This week, some of our fabulous stores are celebrating their birthdays! The stroud store is turning 1, and our Kingston, Cardiff, St Albans, Crouch End, Leamington Spa and Guilford stores will have been open for 10 years! To celebrate, look out for special offers in these stores from the 24th - 27th, plus some exciting paper crowns for the little ones to join in the party fun! This week is also Wrap UK’s annual Recycle Week, so to bring the two themes together, here are some great sustainable birthday party solutions for you to try at your next party.
1. BANNERS & BUNTING
Arguably, those plastic banners and decorations in your local party store are reusable, but chances are the bunting will get tangled up and the banners will tear in the haste of taking them down once the party’s over – you might as well buy a fresh new one for the next occasion, right? Wrong! Try your hand at recycling paper or old fabric to create your own party décor. An old T-shirt could be shredded to make pretty hanging fabric strips, and a ‘Happy Birthday’ banner can easily be created with pieces of card and some colourful paint – hang the letter cards on some string with clothes pegs and when the party’s over, store them in a folder so they can be re-used time and time again.
Plastic cups, plates and straws are a big no-no. Thankfully there are plenty of biodegradable or bamboo alternatives that you can re-use on the market these days. If possible, use real plates and cups for your party – these are the most sustainable option. As an alternative to a plastic tablecloth, why not use an old bed sheet that you can pop in the wash after? Or, invest in a cotton tablecloth that suits all occasions – birthdays, Christmas, Easter... to make sure you get plenty of use out of it.
3. INTERACTIVE GOODIES
Goodie bags that were once filled with tiny bottles of bubbles, bouncy balls and individually wrapped sweeties are a thing of the past. For a kid's party, why not set up a fun craft area so they can create their own goodies to take home? For a superhero themed party, they could make their own cloth eye masks, a princess party could have a flower crown making station... there are so many fun and creative options!
4. WRAP IT RIGHT
Many wrapping papers have been designed with glitter and laminates that make them unsuitable for recycling. Make your gift more sustainable by re-using any old gift bags you’ve received in the past, using old newspaper or the paper that often comes shoved into new shoes to wrap it up in and tying a nice piece of ribbon or string around it for a special touch. All these solutions can either be recycled or re-used again by the recipient.
5. GIVE A GIFT CARD
Not only does this skip the wrapping paper altogether – a gift card from JoJo is made from eco-friendly card, making it a suitably sustainable option! We also have e-gift cards on sale to help you create even less waste. 5% of the funds from our gift cards are used to fund our charities too.
6. BYE-BYE BALLOONS
Unless you are using biodegradable balloons like we do at JoJo events, you’ll might want to blow off this popular party favour. Balloons are likely to be let loose into the air once children get distracted from holding them, which can end up in the oceans and on land where wildlife can endanger wildlife. As an alternative, why not create paper or fabric pom poms – they look just as pretty and can also be placed on a wooden stick to resemble a balloon, making the whole thing recyclable.
7 . SERVE UP SUSTAINABILITY
Try to be conscious of what kinds of food you’re serving at your party, where they come from and what kind of impact they’re having on the environment. So many classic party foods come individually wrapped in excess plastic – why not head to your local market and pick up a tray of local seasonal fruit instead? If shopping in the supermarket, try and choose Fairtrade options or buy from fellow B Corp brands like Proper Corn and Divine Chocolate for a sweet treat.
What’s your number 1 sustainable celebration hack? Let us know in the comments below!