Can left on the beach Luke Manley

Teaching kids to care: plastic-free parties

1 minute read

Hi everyone, I’m Julia Bradbury and I’m a TV presenter, environmentalist and co-founder of The Outdoor Guide.

Julia Bradbury TV Presenter and Environmentalist David Venni

Julia Bradbury

Credit: David Venni

As someone who cares about the planet, making sure we as a family limit our use of single-use plastic isn’t a hard sell (harder to execute admittedly). Kids easily identify with the plight of animals and sea life, they’re so aware of the scourge of plastic pollution filling our oceans. We’ll be stepping up our efforts for the Marine Conservation Society's Plastic Challenge, and as a patron of Whale and Dolphin Conservation, it’s an issue close to my heart.

In normal circumstances, we’d be planning outdoor get-togethers with friends and family at this time of year, either at the beach or at one of our favourite shady woodland places. When we go to the beach we always do a quick litter pick before anything else – my little chicks are particularly good at spotting cigarette butts and plastic straws. My kids share my love of the outdoors and we rarely go out for a walk without our #litterhero bags. If it’s safe to pick up stuff we do it.

Party-free children's party bags Gina Fox

Credit: Gina Fox

The great thing about holding a party outdoors is there’s so much for children to do. They can run wild and plastic doesn’t need to feature at all. Whether it’s drawing in the sand, making pebble monsters, trying to fly a home-made paper kite, cloud watching, or playing a madly competitive game of rounders that gets everyone in fits of giggles. Plastic-free parties are so easy – I wrap sandwiches and birthday cake in Beeswax food wrappers from &Keep. And if party bags feature, a brilliant company called has some great sustainable Fair Trade ideas. A children’s book with a good plastic pollution message like Katie helps a Turtle with a Tummy Ache (which I recently wrote the foreword for) also makes a great take-home gift.

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