Families around Baltimore are always looking for creative ways to “go green,” even finding ways to celebrate a birthday and do a little good for the planet at the same time. Here are some tips from the staff at the Irvine Nature Center on how plan an eco-friendly party.
How to Green Your Birthday Party
This might seem like a no-brainer, but for the ultimate “green party,” take it outside. Younger kids are usually enthusiastic for an outdoor adventure whether that’s searching for pirate treasure or building homes for tiny fairies. But the outdoor fun doesn’t need to stop as kids get older and the siren song of electronics calls. Party planners at Irvine Nature Center appeal to tweens with eco-spa days and campfires complete with s’mores. Sure, escape rooms are cool, but an outdoor scavenger hunt appeals to the same clue-seeking crew with a lot more fresh air.
Use (and Re-use) Party Goods
When you’re rushing to pull a party together, the easy default is disposable cups, plates, napkins, and other party goods. Skip the disposables and invest in simple and unbreakable reusable party wares. If you’re celebrating at Irvine Nature Center, you can pay a little extra for planet-friendly party goods and lemonade. No one will miss the juice boxes…and your straw footprint will be lighter.
Look for Art in Unexpected Places
Before recyclables even make their way into the bin, the crafty party planners at Irvine evaluate items to consider their next lives. Circular lids from those squeezy applesauce pouches beloved by babes and preschoolers can be repurposed as chunky beads for a necklace or artwork. In the great outdoors, leaves, twigs, acorn caps, and more adorn handmade crowns and wands.
Extend an Invite to Some Animal Friends
Animal lovers will be thrilled to have some friendly creature ambassadors join in the fun at Irvine or in your home. Irvine offers a Feeding Time party that allows guests to help care for and feed some of the resident animals. You can’t request a specific animal ambassador, but you may have a visit from an Virginia opossum, African pygmy hedgehog, bearded dragon, terrapins, native box turtles, and a wide range of snakes
Build an Eco-Friendly Goody Bag
It’s a well-known fact that any goody bag item that isn’t immediately consumed ends up on the floor of the car. Skip the goody bag entirely or stick with high-quality, purposeful items that won’t be quickly discarded. Irvine offers goody bags packed with eco-friendly fun including tree pencils, recycled crayons, seeds, nature stickers, and locally-harvested honey sticks.
Enjoy Four-Season Fun
An outdoor birthday party is surely a natural fit for spring and summertime celebrations, but Irvine Nature Centers brings the magic all year long. No sunshine? No problem. As the staff at Irvine likes to say, “There’s no bad weather, there’s only bad gear.” Any of the parties can be moved inside or plans can be adjusted to accommodate changes in the weather.
About Our Sponsor
Irvine Nature Center is an environmental education organization. Their mission is to educate and inspire current and future generations to explore, respect and protect nature. At Irvine, they guide learning. They live green. They foster respect. And they thrive outdoors. LEARN MORE