Tag Archives | eco-friendly party

Eco-Friendly (er) Kid’s Birthday Party

Well it’s been a busy week here…more so than Christmas.  Why?  It’s been a weekend of Eco-friendly party planning for a 5 year old boy ~ my Angelo.  I won’t go into the intense emotion that I feel when one of my kids gets one year older and I’m just not ready.  Here are some practical emotions I realized while hosting this Eco-friendly, sustainable, birthday party.    

During the preparations for Angelo’s special party, I had a few ‘light bulb moments’ about party give-aways.  I am very sensitive to the plight of boys and what constitutes a ‘cool’ loot bag or party give-away.  You have to be very creative with boys so they aren’t disappointed with a give-away that doesn’t light up, shoot something, or have a super hero on the front of it.  As I geared up for Angelo’s special celebration I couldn’t help but think back to last year, because we were having the same wonderful performer come to the house to keep the kids entertained.  This year it was a clown, last year he came dressed as a magician.  The give-aways last year included magician themed toys: clown nose, funny glasses with big nose, wand, deck of cards, etc.  I started second guessing myself, as this year I selected very sustainable, handcrafted give-aways.  When pulling out party supplies to re-use, I found some leftover items from the give-aways we gave last year.  My boys were so excited to see the clown nose and funny glasses. The pangs of guilt increased….but I learned about trusting your instincts and why teaching your children about sustainability is so important.  Within an hour of these new items coming out, the glasses had broken, the nose was ripped in two and the toy magician wand broke – instantly becoming a choking hazard. 

I suddenly felt silly for doubting myself and even a little bad for giving my guests such cheap items the year before.  What did I do this year?  I purchased cowboy fabric and had the master seamstress extraordinaire from Green Planet Parties create tool belt/craft aprons.  Foot long craft/tool mini aprons with pockets and a loop that held a hammer and paper punch to encourage crafting for both girls and boys attending the party.  Girls love to hammer too…so they received hammers, but their aprons were made with pink flower fabric with striped front pockets.  My sons thought these give-aways were awesome and it’s rekindled the intense pride I feel about the education process the Green Planet Party (GPP) site offers parents about giving more Eco-friendly parties for their children and choosing ‘green’ (er) give-away and gift selections.  Besides for this year’s loot bags, my children’s 2 favorite give-aways from recent parties have been a full camouflage apron for Angelo…he runs for it every time he helps in the kitchen and Francesco loves his stainless steel cup that holds his morning milk.  I can’t remember many other give-aways other than books.

I had further affirmation during the party when Francesco, my very cool 6 year old, noticed the cloth, personalized banner and matching camouflage cloth tablecloth for Angelo and quietly says to me “I want the same thing at MY party!”  This was said with a quiet voice, but a loud exclamation at the end of the statement.  And let me tell you, that boy is not easy to impress!

My guests were also wowed by the cold cups made from corn ~ perfectly sized for small hands and the beautiful palm leaf tableware that still takes my breath away with it’s imperfect, naturally stunning design, produced by mother nature herself. 

I thought Angelo would be too young at 4-5 years old when he decided to have a donation party, where the guests bring a cash donation in lieu of gifts, but after watching his big brother last year, he decided he had to help save the lions.  These cats are on the endangered list and Angelo just adores these beautiful animals.  He proudly counted the donations and set aside the amount for the lions.  He knows when he decides on a special gift, he’s welcome to use his 1/2 from the donations and purchase something sustainable and fun.  When given a choice, kids will surprise you every time.  The gift of education from these greener parties will travel through your group of friends and family….continuing to spread the word about unique and important ways to help the earth.  Now the only thing missing from the GPP site is how a mom comes to terms with her baby growing up.  <sob>

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How To Host A Green (er) Kid’s Party or Event

These days, parents are forced to actively research and stay abreast on the latest issues – whether it involves a product recall due to cheaply made toys or the leaching of the latest chemicals from non-sustainable materials. It’s a time where parenting involves the active exchange of new information and making well researched, eco-friendly decisions. There is a new area of parenting that is slowly gaining ‘green’ and sustainable momentum…hosting a green birthday party for children.

In the excitement of planning a child’s birthday party, parents often get carried away with sourcing the latest commercialized theme for parties. For example, matching Hannah Montana decorations, plates, napkins, cups, tablecloth, wrapping paper, etc.. The co-founders of Green Planet Parties realized at their own children’s birthday parties, the enormity of waste resulting from plastic packaging from presents, wrapping paper, petroleum lined commercialized tableware, and plastic party decorations; the amount of waste was noticeably endless. This company’s co-founders wanted to research an earth friendlier way to assist parent’s with hosting kid’s parties. Although children’s birthday parties are a rite of passage and deserve to be special, spending time to research eco-friendly alternatives doesn’t need to deter from any of the party guests or birthday child’s fun or cause the host extra expense.

Why should you green your next family event or kid’s party? This one action will kick start a powerful ball of information rolling among family and friends that might even surprise the host. Education is the largest result from an eco-friendly party and the understated changes will delight and encourage environmental change from guests.

What are the easiest things to change from traditional party/event planning? Here is an easy checklist:

~ Send Evites (free, online invitation) to guests. If you would like a more traditional party invitation, source seed invitations that can be planted at a later date. Children receiving this special invitation will love this eco-activity.  Also available are seed thank you cards for after the party “thank yous”!

~ Source sustainable party decorations. Remove plastic decorations and invest in cloth tablecloths, tablerunners, customizable banners, and cotton goodie bags to hold party give-aways.

~ Your own household plates, cups, and cutlery are always the best choice for tableware, but when hosting a large event or holding the party at a venue away from home, eco-friendly disposable tableware becomes a requirement. Did you know that biodegradable tableware is easy to find and the cost is reasonable? Also, unlike the Hannah Montana or Sponge Bob themes, you are able to re-use any left over tableware at a later date. Eco-friendly plates, hot/cold cups, cutlery, napkins, and garbage bags are naturally beautiful in texture and color – children will not miss the commercialism of traditional tableware that does nothing more than add to landfill waste.

~ Source sustainable party give-aways for guests. Children and parents alike, enjoy practical, quality loot bag items. Rather than sourcing dollar store plastic that breaks within minutes of being opened after a party, spend the same amount of money and purchase reusable items: practical, nature inspired, or books. What a wonderful way for a guest to remember your party months or years down the road while they still enjoy their special goodie bag item.

~ Talk to your child about choosing a special charity or social cause and request guests bring a donation in lieu of presents. This idea of the ‘donation party’ is spreading throughout communities and is very empowering for the birthday child. Education is shared with the party guests regarding the cause, so everyone benefits from this generous act. Also, the birthday child is able to purchase a special, quality gift with their 1/2 of the donations and this helps reduce a large amount of traditional party waste from packaging. The trick to communicating this request to guests is properly explaining your thoughts in the invitation’s wording. For example working, check out the Eco Party Tip’s section of Green Planet Parties‘ site. The sample wording is helpful for drafting your Evite.

~ Go the extra mile and source: latex balloons (latex is naturally earth friendly), organic lollipops, beeswax birthday cake candles, wrapping paper with seeds or use recycled paper. Lesson your environmental footprint by ordering all your party supplies online and have them shipped directly to you. Engage guests with nature or eco based activities during the party.

The party planning experts at Green Planet Parties guarantee this new way to approach family events or birthday parties will impress your guests and the understated message of helping mother earth will be powerful and inspire others to change.

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