This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Aditya Mukarji. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

17 Easy Steps To Throw A Green Birthday Party For Your Kid

More from Aditya Mukarji

WhyOnEarth logo mobEditor’s Note: Are you bothered by the drastic changes in our climate, causing extreme weather events and calamities such as the Kerala Floods? #WhyOnEarth aims to take the truth to the people with stories, experiences, opinions and revelations about the climate change reality that you should know, and act on. Have a story to share? Click here and publish.

Children’s birthday parties are colorful, happy, full of fun, laughter, loud music and screams of joy. There are gifts given, return gifts received, and prizes won. Then there is candy, popcorn, decoration and, of course, balloons.

Image via Unsplash

Balloons are very attractive to a child. They fly high in the sky, look like they are going up to heaven, but all they do is bring momentary joy and land in oceans, ending up killing turtles, dolphins, other marine life. They pollute our lands and choke birds and stray animals. Is our momentary happiness at the cost of another life, real happiness?

Despite knowing that balloons are non-biodegradable and non-recyclable, parents continue to use them. Candy is wrapped in non-recyclable plastic. Most gifts are made of horrible toxic plastic ultimately generating tonnes of non-degradable waste, and are wrapped in glossy paper, wasting another valuable resource, i.e., paper. Even if paper can be recycled—not all will be, nor all can be. As for the glitter and graffiti, they go straight into our landfills and oceans.

Parents must celebrate their child’s special day with responsibility towards the environment to ensure that their children have a future to look forward to. Parents teach us to eat, to walk and talk. We are taught to take care of our toys, clothes, our room and not to break things in our homes etc. Similarly, we, the children, must be taught not to destroy our environment bit by bit.

If each parent were to plant and nurture ten trees each year on their child’s birthday, we would be able to reduce our climate crisis to a great extent. Nurturing is very important, anyone can plant a seed, but to ensure that a sapling grows into a tree is the kind of love we need. This way, the children, too, will learn to give back to Mother Nature, and protect and preserve her.

We have to live and share our planet with all the other species. This planet is our only home. There is #NoPlanetB. Each one of us has to live on this planet and be responsible for it.

Children are like soft clay and can be easily moulded into responsible human beings. Kids feel a sense of power when they are given a responsibility to protect something. We should encourage them to protect our animals, marine life and our planet. Sustainability is not just awareness; it is a lifestyle, a mindset, a consumer behavior.

Here are a few simple steps to celebrate birthdays that would, in turn, help celebrate our planet:

  1. Send handmade invites or e-invites.
  2. No balloons.
  3. Reusable or biodegradable crockery and cutlery. You can choose steel, leaf, clay, bamboo, etc.
  4. No thermocol or Styrofoam products to be used.
  5. Glasses for drinks must be reusable.
  6. Bamboo or paper straws, that too only if needed.
  7. Use reusable cloth table covers and napkins. Wash them and keep for next year.
  8. Decor can be done using paper streamers, cloth buntings, flowers, and plants.
  9. Make hand-painted posters or ask children to paint small paper/old cardboard cutouts for decor.
  10. Activity table does not need to have plastic items to decorate, beading etc. Rather it can have clay to mould items and paint with simple watercolours, no glitter.
  11. Face painting can be done using simple watercolours, not metallic colour.
  12. No plastic party whistles or horns. Use wooden/metal whistles which can be reused for other parties, year after year.
  13. Don’t waste paper on gift-wrapping, neither for the ones you give nor for the return gifts.
  14. Gift responsible return gifts such as reusable alternatives for plastics which can be used by school-going children, like steel water bottles, bamboo toothbrushes, their own set of bamboo or steel cutlery and straws, pencil and notebook set made from newspaper/recycled paper etc.
  15. Gift a small potted plant, which the child can nurture. The child can play a parent to the plant.
  16. Paper candy bags with non plastic wrapped candy.
  17. Use the leftover food the next day or give it to a homeless shelter or the poor people.

Parents in a locality can also create a crockery bank with steel plates, glasses, spoons, and a bank of wooden/metallic/cloth/paper decorations and other party items. These can be borrowed for use, by all in the locality. People can add other special items to their own parties. This will help with green celebrations. Segregation of waste at parties is also important, after the party, send dry waste for recycling and wet waste for composting.

Birthday parties are filled with fun and friendship. So let’s encourage all the children to make a new friend: our planet, our lifelong friend.

You must be to comment.
  1. Aditya Mukarji

    very informative

More from Aditya Mukarji

Similar Posts

By Paribha Vashist

By Prabhat Misra

By Bedanta Upadhyay

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below