From deflated balloons to leftover cake, after birthday parties there is always a lot of waste. Is it possible to hold a birthday party that’s good for the environment? Or at the very least, one that doesn’t make things even worse? Junior reporter Nicholas Ng tagged along to a children’s birthday party organised by Green Birthday Party to see what it’s all about.
What comes to mind when you think of a birthday party? Probably not one that teaches you about the importance of being eco-friendly. But that’s exactly what Green Birthday Party do. From a green magician’s performance, to teaching kids how to upcycle T-shirts into tote bags, the activities are all about having fun without destroying the environment.
The birthday party had three main activities; a Lego workshop, a farming experience and a dessert.
The Lego creativity workshop had us making our own miniature eco cities. But part of the fun was carefully planning where everything should go to make sure it was energy efficient. We were introduced to a balloon display with a twist – it was special because the balloons were made by disabled people, and they were biodegradable and environmentally friendly. So even when we filled an entire room with these balloons, we didn’t need to worry about the plastic and how it would impact the environment.
One of the highlights of the day was the introduction to botany.
The guide gave us a tour of the urban garden that Lee Gardens in Causeway Bay have been transformed into, from the vegetable plants with rows of cabbages, to plants such as the mimosa pudica, also known as the “shy” plant, which is famous for its astonishing ability to shrink whenever you touch it.
We were introduced to basic farming techniques such as turning the soil with shovels – and we all got splattered in the process! With seven shovels working together, the turning was done in minutes. Watering the plants was the next step, and the ease and speed with which we managed to do everything proved that looking after our environment is not hard.
Don’t forget the cake
No birthday party would be complete without a cake though. Following the farming workshop, everyone headed to Shelter, an urban eatery in Hysan Place, where we enjoyed some well-deserved treats.
The Green Birthday Party was a bridge of innovation, linking a special day with nature. Living in a busy, built-up city like Hong Kong, it’s easy to forget that nature is all around us, and affects us every day. But just because the party was educational doesn’t mean it wasn’t a lot of fun, and if kids can get excited about the environment at a young age, our planet will be in good hands.