Here are some tips I have formulated over the last few years.
Before the party:
- Send out paperless party invitations through www.evite.com (personalize with your child's own pictures);
- Ask that party guests bring a cash donation, instead of bringing wrapped gifts. Explain in the Evite that half the money will go to a charity and the other half will go to one special gift for the birthday child. This has worked out perfectly ever since I started a few years ago. The one special gift we have always gotten my girls is an activity class, like gymnastics, tennis, acting, etc. It really does teach a wonderful lesson of serving others and not being consumed with a ton of unnecessary toys;
- Support local, small business owners (embroiderer & sewer) by having themed CLOTH napkins embroidered with kids’ initials that can replace paper napkins & serve as party favors for kids to use in school lunch box;
During the party:
- Use solid colored CLOTH tablecloths that can be washed & reused;
- Use reusable dinnerware (plates, bowls, forks, spoons) that can be washed & reused - look in the dollar bins at grocery & craft supply stores;
- Recycling the rinsed out SOLO cups or recycling the Capri Sun pouches is great but why not take it a step further and use reusable plastic cups (like what you get at restaurants for kids);
After the party:
- Instead of a plastic bag of party favors that end up in the landfill, send home a gift card for a free ice cream cone from a local eatery (along with the cloth napkins)
- Send out paperless thank you cards through www.smilebox.com detailing how much money was raised and how much fun your child enjoyed sharing their birthday with their friends & family. I love to include a picture of all the party guests as well.
Here are a few very helpful websites as well:
Do you have any other ideas? I would love to add them to my list!!