond all that, we must not forget that our children especially want to see their friends.
Let's keep in mind that the event is more important than the decor! Children will remember the time spent with friends and the activities they did at their party much more than the color of the balloons and the multi-colored HAPPY BIRTHDAY garlands hanging on the wall.
In other words, we don't really need decorations, balloons or hats. We can easily avoid them and no one will hold it against us.
Focusing on the activity(ies) of the party is a good way to reduce waste during a birthday. Plus, you don't even need to waste time decorating (and throwing everything away afterwards) or wasting your breath blowing up balloons.
Keeping it simple and simple is the first key to organizing an eco-friendly party. Despite everything, if we love decorating and it is a necessity for us, we then favor decorations that we can reuse from year to year.
We buy our decorations the first time and we opt for sustainable options. They can be made of paper, but as with Halloween and Christmas decorations, avoid throwing them away after the party and store them until the next party.
We avoid rubber balloons which go directly into the trash and cannot be recycled. The same goes for metallic balloons (they are plastic and not aluminum and cannot be recycled, see our guide for more details on what can be recycled ). The balloons can be replaced with large paper balls that unfold and fold at the end of the party. If you want hats, you can make them from paper/cardboard made from old children's coloring pages or buy them in fabric so you can always reuse them.
For the candles on the cake, it's better to buy small candles and put the number you need than a big number that you won't be able to use again for 10 years.
Finally, if we hold to a piñata , there are two things to consider: the piñata (a large cardboard waste that will last 5 minutes) and what we put inside (a packet of small individual waste). In short, it's not so much piñata (which can always be recycled) the problem, but what will come out of it. PS. No need to buy a stick, a broomstick can do the trick for a 5-10 minute activity.
If it's a kid's party, everyone probably still has plastic (non-breakable) tableware from when they were younger! You can even ask guests to bring some if you don't have enough for everyone. Dish soap and towels can be provided (+ a bin if necessary) to wash dishes on site if the party takes place outside the house. There is probably at least one parent who will want to help us and do it while we take care of the rest of the party.
If we make cupcakes instead of a cake, we can eat them with our fingers. Same thing for a pizza meal! Or otherwise, we bring our (metal) utensils from home. This again avoids waste.
For napkins, we can take old sheets or clothes with holes from our children and cut them into squares for the guests. You can also get some pretty ones . Simply wash them and save them for the next party or if they are pretty enough you can give them as gifts to guests.
We can ask friends to make eco-responsible gifts. It allows them to understand that the planet is important and to care about it, even if it's a party.
For her last two birthdays where I expressly requested that the gifts be “waste-free” (i.e. consumables, activities and/or second-hand gifts), my daughter received some really nice gifts! Tickets for activities (ceramic painting, trampoline), a movie outing with a friend, another friend's clothes that are too small, stuffed animals, dolls, Barbies and books that have moved from house to home us, flowers picked from a friend's garden, cookies baked by another friend, homemade slime, candy, cash... It made him extremely happy, without it being toys brand new. It also puts less monetary pressure on parents. ;)
For the packaging, it came in boxes decorated and designed by friends, pillowcases, fabrics and gift bags that the guests took back to reuse.
As for surprise gifts given to party participants, they are not necessary if you have already paid for a big event. If we absolutely want our guests to leave with something, we favor consumables, we stay away from plastic and plastic packaging and we avoid kids (or gugusses?).
Whether the party takes place at home, at a museum, in an indoor skate park, at the gym, in a park, at the cinema, in a restaurant, in a rented room or in an amusement center, the aim is above all that the day be pleasant for the birthday person! For the rest, keep it sober.
Reduce accessories and decor or opt for reusable alternatives, use dishes that can be washed and ask for (or give) consumable or sustainable gifts!