Recently my son Dusty turned 3. Parties usually generate huge amounts of waste and plastic, so I set myself the challenge to create a party that was plastic-free. And guess what? It was a success!
Here's a glimpse into the awesome day.
Here are my 5 Tips for a Plastic-Free Kids Party!
Presents. You may have read in one of my earlier blog posts that at my son’s party last year I asked for ‘no presents please’ which was met with mixed reactions! This year my son was turning 3. He's now woken up to the fact that "parties = presents" and there was no way I could have denied him that pleasure! At the same time, I dreaded the idea of masses of plastic coming into my house. Whenever I see plastic toys I get images of landfill and oceans swamped in plastic. Heartbreaking and not something I want to be part of. So in order to discourage plastic presents I had to suggest the idea of plastic-free presents to our guests in a good way. So I wrote on the invite "in keeping with Dusty's love of nature this party will be plastic free" This prompted the guests to think outside the square and as a result they brought beautiful heartfelt gifts without any plastic to be seen!
Take-home bags. Who doesn’t love a take home bag! That little reward you get at the end of the party that keeps the party vibe flowing. Unfortunately though take-home bags, which had humble origins as simply lolly bags, have now fallen victim to the tricks of consumerism and usually have huge amounts of plastics that are played with once and then pretty quickly bound for landfill. Sometimes even the bag itself can be a single-use plastic. So I reached out to Eco Party Box for their help in this department. With a company motto of "Party Sustainably" I knew they would play a important part in Dusty's plastic-free party. Turns out they have lovely recycled paper party bags available in a variety of colours, and all sorts of goodies to go in them including hacky-sacks, friendship bands, coconut necklaces and little seed packs for kids to plant when they get home (such a lovely thing to do - plant the party tree!) I also threw in a couple of vegan lollies as a treat.
Decorations. Balloons, as much as they are fun, pose a serious threat to our oceans and were not something I wanted to include at our plastic-free party. “Recent research by The CSIRO has found balloons to be in the top three most harmful pollutants threatening marine wildlife. Balloons that are released or accidentally escape from outdoor events make their way into waterways and eventually into our oceans” source University of Melb. So I had to think outside the square for an alternative to decorate in a fun and colourful way. There are of course DIY options here – making bunting out of old sheets, for instance. I’m too busy to consider doing something like that so I ordered some bunting and tissue paper pom-poms from Eco Party Box (these guys have been life-savers in many ways!) We also grabbed some crepe paper streamers and draped them from the trees and... hey presto! Turns out you can have colour and fun vibes without plastic.
Food. This is a tricky one, as often there so much plastic packaging and waste generated from party food. I was lucky enough to have Georgia from The Kindness Echoes to help out with the catering. She put together an amazingly delicious spread that was 100% vegan and plastic-free. Georgia embraced the challenge and loved thinking about keeping it plastic free during her prep process.
Activities. I didn’t want to add too much structure to the day but still thought it was a good idea to have a few activities on hand. We opted for pass-the-parcel using newspaper and little wooden musical instruments for each layer. We had a colouring table set up with recycled paper and an array of plant-based Eco Crayons in all shapes and sizes which are easy to grip for little hands (I adore these cute crayons and sell them at A Good Scout). We also did some face painting with Playful By Nature eco glitter (also available at A Good Scout). Most glitters are in fact micro plastics and you know where they end up (in the sea). Playful by Nature Eco Glitter is biodegradable, vegan and cruelty-free so all our animal friends are happy.
I value authenticity and transparency. With that in mind, I want to let you know this is not a paid post – although some of the products were supplied free of charge in exchange for my review. I approached the companies to be involved. I have only included products and companies that align with my values and which I would honesty recommend to my friends and family.