I Did It: An Eco-Friendly Birthday

We have a lot of birthdays to celebrate during the summer months and birthday parties can be a lot of fun.  There are always a lot of decisions to make—will it be a family party or a friend party (or both)?  What food will we serve? What activities will we do? Will we have a theme?  Birthday parties obviously don't need a theme, but themes can be fun.  For example, we just hosted a birthday party and I had all of these ideas on an owl theme: cupcakes that looked like owls, a fruit or veggie tray with the produce in the shape of an owl, and so on. We ended up doing none of these ideas, but they were still fun to consider! 

One huge part of choosing a theme is all of the paper products that are available.  If you want the birthday to focus on a certain character, you can find plates, napkins, cups, forks, spoons, tablecloths, and many other items with that character.  Yes, these are cute, but they also create a whole lot of trash that will end up in a landfill.  

Since we are trying to reduce our waste and make greener choices at home, we decided to use our reusable plates for the party. All of the plates fit in one dishwasher load, so it only added one extra load to what we normally wash in a day.  Using these plates may not have been as fun or cute, but really, nobody cared.  Everybody picked up a plate and ate their food. Not one person asked why we were using reusable plates instead of disposable ones.  One guest even remarked that the secret to a great party is a good selection of food! 

If you do not have enough reusable plates for a party, you could pick some up at a thrift or consignment store.  If you do not need them right away, you could pick one or two up from time to time at the store and eventually you will have enough.  The nice thing is that you will have a stock of plates that you can pull out for parties. In the long run, you'll save money because you won't be buying disposables for every single party or event that you host, and you will be making choices that have a positive impact on the environment.  

Photo Credit: Paige L.

Written by: Paige L.