My birthday is this week and while I was thinking of how I wanted to celebrate, I realized how much waste birthday parties create with single-use plastic and decorations you probably only use once. Even just going out for dinner usually means supporting a chain restaurant that probably doesn’t put much effort into ethically sourcing their ingredients.
Although you shouldn’t feel guilty about what you choose to do on your birthday, (it only comes once a year after all!) I thought it would be helpful to share a few ways you can celebrate more sustainably.
Have A Zero-Waste Picnic
A picnic might not be the best idea for those who were born in colder months, but if the weather’s nice where you live a picnic is a super cute way to celebrate.
The only problem with picnics is that they can end up creating a lot of waste if you aren’t mindful of that; luckily I have an article on how you can eliminate single-use items and just make your picnic more sustainable overall.
Ask For Donations Instead Of Gifts
I’m a very practical person (and somewhat of a minimalist) so I usually ask people not to get me gifts unless there’s something specific that I need. However, that request is generally ignored because many people think its rude not to give gifts.
The solution I came up with is to ask my friends and family to make a donation in my name, rather than getting me a physical gift. That way they don’t feel bad about not getting a gift, and we both get to help others.
In my opinion, helping others is one of the best and most gratifying ways to spend your birthday. Its super easy to find local organizations that need volunteers, and most of them allow you to sign up as a group if you want to bring your friends or family with you.
Many people like to go on trips for their birthdays, but that can mean spending a lot of money and creating a lot of waste.
An alternative is to spend a weekend outdoors in a local camping site or (if you’re not super fond of the outdoors) find a glamping option near you. You can check out Airbnb or look up state parks to find one somewhere close to you.
Take Your Friends On A Hike
If you still want to do something outdoors but don’t have time for a whole camping trip, going on a hike with your friends is a fun way to celebrate in nature. Even if you live in a big city, there’s probably still trails nearby, or you could make a day trip out of it if you want to hike somewhere further away.
Remember to pack plenty of snacks, bring your reusable water bottle with you, and dispose of any garbage properly!
Cook A Meal With Friends Or Family
Going out to eat is probably the most common way to celebrate your birthday, but cooking gives you much more control over where the food comes from and what sellers you support.
Rather than shopping at a chain grocery store, visit your local farmer’s market first and try to get as many ingredients from there as you can. You can also incorporate vegan options into the meal, because animal products are the cause of a lot of waste and emissions.
And if cooking isn’t really your thing you could do something simple like a build your own pizza party or a potluck so guests get to help and you won’t have to cook for everyone
No matter how you decide to celebrate, try to keep the planet in mind. Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!