It’s no secret that birthday parties are expensive. It gives me hives just thinking about all the food, drinks, supplies and decorations you need to buy. Birthday parties also create tons of waste. Just think of the garbage bags filled with wrapping paper, plates, napkins, cups.. and on and on and on.. at the end. But there are some things you can do to reduce waste and help the planet, while still putting on a beautiful birthday party.
1- Instead of plastic tablecloths…
Use bed sheets in a cute design. Yep, bed sheets. I ordered two adorable unicorn printed sheet sets from Burlington Coat Factory for just $12 each for my daughter’s party. And after the party you can wash them and reuse them as.. well, bed sheets.
2- Another option for tablecloths..
Find pre-loved fabric tablecloths that you can use over and over. A great place to get them really cheap is a thrift store. I picked up three of these pink tablecloths for my daughter’s party for.. wait for it.. $1 each!
3- Instead of paper napkins…
Make your own fabric napkins. This is really easy to do and can still be affordable.
Get some fabric, or even better, fabric scraps from a fabric or craft store. You can mix and match different fabric designs for an eclectic look. That’s what I did, since I was working with the scraps I already had.
Cut squares in your desired napkin size (16 x 6, 18 x 18 or 20 x 20) with pinking shears to give them these sweet detailed edges.
That’s it. Use, wash and reuse as many times as you want.
See where I got the inspiration for these napkins and get a more in depth tutorial for making your own, here.
4- Instead of paper or styrofoam plates…
Use melamine plates. These can be super cute and reusable over and over again. You can get them at dollar stores and pretty much every store around summer/picnic time. If your guest list is small, this could be a good option.
5- Compostable plates
In researching party options that are kinder to the planet, I found a great line of compostable plates from Preserve Products. According to their website..
Preserve Compostables are made from plants and return to the soil when the party is over. [They’re] freezer and microwave safe and are ovenable up to 420⁰F. They are non-toxic and manufactured in the USA from renewable resources. For some gatherings single-use products make sense, and we are excited to offer single-use products that are made from renewable resources and are lighter on the earth.
6- Instead of paper or plastic cups…
Use reusable drinking bottles. This is also a good option if you have a small party size. I found these cute drinking glass bottles with reusable straws at The Dollar Store.
7- Use cups kids can take home
You can also often find reusable cups like these at dollar stores. I spotted these emoji and movie themed cups at the Dollar Store. These would also be great to send home with your guests. My kids love drinking out of these.
8- Instead of wrapping paper…
Use reusable gift bags. I think pretty much all of the gift bags I use are from previous gifts. That’s why I like to buy solid color gift bags that people can reuse for lots of different occasions.
9- Reusable treat bags
Instead of plastic treat bags that will get thrown away as soon as your party guests get home, give them basic color bags with pretty bows or ribbons. They can be reused as gift bags in the future.
You can also get these really cheap at dollar stores.
10- Brown bag it
Give recyclable brown paper bags a DIY makeover into a cute gift/treat bag. These bags were stamped with a cute unicorn design and sprinkled with glitter.
Bonus!- You can also forget the treat bags altogether..
Instead, staple a note right to the treat. I made these unicorn gift tags to accompany the treats my daughter took to school for her classmates. This could be a gift you send home with party guests also.
You can download and print these gift tags for your own party. Just click here.