How did we reduce waste in Adhiyan’s first birthday party

My friends asked me what was going to be the theme for Adhiyan’s party and all I could say was “less waste”.

Since we had around 60 guests we couldn’t host the party at our apartments and we had to rent a party hall. We decided to do the decor on our own and started listing how best we could buy or reuse the stuff we had. Since the stage was big and we didn’t have curtains or bedspreads that would cover the entire background, the best option was to buy a curtain that we could use for our home later. There is a huge flea market in Kuwait and we hunted for a curtain that would fit in a kid’s birthday party. Luckily, we found a set that had cars and balloons and that was perfect!

I had printed some of our pictures through Snapstore app when I was in India. They came in handy and we stuck them on the curtains using the double-side tape. We had a 50 meter led light strip that we bought at the Dragon Mart Dubai hoping that we will decorate the house on festival days, but we had never used them. I guess they were meant to be used on Adhiyan’s first birthday. Happy birthday balloons were from one of our friends’ who had celebrated their kid’s birthday just a few weeks earlier. There was no shame in reusing them instead buying a new one because we just saved a few balloons ending up in the landfills. And those were the only balloons we used in the party.

For the return gifts, we wanted something that is personalized because who doesn’t like gifts with your name on it? I had bought cloth pouches as my wedding return gifts from The Suruku Pai Shop and couldn’t think of anyone else when it came to bags/pouches. Their products are of good quality are very durable! Swati, the founder was kind enough to spend time during the late hours to finalize a design and she delivered the pouches on time. Would highly recommend them if you are looking for cloth/jute bags/totes/pouches as return gifts.

Along with the pouches we also bought metal piggy-banks as return gifts. Each gift bag had a pouch, a piggy bank and some candies with a handwritten thank-you note.

Instead spending on the decor, we decided to hire an MC to host the party. He conducted games for kids and parents and that way both the kids and the parents had some fun. We bought glass containers, metal pencil boxes, stainless steel lunchboxes as prizes for the winners of the games.

Some of the guests took time to ring me up the next day and said their kids loved the return gifts and they also inquired on the stage decor. I wouldn’t say the party was 100% eco-friendly but atleast we tried our best to avoid generating more waste. The restaurant who catered for the party provided only single-use plastic plates and cutlery for dinner. This was unavoidable as it comes with the package.

Things that we would do differently for the next birthday be

  • Take no gifts from the guests.
  • Buy stainless steel plates, glasses and cutlery for the guests.
  • Homemade cake, refreshments and meals.

There are a lot of inspirations and ideas on Pinterest on how to plan a waste-free/ eco-friendly parties. Just that we need to take time to plan and put things in place. We all need to start somewhere and even if it is the smallest thing that was recycled/reused/reduced, it still does count.

How do you reduce waste at your parties or gatherings? Would love to know, do let me know in the comments.

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