A Zero-Waste Green Party for my Son’s First Birthday

A Zero-Waste Green Party for my Son’s First Birthday


It was a light-bulb moment when I realized I should no longer use balloons for decoration, Styrofoam or Thermocol or Styrofoam plates for serving cakes and snacks, and plastic cups to serve beverages when I was planning my son’s first birthday party in the year 2013.

Decorations with the Vetiver and Flowers


With vetiver roots as a backdrop, we wrote “Happy Birthday” with flowers and requested the caterers to serve snacks and juice in reusable melamine plates and keep some Areca plates, in case the guests showed up in more numbers.


The Naval Pazham juice was served in glass tumblers which excited my guests.


What surprised me the most was that the small kids were playing with the flowers, brooming with the vetiver and didn’t think of the balloons at all!

Beeswax candle and Reusable knife


For the cake, we used the beeswax candle and reusable knife to cut the cake. After the celebrations, we cleaned the cake boxes and the bottom thick sheet for recycling.

Without any medium for processing, we were able to compost the food waste, areca plates, juice preparation waste and flowers used for decoration more naturally. We just dug a pit and buried them. மண் கொடுத்தது மண்ணிற்கு! Gave it back to Mother Earth without any harm!

Ending the party with giving out stainless steel bottles as return gifts, really made me happy that I could pull off a zero-waste party for my son’s birthday.

Like a bouncer near the bins

After this, we have been standing like a bouncer near the bins to make sure that eco-friendly cups and plates are used and disposed of along with food waste for composting and any paper related wrappers to be put in dry waste.

And when we were called for the birthday parties as a guest, we started carrying our own plates and water bottles. In case we forget to bring them along, we would respond with a “No Please” and skip the snacks and water in those birthday parties.

For big get-togethers, we got stain-less steel plates, tumblers, cups and spoons for people to use and would pay the house help some extra cash to wash them.

We have often seen many don’t prefer reusable utensils as it is difficult to maintain it and it increases the work of washing these utensils for the house-help.

That’s how Namma Boomi took up the initiative of giving out Bagasse plates and Wooden spoons, which can be composted in-home or community composting bins.


My birthday this year was so memorable that I felt it was worth penning it down.

Our Namma Boomi team, Kavya, Abinesh, Selvam, Udhay, had surprised me with a shower of flowers, which fell from the fan when I switched it on and they beautifully carved “Happy Birthday Priya” on a Peepal Tree. Simple and Eco-friendly, yet this made me feel really special.



With simple ideas, birthday parties can be celebrated from things around us in nature, which are bio-degradable or used papers that can be recycled without another thought. One of the safer, creative and better bets are craft papers that can be folded out in different shapes and used for decoration too!

Every thought is unique

Many different ideas may come to celebrate in a memorable way, but your answer should be a positive one for these questions:

1.      Have I chosen the right things to celebrate my birthday?

2.      It is compostable or recyclable?

Without missing out on any fun, you can celebrate a zero-waste party, all you need to do is think and act eco-friendly!


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