Tags: balloon alternatives, beeswax candles, birthday journal, birthday pennant, birthday traditions, eco-conscious, happy birthday pennant, reusable gift bags, sustainable birthday, sustainable birthday traditions
When I became eco-conscious years ago, Birthdays were puzzling. I didn’t want to use balloons, streamers, plastic table cloths, junky party horns, disposable plates, napkins or cutlery. The plates and cutlery were the easy part, I just switched to the real stuff. Sure I end up with more to clean up but my trash cans aren’t stuffed full of waste either. The hard part was everyone’s attachment to the decorations-especially my husband’s! He likes to go all out with the streamers and balloons. My children were quite young and were fine with the changes. I still wanted to add in more special traditions to make things extra special for them. Some of the traditions I added are:
1. The Birthday Plate: I went to a local pottery place and painted a special Birthday Plate that only the Birthday person gets to use. They get to eat every meal on the plate. They also get to choose what I make them for breakfast, what they want to have to eat for the party and what kind of cake they want me to make. I have made all kinds of healthy cakes over the years. Lately I just make sure it’s all organic and I always make them from scratch.
2. The Birthday Journal. The black book in the picture is one of my children’s Birthday Journals. They treasure these books. I pasted a photo of them as a baby at the front with stats about their birth like their weight, time of birth and our first moments together. Then I interview them. I ask questions about their favorites like food, color, animal and book. I document their height and weight. Then I ask all kinds of other questions like: Who are you named after, My favorite thing to do with mom is, What would you do with a thousand dollars, I’m afraid of ____, I wish for ____, My house is ____, My dad doesn’t like to ____, Why do you like being a kid… and lots more fun questions that get some real funny answers. Then I have everybody at the party sign it like they would a card. That way nobody wastes money on a card and nothing gets thrown away. After the party I write down all of the details about the celebration like what we ate and what presents they received. They really love these books and like having me read them the special messages their loved ones wrote to them.
3. I use Beeswax candles. Beeswax is the purest of all candle waxes and is a nontoxic product of the sustainable industry of beekeeping. It is naturally aromatic and infused with the sweet scent of honey. Beeswax candles burn clean and soot free.
4. I use reusable gift bags. The one I’ve linked to is far too expensive, but Amazon doesn’t seem to carry many of them. I use these for baby shower gifts, birthday and wedding gifts. What’s great about them is that they come with a code to track their travels online as they are gifted from person to person. It may encourage someone to use them instead of wrapping paper next time. I also have some homemade ones. They are real simple to make.
5. I made my own decorations. I have a homemade tablecloth (background in the picture) and Happy Birthday pennants. I also made a pennant with each person in the family’s name on it. Here’s my how to video for the pennants: