Congratulations, baby's first birthday is here and it is time to celebrate!   You’ve earned this party, too, with 365 days (and nights) of sleep deprivation, diaper changes, and round-the-clock feedings. So get ready to party! And while you're at it, look for ways to make your baby’s first birthday party fun, memorable, and gentle on the planet.  You can start with the invitations.

Skip the usual paper invites that cost a fortune to mail and take forever to fill out. Instead, email an invite to your friends for free through a website like Evite. For friends and family members that don’t have internet access, send invitations by snail mail that are printed on recycled paper. Even better, look for paper-free cards like the Poo-poo cards made from elephant dung!

You can also make your own eco-savvy party invitations using recycled paper. Here are a few ideas:

  • #1: Cut a large number 1 from piece of recycled paper. Write your child's name on the front of the number and the details of the party (time, location, etc.) on the back.
  • Photo cards: Choose a favorite photo of your child, make a few extra copies, and write the party details on the back. Family and friends alike will cherish the photo much more than they would a paper invitation.
  • Baby art: Cut a few pieces of your baby’s artwork in to postcards sized notes and write the details for the party on the back.
  • Diaper invites: Cut a piece of recycled paper into a square, fold it in half to make a triangle, and fold corners of the triangle toward the center to make your invitation look like a cloth diaper. Fasten a real safety pin at the top to hold the triangles together. Write the party details inside the diaper.
Hand-deliver invitations to friends and family members that you see frequently to save money on postage and eliminate the waste and pollution caused by shipping.

Photo by hfb

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