Easy and Sustainable Party Decorations
Eco-friendly ways to decorate for a party
Shiny foil balloons, confetti, and glitters are ubiquitous at our parties. However, these items are single-use and, should they end up at the landfill site or sea, they pose a health risk to wildlife. I have good news for you! With a bit of creativity, you can host a colorful party without taking a major toll on the environment or wildlife.
Here’s why we need to rethink balloons
Balloons are usually made of latex, and nowadays, made of mylar. The latter are shiny foil balloons that are filled with helium gas. Mylar is of concern because it is neither recyclable nor biodegradable. No matter how glamorous they look, any balloons, or foil balloons, so to speak, are a waste of money and resources.
Balloons were the go-to decorations of parties past, but they take months to degrade, if at all. Burst balloons in the waste are usually mistaken for food by birds and other animals, choking them to death. Also, in my personal opinion, releasing balloons at celebratory events or memorials seems like littering the sky! Though it looks breathtakingly awesome, there’s no denying that it is bound to come all the way down to the earth. And this is hugely irresponsible of us when we have heaps of garbage and plastic waste at our landfill sites, waiting to be dumped down the rivers where the hapless marine animals mistake it for food or prey.
Need more reasons to abandon balloons in your party decorations? There is a shortage of helium gas, an important gas used in healthcare facilities. It’s a big no-no for helium-filled balloons.
You can use eco-friendly alternatives like paper pom-poms, streamers, paper, or real flowers and fabric buntings and feel good about what you’re doing for Mother Nature. Eco-friendly DIY party decorations There are plenty of earth-friendly and also budget-friendly options available for party decorations. From banners to cake toppers, everything can be made using cardboard, colored sheets, magazines, newspapers, or even preloved clothes.
Get creative with your decorations and allow your guests to cherish your unique eco-friendly decorations which you can reuse for years to come.
You can buy eco-friendly party decoration items at lots of party supply shops online, but most of these are pretty simple to make at home. It’s also a great activity for children during or before a party.
Without further ado, let’s see different ways to decorate for a eco-friendly party:
Banners & Buntings Are Making A Comeback
Buntings and banners are trendy these days and so, top our list of eco-friendly decoration items. These can be made with either paper (old birthday cards, magazines, colored papers) or fabric, depending on how you aim to use them. Fabric buntings and banners are more sustainable than paper ones; they’re washable, foldable, and reusable.
The best thing about banners; you can cut them in any shape. Let your children have all the fun and cut out funky or spooky shapes for you like dinosaurs.
Buntings and banners can even be themed. You can also pen down or sew your greetings or wishes onto them and use them as a backdrop year after year.
Paper garlands are fun to make
Bright, rainbow palette paper garlands will definitely jazz up any celebratory events of your family. They are pretty easy and fun to make. A garland can be as simple as a string of paper tassels or pom-poms. Just hang it up along the wall as a backdrop or hang it over tables to dress up your space.
Paper flowers never go out of fashion
This one will test your patience, but trust me when I say paper flowers make a great eco-friendly party decoration. Beautifully designed paper flowers can also be used as table decorations or even hung from the ceiling. There are a lot of tutorials available on YouTube for you to learn how to make DIY paper flowers. Go get yourself skilled!
Pompoms are everyone’s favorite
Similar to bunting, there are lots of ways you can make eco-friendly pom-poms or honeycomb balls. All you need are 10-20 sheets of tissue paper or colorful pieces of clothes, scissors, and some ribbon. Paper or fabric pom-poms add a splash of color to the space. Pair them with buntings and make the event all the more glamorous. These are delicate, but if you’re careful, your favorite pom-poms can be reused for many years.
Hang down paper kites
Paper kites are just as decorative for outdoor parties as balloons. Even better, why not engage the kids to make kites during the party? Paper kites can be hung down from ceilings over tables, glued to gates and even walls for a photographic booth. They can be stored and used again on other occasions such as spring festivals or theme days.
Be a fan of paper fans
Impress your guests with vibrant colored paper fans. Making DIY paper fans from colored sheets or old newspapers and magazines is a fun activity for everyone. You can also fold these fans for easy storage for a future party. Be very careful not to tear the fans along the folds.
Don’t forget the paper chains
This one may seem a bit retro, but they’re easy to do. Paper chains allow you to reuse what you already have and add a nice colorful touch to your room. You can make paper chains from anything such as magazines, newspapers, etc.
Simply cut the paper into thin strips, fold each strip into a ring and glue the ends. Then loop the next ring through the previous chain and secure it. Repeat until the chain gets long enough to use as wall decor.
Confetti: biodegradable over plastic
Ditch plastic confetti with biodegradable alternatives. You can choose between rainbow-colored paper confetti or green shades of leafy confetti from your backyard; both are sustainable and biodegradable.
Just grab a few sheets of paper or collect leaves from your backyard or nearby park, punch them, and you have your biodegradable confetti.
Crepe paper streamers are interactive
Steamers are more interactive and eco-friendly than other decorations. They are amazing probes for kids when tied to sticks so they can run around with them. Like honeycomb balls, delicate crepe paper streamers are a biodegradable and sustainable alternative to balloons. If you roll them carefully, you can repurpose them for other celebrations year after year; or wrap gifts once you are done with them.
Floral Displays - Not Just for the Papparazi
This piece is all the recent rage because of the Kim and Kanye wedding pictures. But the use of this decor piece is not only for the glamor world. Bring your eco-friendly decor game forward by taking pictures in front of it or by displaying it behind the buffet station.
Use Beeswax for Sustainable Birthday Cake Toppers
Candles are great not only for a warm glow and peaceful ambiance but also work as cake toppers. It is also a kinder alternative to paraffin wax candles. Beeswax candles are food safe, burn clean without producing toxic smoke or black residue. They can be used for lighting or scenting your space later on. 100 points for eco-friendliness!
Repurpose Decorations from Parties Past
Instead of running to the stores to buy new decorations, single-use tableware, and run-of-the-mill flowers, why not look for ways you can creatively recycle items you already have around your home for unique eco-friendly party decor. For example, use potted plants from your backyard as tabletop decorations. Decide a theme and use small toys, candy boxes, macaroons, candles, potted plants, and other items for an easy-on-budget decor.
Focus on Eco-friendly decorations with Staying Power
Eco-friendly DIY decorations are awesome. But you don’t want to throw them away after the party is over, right? Therefore, it’s better to invest your time and energies in long-lived, multi-purpose decoration items. Here are a few ways you can enjoy your eco-friendly decoration items from a new year party on your birthday, anniversary, or any other occasion: Use cake toppers without numbers. You can use small toys or DIY paper cake toppers with funky shapes for this purpose. Multi-colored, paper, or fabric banners blend seamlessly with different themes. Neutral-colored tablecloths and napkins work well year-round. Print, frame, and decorate with your child’s favorite artwork. These items can be placed inside a keepsake memory box or used as a wall hanging in their room. Photographs as party decorations are best to jog your memories and start conversations.
Don't Be Ashamed To Borrow Party Supplies
Most of the party decoration supplies are used only once, and then they’re either discarded or put into storage, never to be used again. Alternatively, you can borrow small items like cake toppers, banners, buntings, pom-poms, and steamers. After deciding on a theme, ask your friends or family members if they are willing to lend for a day or two. It is also a great way to repurpose decor items.