Tag Archives | greener birthday parties

Greener Birthday Parties for Older Kids

While the party is still fresh in my mind and I’ve embraced the fact another year has passed (all too quickly) for another one of my children, I wanted to write an article about hosting a greener party for older kids. I have to say the planning, execution, and green factor (being high!) from this party was very easy this year. Yes, it’s our 3rd year of hosting green parties for our children, including asking for donations in lieu of gifts, but there was no big meltdown (on my part) this year so I wanted to make some realistic recommendations to help parents trying to plan greener parties or celebrations.

When I think or say ‘greener birthday party’ or ‘eco-friendly birthday party’ a vision of children sitting around dying play dough with vegetables as the craft, eating raw/organics and picking up garbage as the activity often comes to mind. This is a lovely concept, but more realistic for younger children. The older kids get, they are picky and want to enforce their opinions on details and activities for their party..this is why things can often get expensive.  This past weekend we hosted Angelo’s 7th birthday party at a local rec centre (no I wasn’t up to the task of having 15 hyper boys in my house with only me to entertain them) and they had a teen room that is reserved during weeknights as a teen centre. The room is equipped with a Ping Pong & Pool Table, Foosball, Air Hockey, Basketball dual game, and a Wii system. There was also a party host that took them to the gym for an hour to play floor hockey and soccer. The key…these boy party guests stayed active, active, active!  The kids left the party having exercised and played with lots of different partners in the party room with the fun activities.

So the venue rocked and was very easy for my husband and I. A few other things I found easy:

Sent the annual Evite to save on paper invitations and hurt feelings from any children that weren’t invited to the party when paper invitations are passed around a classroom.

Used Angelo’s name banner for the 2nd year…best decoration for a child’s room and birthday party from my company Green Planet Parties. Besides for the tablecloth, this is the only decoration needed in this party room – everyone loved it.

My boys are crazy for Harry Potter so rather than host a Harry Potter themed party – we used understated wizard magic with the loot bags. They were cloth camouflage bags that contained organic candy, wooden wizard wands, and grey felt beards (so everyone can be like Dumbledore) once they are home. I have to say, the last guest to leave had the best reaction ever to the loot bags. He opened the bag and took out the wand and screamed “really? You got me my very own wand?” It was just awesome….anyone that believes boys need plastic, battery operated toys to be happy is frankly mistaken.

Brought in earth friendly tableware. I used palm leaf plates, corn cups and put all party guests names on them so they only used one throughout the party, used wooden cutlery, and recycled napkins. The facility where we hosted the party doesn’t have curb-side pickup for food waste so we packed up all the food waste and compostable tableware and brought it home with us to compost.  It was very easy.

For the third year Angelo hosted a donation party and asked his friends to bring a donation rather than a gift. He is a very green little guy and sees the value in helping a charity and knows that the amount of packaging that will be saved from toys and gift wrap is important. It really helps cut down on unrecyclable plastic when you ask children not to bring gifts to a party. We left the party with just envelopes because most of the kids made their own cards. In previous years, Angelo has helped Endangered Animals because it’s a concept younger children love – helping animals. This year, Angelo decided to give 1/2 of his party donations to Cancer Research because our family lost my father-in-law last year to a courageous battle to cancer so it’s a new cause that is close to their hearts. Donation parties really help empower children because they are making decisions (sometimes for the first time) with where their money is going – it gives them confidence and makes them proud.

For the first time in a long time, I simply just enjoyed the party. I wasn’t running around like a crazy person…I had support and help and got to enjoy the 3 hours, taking pictures and playing games with the kids.

I may be the owner of Green Planet Parties, but I’m not perfect and have a few areas to improve next year.  I love the convenience of supermarket cakes…I really don’t enjoy baking and know I’m not capable of pulling off a Harry Potter cake on my own, but knowing the icing is made from loads of artificial colors and the toys on top of the cake are made with PVC, doesn’t make me feel great. The convenience is wonderful…but I’d love to find another solution. There are lots of smaller cupcake, cookie, cake pop bakers in every community that are making these items from scratch and are probably more healthy than the supermarket. One person I’ve become friends with on Twitter is Event Envy. Not only is this mompreneur witty and friendly on social media, but her cakes and cake pops are incredible! My new favorite from her site is the Ruffle Cake!

