Throwing a Great Green Party
It can be tempting to go all out for your baby's first-ever birthday party. After all, you want it to be an event that you will remember for your baby's lifetime. But remember, all of the decorations, food, and activities you use to celebrate your baby's big day will take a heavy toll on both your wallet and the planet.
According to the Clean Air Council, every day 43,000 tons of food are thrown out in the United States, and each year Americans toss out enough paper and plastic cups, forks, and spoons to circle the equator 300 times. That kind of waste can be a real party pooper!
Instead, why not make your baby's first birthday party a fun, simple, eco-savvy event that honors her and her environment? Reduce waste, save money, and eliminate hassle by hosting a great green birthday party to ring in your baby's first year!
Planning the Party
The first step in planning your baby's party is to choose a location for the event. You can have the party at your home, the home of a family member, or at a commercial location. Just be sure to choose a spot where your baby will feel comfortable. A party at your local zoo may sound like fun, but if your baby has never been there before, it may scare her more than it delights.
If the weather permits, an outdoor party can be a lot of fun for both kids and adults. It helps kids get fresh air and exercise and reduces the inevitable mess that comes with children's parties. A local park or beach that your baby enjoys is a great place to host her first birthday party.
As for the timing, the ideal party should be short — one to one and a half hours is about the most a one year old can handle without getting over stimulated and cranky. Schedule the party around your baby's nap time. A late morning party that follows her morning nap will ensure that she is well rested and ready to receive her guests.
Keep It Safe
Make sure your party space is safe for your own baby and other young guests by thoroughly baby proofing the area. Do a quick check on hands and knees for small cords, tags, choking hazards, or breakable items that might have been overlooked while decorating. Be extra thorough if you are having the party at a commercial location where they may not cater strictly to toddlers.
Make it easy for your guests to recycle to increase the chances that they'll actually do it. Line decorative baskets with clear plastic shopping bags and label clearly. Set up recycling areas near your trash cans for cans, paper, and glass.
Use nontoxic cleaners to ensure that your party space is a clean, green space for children to play. Wipe down toys, countertops, and tables with hot water and vinegar to kill germs and wet-mop floors to remove toxins brought in on shoes. If your party is held in a commercial location, bring along a spray bottle filled with vinegar and some clean cotton rags to wipe down the area before your guests arrive.