Birthdays are a right of passage which everyone experiences once a year. Today is my birthday so in the celebration of another year passed I’ve decided to share some ideas of how everyone can make their birthday celebrations more environmentally friendly and hopefully more special in the process.
- Ask friends and family to skip gift wrap or use leftover newspaper, magazines, or other paper products for your gifts. They could also re-use gift wrap paper that someone else has used to wrap something for them.
- Use online invitations or create a Facebook event for your party and encourage friends to send e-cards instead of using paper.
- If you can’t think of anything you would like from your family or friends consider asking them to donate to your favorite environmental group or charity in your name. What better gift than an investment in the future of our planet?
- If planning your own party use local markets for food and flowers or ask your party planner to do that instead.
- If you decide to go out to a restaurant for dinner make sure to take home any left-over’s for tomorrow’s lunch or a treat for your dog.
- Consider skipping all the harmful decorations or using only eco-friendly and re-usable decorations. Decorations that get tossed out the next day or are age specific and can’t easily be used again are a huge waste.
- Car pool with family and friends instead of taking separate vehicles if you decide to go out.
- Avoid paraffin candles which are made from petroleum and aren’t good for the air quality in your home, and don’t last as long as beeswax or soy candles which are renewable.
- Ask for gift certificates to your favorite store or tickets to concerts or movies instead of actual gifts so that you can avoid heavily packaged material items that don’t suite you or novelty gift items that are a waste.
There are a lot of ideas on how to make any special day a sustainable celebration and a lot of fun. Holidays are some of the most environmentally damaging times of the year and collectively our birthdays all contribute to that destruction as well. There’s no reason that we should have to miss out on celebrating our birthdays or other holidays, but there is also no reason not to find ways to lessen our impact as much as possible on our birthdays and any other day of the year.