Categories: Parent Picks
Giving Gifts" for the Birthday Child
Children do understand that our environment needs their help. It is important to explain to children that we need to help mend our planet. It doesn't have to be scary, and chances are they already know about environmental issues from many sources like your family, or Earth Day at school. Children love to learn and feel proud to know they've helped reduce, reuse and recycle at their birthday party or celebrating at their friend's special event.
A trend that is spreading throughout communities is having the birthday child choose a social cause and ask guests to bring a donation in lieu of gifts. The idea being that instead of a wrapped gift the guest brings a monetary donation, knowing that half the collected amount will be donated to a cause or organization chosen by the birthday child, while the other half is for the birthday child to choose a meaningful gift for themselves.
This completes the circle of hosting a green party as you virtually eliminate the excess of waste and plastic generated from gifts and wrapping paper. The founders of Green Planet Parties have both hosted "giving birthday parties" and the feedback from everyone from the birthday child and their young guests to parents attending the parties has been very supportive and positive. Everyone loves the idea of helping a cause close to the birthday child's heart and the learning that goes on for the children and parents about the cause is so amazing. Because of these "giving parties" our children has asked questions and learned about why the Polar Bears are in trouble, what can be done to save the remaining Tigers in the world, and how a local community organization helps people right in our own neighbourhood.
Sample Wording for a 'giving party' Invitation:
This year we are starting a new tradition with gift giving at _____'s birthday party. Our family is trying to reduce our Eco footprint and are hosting a green party. Please bring a donation in lieu of gifts because ______ has decided to support the Polar Bears (for example) with 1/2 of the birthday money he/she receives. In light of global warming and with the polar bears most recently being declared 'endangered' we have decided to reduce the amount of plastic generated from this party from gifts and their packaging, and would like to support these animals. _______ will be able to purchase a special gift from his/her portion of the donations.
Thank you for your support.
Other Tips for Hosting a green birthday party
* Send electronic invitations rather than paper
* Send seed invitations that can be planted at a future date
* Purchase biodegradable / compostable tableware
* Purchase sustainable and reusable party decorations
* Eliminate plastic with goodie bag give-away, both the give-away item and use a cloth goodie bag
* Bake your own cake
* Engage guests with a nature or Eco based activity
Birthday Traditions ~ Two great ideas sent to us from customers
Michelle recently purchased a cloth Happy Birthday banner for all three of her children ranging in ages 3 - 10 years old. She planned to hang the banner so it's the first thing her birthday child sees when he/she comes down the stairs the morning of the 'big day'. She selected a more gender neutral fabric because her three children are boys and one girl and plans to continue this tradition every year, for each of their birthdays. At their ages, this idea is special because we learned it's never too late to introduce new traditions to a family.
Renee wrote about a special tradition she started at her daughter's first party; she planned ahead and went to the local thrift store and started collecting china dessert plates. They didn't all match, but all had pretty floral patters and she also picked up small stemware glasses. Renee collected more than enough in case the party size grew every year or any became broken. All the little girls feel so 'grown-up' at their tea party each year and it really teaches the message of sustainability and reusability.
If you have suggestions that you'd like to share on reducing your birthday party eco footprint, please let us know!
About the Author: Green Planet Parties is very proud of the eco-friendly, locally produced and artisan handcrafted gifts, biodegradable tableware, reusable decorations and goodie bags we’ve put together for people who are interested in a greener way for everyday choices. Visit Green Planet Parties at http://www.greenplanetparties.com