Monday, September 12, 2011

Make your child's birthday party eco-friendly

On the subject of birthdays, here are some great tips from Alan of Green Pepper on how to

Make your child's birthday party eco-friendly

Please take a moment and think back to the last child’s birthday party you attended, fast forward to after the fun and games were over and think about how much cardboard, plastic and paper was strewn around. There was probably enough to fill at least 2 bin liners, and that’s just from the packaging and the wrapping.  What many don’t realise is that the laminates, dyes and glitters in the packaging make it unsuitable for recycling.

Add to this the fact that batteries and plastic toys can take over 5 centuries to break down and also the 275,000 tonnes of plastic we send every year to landfill sites, is there any reason why we should send even more?

An innovative new website, has recently been launched, and one of its main aims is to help parents to buy eco-friendly products for their kids. Parents who are eco-conscious can browse around the 7000+ products on the site, read the story behind each item and buy them directly from the eco-sellers who made them.

It is quite amazing what a difference parents can make just by making a few subtle changes to thing that they do on a daily basis. This can have an enormous impact in the environment yet no compromise is made on fun, and you can more often than not save money too.

1. Switch from disposable to reusable. Use ceramic plates, bowls and cutlery over their paper disposable alternatives, as a one-off dishwasher load is certainly easier to manage than scraping paper plates clean enough to recycle. If you are looking to treat yourself then ‘Eko Earth’ Products , one of many eco sellers found on, have just released a stylish range of tableware made from the by-product of bamboo and is the first ever fully biodegradable tableware to hit the UK market. Don’t be fooled however, as Biodegradable in this case doesn’t mean disposable but instead means that the collection is reusable and durable.

2. Ditch the “Goodie Bags!”. From one parent to another does any child really need another paper hat or tub of bubbles? Experience based parties such as a trip to the zoo or pottery making leave a lasting memory, which doesn’t get lost at the bottom of the toy box. If you are a traditionalist and are determined to give out goodie bags then why not consider switching to a re-usable gift bag and filling it with sustainable and natural goodies.

3. Loose the wrapping. Spending money on wrapping paper which is only going to be torn up and thrown away is a bit of a waste, instead why not make the wrapping part of the gift itself by wrapping it in Myfuroshiki fabric gift wrap which is a fun and affordable take on the Japanese art of “Furoshiki” (cloth wrapping). With just one of these any shape of object can be easily wrapped with no sticky tape, no scissors and no waste!
 4. Get Baking. Mum’s cooking is always best, so bake the birthday cake yourself using local Organic and Fairtrade ingredients and avoid all the unnecessary packaging and cost that comes with shop-bought food.

5. Use eco-friendly candles. Candles made with beeswax are naturally fragrant, nontoxic, soot-free, and non-allergenic. They’re completely renewable and require little, if any, additives which makes them a great alternative to Paraffin wax candles.

Many thanks to Green Pepper for allowing me to reproduce this article.  For more of their eco-friendly tips and information, follow them here.  

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