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How to Throw an Eco-Friendly Kid’s Birthday Party

Green birthday cupcakes

This is a guest contribution by Jan Vespremi, freelance content writer.

Children’s birthday parties can produce an enormous amount of waste. Paper plates and napkins, plastic cups and flatware, balloons and other party favors serve their short-lived purpose only to end up in the trash bin as soon as the party is over. Thankfully, though, there are plenty of ways to avoid the waste associated with birthday parties, without sacrificing any of the fun or excitement. Keep reading for tips on throwing an awesome eco-friendly bash for your child’s next birthday!


Instead of buying or printing invitations, consider eco-friendly options like the following:

  • - Create e-invitations, then email them to friends and family members.
  • - Create a Facebook event for your child’s party. As a safety measure, make sure the Facebook settings are set to “private.”
  • - Invite guests via text or phone calls.
  • - Create handwritten invitations on seed paper.
  • - Help your children to create their own invitations on recycled paper.

In keeping with the green theme, ask guests to arrive via carpooling, walking, biking or public transportation. As explained by eco-friendly expert Victor Surma, these methods not only cut down on energy use, but on cost as well. You can also ask that guests avoid wrapping paper in favor of newspaper or, better yet, leaving gifts unwrapped.

Plates, Cups and Flatware

For green families, using disposable plates, cups, napkins, etc. is a major no-no. Avoid the waste, not to mention the extra cost, associated with these items by using the washable versions found right in your own kitchen. Old jelly jars make great party cups, while bandanas and washcloths can double as napkins. Not only do these options reduce waste, they’re pleasing to the eye and will make your guests feel right at home.


Instead of the balloons and crepe paper streamers, opt for more natural decorations like the ones listed to make a crocodile pinata

  • - Use potted flowers and plants as centerpieces. Single flowers also make great accents.
  • - Decorate with framed photos of the birthday boy or girl.
  • - Nix the disposable tablecloths in favor of linen or cotton.
  • - Use reusable cloth banners and signs.
  • - Make origami decorations out of newspaper.
  • - Instead of paper confetti, sprinkle tables with flower petals and leaves.
  • - Make a paper mâché pinata and fill it with paintbrushes, paints, pens and pencils, marbles, comic books, etc.


Build your menu around organic, locally-grown food and produce. Fruit and veggie trays are great ideas, as are simple salads and sandwich stations. For dessert, consider a “naked” cake. These have less frosting, which means less sugar, and can be decorated with flowers and other natural items. Top with beeswax candles and serve with organic milk!


While traditional party games are nice, most are not conducive to green living. Solve this problem by providing party games like the following:

  • - Set up a craft table for little party-goers. Provide items like newspapers, old buttons, macaroni, yarn, modeling clay and earth-friendly paints, and encourage each guest to create something interesting and fun.
  • - Organize a scavenger hunt. Have guests find natural items like leaves, flowers, acorns, chestnuts, etc. Award the winner with an edible treat, art supplies or a book. You could even play Spalloon!
  • - Create an impromptu stage and encourage guests to act out a short play.

With the tips provided here, you’ll never have to worry about party waste again. Throw an eco-friendly bash your child and guests will never forget!


How do you like to “Go Green” with your kid’s parties?

I’m Cristin Frank (AKA Eve). I love all things frugal and crafty. My mindset is always on upcycling, repurposing, reducing waste and saving money – and Eve of Reduction is my roadmap. You might also want to check out my book, "Living Simple, Free & Happy."

13 Responses to How to Throw an Eco-Friendly Kid’s Birthday Party

  1. jessiel727 October 2, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    Hey there! You’ve been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award!
    jessiel727 recently posted…The Versatile Blogger AwardMy Profile

    • Eve October 3, 2013 at 9:00 am #

      That’s awesome! Checking it out now.

  2. Levon@Mental Health 101 October 2, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    Making origami decorations out of newspaper, that’s a good idea I think that is pretty eco-friendly not to mention using vegetables and fruits at the party instead of those horrible snacks that make the kids run wild and then pass out.
    Levon@Mental Health 101 recently posted…Who Has It Worse You Or Me?My Profile

    • Eve October 3, 2013 at 9:02 am #

      I definitely agree! Simple origami can also be a fun activity for the party guests. Kids love to learn neat things like that.

  3. Kate@kids birthday parties los angeles October 3, 2013 at 12:31 am #

    I am really impressed with these innovative ideas.Love the idea of decorating birthday cake with flowers. I would definitely like to have Eco-friendly birthday party for kids.
    Kate@kids birthday parties los angeles recently posted…Photo GalleryMy Profile

    • Eve October 3, 2013 at 9:04 am #

      Decorating with real flowers gives kids a sense of satisfaction because no matter what they do, the end product is going to look good.

  4. vaibhav October 10, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    I really like your innovative ideas for kid’s birthday party.
    Your blog is such a interesting with Eco-friendly ideas and decorating cake ideas .
    Thanks For Sharing…

  5. Celina October 22, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    I find birthday parties for children fascinating. I love the decors and those bags filled with candies and other sweet stuffs which they usually give at the end of the party. But then I never really realized how tiring it can be to prepare a children’s birthday party. It wasn’t really that kind of party. It was more of like a baby shower for my brother’s first child. The concept was like a kid’s party. Nevertheless, it was fun preparing the decorations and sending out invitations. I can probably make this as a reference for my nephew’s first birthday. Totally eco-friendly. Gosh, I never thought about e-invite. I just heard it in HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER’S episode in this recent season 9. Anyway, I love how you’ve presented the info in organized and brief details.
    Celina recently posted…If You’re Going to be Representing Your Firm at a Trade Show, Fair, or Convention, Don’t Make THIS Big Mistake!My Profile

  6. Sarah - Rolfe's The Florist November 5, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    I’ve never heard of an Eco-Friendly kids party until now; what a fantastic idea!

    Having been to many kids parties over the years they definitely won’t be missing out with all your suggested alternatives.

    I love the thought of using flowers to decorate the party and as part of the games.

    Very inspirational, thanks for sharing this Eve.

  7. daycare supplies November 12, 2013 at 1:02 am #

    I am so interested in your idea to make children birthday party becomes eco green concept. It is a really great idea to teach children to love and keep their environment stay balance to create better person in the future. I love the paper pinata idea…Keep sharing!
    daycare supplies recently posted…Complete List of Best Toys for Young Daycare ChildrenMy Profile

  8. Lee November 13, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    I never really thought about the waste at any of my birthday party’s but this post has me thinking I will be having a eco-friendly birthday party from now on.

  9. Domenica July 11, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

    It is amazing how much thoughtless waste goes on for a birthday party. You spend a ton of time and money planning, then most of it ends up in the wastebasket. I thought the ideas for floral arrangements as centerpieces as a very good and organic alternative to paper. There are even silk flowers that look very realistic, and you can keep forever after the party. Great article!

    • Eve July 12, 2014 at 11:36 am #

      Thank you! Years ago I bought some dollar store vase to use for self hosted parties and I bring them out party after party and even led them out to relatives! Thanks for stopping by!!

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