Besides for the cake ‘fail’ I also brought juice boxes to the party. We did use water pitchers with the corn cups instead of plastic water bottles, but didn’t have enough containers to serve juice. The centre had recycling facilities and took care of the juice boxes but I would eliminate these for next time.

Ohhh just remembered I used beeswax candles on the birthday cake rather than petroleum based.  Maybe I just earned a point back?  <smile>

I wanted to write a post that anyone can follow regarding hosting greener birthday parties for children of any age. It’s still very possible (easy in fact) and doesn’t need to be this incredibly stressful occasion for parents. It should be enjoyable and fun….it is a party after-all!  Hmmmm next party is for my 4 year old twin daughters so everything might change trying to balance the ‘princess’ wishes they’ve been talking about.  That’s okay…I have a few ideas of my own how to keep their party green, fun, and girlie!  Wish me luck.

New, locally handmade items are arriving for Green Planet Parties. Join us on Facebook via the Fan Page so you don’t miss any of these new additions.

Share
sig

1

Back-To-School With Stainless Steel

This year, shopping for back-to-school lunchtime items includes a much larger selection of stainless steel products. It’s no wonder with reports of plastic bottles that are branded ‘BPA-free” being tested and the results finding BPA still leaching and now the company SIGG announcing (in a very confusing bulletin from their CEO) bottles produced prior to August 2008 may leach BPA from the lining of their aluminum bottles. **  For parents and consumers, stainless steel options just keep looking better and better. Not only do stainless steel water bottles and lunch containers not require epoxy lining because it’s safe to have stainless steel directly touch your food and water, but they are easy to maintain, dishwasher safe, and if your purchase products in the 201 and 304 grades, they will last a very long time.

Sourcing and testing back-to-school lunch box products is very exciting for me at Mommy Footprint. Sometimes a product comes along that I can’t live without as a parent and they are a great fit with practical items at Green Planet Parties. Both my business partner Suzanne and I have a strong focus on products that not only are helpful to improve the conditions of our environment, but are safe for children. This September, Green Planet Parties has you covered with greener birthday parties and a greener start back-to-school.  We are proud to now carry 2 and 3 tiered stainless steel tiffin lunchboxes. These have been used in Asia and India for years and are gaining in popularity in North America. There is a shortage of these lunch systems in North America with this particular stainless steel grade (304) and the design cannot be beat.  Check out this product shot and read more…

My oldest son has loved using the 2-tier tiffin for over a year and and I’m excited to send him back-to-school using a 3-tier tiffin since he’s at school all day.  The boxes easily stack on top of each other and a very large bonus for me is only worrying about 1 lid for the top. There is a side latch with buckle to attach but it’s easy for kids and it’s very reminiscent of camping equipment we used as kids. All children love the latch because it’s fun to use. Moms can also be sneaky by strategically placing whatever item they want eaten first in the top container as it’s the first thing kids see after removing the lid.  I wonder if my kids have caught on that I’m doing this as their fruit and veggies are always in the top box.  Although the boxes are round, you can easily fit a child’s sandwich inside a single container. My GPP partner and I are thrilled to offer these to parents looking for safe and litterless lunch solutions with kids going back to school this September. Teachers, schools and children appreciate alternatives that help reduce waste and promote healthier eating.  

Green Planet Parties also loves stainless steel water bottles, but knows that children often loose or misplace these bottles. If your little angel is misplacing or hard on their water bottles, you might not want to pay top dollar for expensive bottles, so we added Water Geeks to our site to compliment the 304 stainless steel BILT bottles. Our Water Geek water bottles hold 12 oz and the BILT bottles hold 16 oz which is perfect for full day school aged children.

Like all parents, myself and the other ‘Suzanne’ of Green Planet Parties are concerned with finding safe solutions. It’s very rewarding to find products that work so well with our 6 kids (or should I call them guinea pigs) and share these products with other parents looking for practical, non-toxic and effective litterless lunchtime solutions.

** If you are worried about the SIGG water bottle you are using, check this picture on the SIGG website that diplays the old lining they were using on the inside of water bottles (that may leach BPA) and the new lining that is safe. Apparently SIGG’s customer service turn around time with emails is quick and they will replace old bottles. I personally would ask for a refund and not continue to support a company that made lots of money from concerned parents when BPA leaching from plastic water bottles first became public. The whole thing is very deceptive and company integrity is important to me as a consumer and parent.

Share
sig

5

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes