July 22, 2007

greening the birthday party

My little guy had his birthday this weekend. I tried my best to improve my approach to the typical kid party. I was more green than I used to be, but nowhere near perfect.

We had just a few friends celebrate with us at a local playground. It was morning, so we served bagels, fruit, coffee, juice, water and cupcakes.

The things I did to try to be more green were:
  • had a big compost bag to collect used paper goods and food scraps
  • used recycled paper napkins (not cute party ones)
  • used biodegradable plates made from sugarcane
  • served drinks from large containers in compostable paper cups (no juice boxes)
  • used a marker to write names on the cups in hopes of reducing quantity
  • chose a durable, reusable party favor (found cute little lunch containers at the Daiso store and put a homemade cookie inside)
  • reused the '3' birthday candle we saved from previous use
  • made organic cupcakes
  • reused large, heavy paper from a project to be table covers on the picnic tables
There were other things I could have done, but didn't. For instance:
  • online invitations
  • beeswax birthday candles (regular candles are often a petroleum based product)
  • brought cloth napkins and 'real' plates and dishes
  • brought cloth table covers (wouldn't need to be fancy - just reusable)
Things I did knowing they were not green, but was desperate:
  • bought a mylar balloon to decorate
  • also decorated with some streamers, but they are old rolls that have lasted us years and are still not used up!
  • bought store cupcakes in plastic containers after the organic ones I baked failed miserably (I baked them in ice cream cones to be cute, but the cones fell apart in the oven)
  • offered Wet Ones wipes to help keep hands clean
  • took plastic bags at the store to carry my cold, heavy bags of ice to the car
The kids had a great time and no one thought the paperware was unfestive. Almost everything we served was compostable, so that was very easy. A happy birthday overall.


Gift of Green said...

Awesome! Sprout has a birthday coming up, so thanks for some ideas I had not considered. Happy birthday to your little guy!!

Anonymous said...

I wish you had known about Echoage. I used this site for my daughter's party and she got one great gift instead of 20 smaller ones wrapped in packaging and plastic. I highly recommend you check out www.echoage.com for a green party that works. So proud of my daughter for doing it.