Staying zero waste on your birthday can be difficult, especially when you don’t want to sound ungrateful. I also believe that most people put too much pressure around birthdays. Social media is scattered with big blow out birthday celebrations. Instead, I decided to try and see if I could make my birthday the most zero waste day of my life. It sounded daunting at first, but I believe that as long as you are open with your family and friends, I would able to fine. I also think it’s important to not let the little waste that you do end up producing effect you. Especially when it is out of your control.
In order to make sure I got presents that I actually wanted, I always sent my sister and parents some links to specific experiences and items. This year I really wanted a camera bag. Thanks to Looptworks, I received an awesome waterproof camera bag that is made entirely out of recycled materials!!!! My sister got me an essential oils necklace that I love, and a utensil carrier case with wooden utensils that I can’t wait to travel with! By showing how important this lifestyle was to me and by providing them with items that I was looking for, I was able to receive zero waste items that I love!!!
Now let talk zero waste gatherings/parities. I had three dinners during my birthday week. One took place at my grandmother’s house where she made homemade cookies for me to take home. (I love when people give you food instead of random stuff for your birthday). One was out with my family, where I brought my containers to bring food home with me. And the last was a surprise birthday celebration, where I again was able to bring home leftovers in my own containers! The only waste came from cupcake wrappers, one paper plate, candles, and some awesome balloons that my cousins had purchased for me, which I will definitely deflate to use again for someone else’s birthday!
As long as you are upfront with people and a little creative, I don’t understand why your birthday celebration can’t be zero waste! That being said, if people were to have thrown me this big celebration that did end in a lot of waste; I wouldn’t be “pissed” at them for not following my rules, because it’s the thought that counts.