Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Throw an Eco-Friendly Birthday Party

See how you can put an eco-friendly touch on your child's next birthday party.

birthday bash
Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Save the Planet One Party at a Time

A birthday bash outside shows kids that a low-waste party can be super festive. Take a peek at how eco-expert Danny Seo helped Eric Ryan, the cofounder of Method natural products, celebrate his daughter's day in a magical forest near San Francisco. With Mother Nature as the party planner, there's no need for streamers and balloons to make it fun -- all you need is your backyard and a little imagination.

A Good Seed

Anya's invites were handwritten on plantable wildflower paper. Instructions on the back told guests to lay paper in a pot of soil or a small garden patch that gets plenty of sunshine, cover with a thin layer of dirt, then water well.

Twirly Batons

Party guests ran around with recyclable wands made from fringed, rolled-up newspaper.

Name Dropper

birthday welcome sign
Thayer Allyson Gowdy

The birthday girl was greeted at her party with a darling welcome sign -- Seo spelled out Anya with sticks, flowers, vines, and greenery, using thin garden wire to secure the various elements.

Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Made in the Shade

The kids ate under a sweet and simple tent made from curtain panels (strips of fabric work well too). We suspended it from a branch, making the perfect dining room for Anya's outdoor party.

Sweet Drink

party drink

We filled old jam jars with juice and kept them cold in an ice-filled pail until ready to serve.

These Take the Cake!

Whoopie pies are making a comeback, popping up at hip bakeries around the country. With no paper wrapper and no need for plates, they were the ideal sweet for a green party. Top a platter of pies with all-natural beeswax candles.

Sandwich Satchel

sandwich satchel

A meal wrapped in a bandanna-turned-napkin created a paper-less lunch.

String Along

Ryan leads partygoers Jacob, Noah, and Mia through the trees, following a red string to discover small notes and a treasure box. It's a new take on the standard scavenger hunt!

Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Plant Life

Each party child went home with a small sapling bundled in burlap.

Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Green Gifts

green gifts
Encourage guests to save on wrapping paper by using reusable wooden boxes or sheets of newspaper. For the eco-conscious birthday child, set up a donation registry at, where she can select from a list of youth-focused nonprofit causes that friends can give to in lieu of buying gifts.

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