Stop using balloons for good! Switch to bunting and paper streamers and decorations. Keep a party box in the cupboard and reuse them year after year!
Goal: Reduce harmful single use waste
What you'll need: A box to store all of your reusable party supplies
Not fun fact: Balloons are in the top three most harmful pollutants threatening marine wildlife.
Fun fact: Bunting is so underrated in Australia! It's used in a lot in European countries and it's a beautiful, reusable way to decorate any occasion.
Change starts with a good reason. This is why it is so important to understand the benefits of the change you are about to make.
By switching to a reusable decorations you will stop polluting our oceans and environment with harmful plastics that can be mistakenly eaten by marine and bird life. This means that less plastic will be produced, end up in our landfills and less in our waterways.
That's why your task for your first day is to check out this article from Dr MORGAN GILMOUR who recently studied balloons that claimed to be degradable.
Buy or make some reusable decorations
This is where the fun begins, here are some ideas on reusable party decorations. The key thing to remember is that no, your child does not need an instagramable themed party every year... just make it feel special.
Bunting: This is something that I discovered when I lived in Holland and it's also used a lot in the UK. Bunting can be made from recycled materials, you can purchase fun fabrics, crochet bunting or just buy some from the local party store. The key here is to pop it in your party box and reuse it.
Streamers: Paper streamers can be found in most supermarkets and party stores and they can be put in your compost bin after you have used them. Or you can simply put them back in the party box for next time. I've got about 4 birthdays out of my streamers so far.. and granted they are on their last legs now, but they've seen some good times!
Have a look at this PINTEREST BOARD to get some inspiration for your next party.
Behaviour & attitude
Our behaviours are tightly linked to our attitudes. Ask yourself, how do you feel about giving up balloons? Many people were raised with strong associations with balloons and parties, our brains have been conditioned to believe that the two go together. It will be hard to break these associations. Do you believe it's important to make this change?
Barriers to this change
Friction: Social science tells us that one of the biggest problems with making a behavioural change are moments of friction. In this case the point of friction is our children. Companies still use balloons in marketing and it's hard when you're out with your children to say no. I also explain to my son why balloons are bad for the environment. He's a kid that loves turtles and fish so for him, it's an easy justification. After all, sustainability is about not jeopardising future generations with the decisions we make today. So if you're children cry because you say no to balloons, just remember you are doing it for their future and the world you want them to live in.
Here are my tips:
Get yourself a big box that you can keep in the cupboard with all your party decorations.
Don't get hung up on a themed birthday party to impress the parents, kids don't care.. just make it bright and fun.
Include your kids - make paper streamers together, it can be a great family time together.
Share with your friends, if you make some themed bunting or other sustainable decorations, share them with your friends afterwards and rotate the party themes through the years.
Motivation: Why do you want to make this change? Take some time today to talk with your friends and family about this change you are making. Try to find your motivation.
Make a social pledge to help you to make the commitment. Choose a pledge and tell your family and friends about the good things you're doing for our planet. Please tag in @10horncreative or use the #10horncreative or #smallchangesforgood
Are you ready?
I call these changes, Small Changes for Good, because we make them for the good of the planet and peoplekind. We also make them for good, as in, forever. So even though you have gotten to the end of this page (well done for that), this is a lifestyle change.
So are you ready for your next challenge? Keep up the great work with not using balloons and start your next Small Change For Good!