The Eco-Friendly Birthday

Can you believe my youngest weaner turned 1!  In true wean green fashion we partied down, eco style. Here is how I went green:

Party Invitations

Printed invitations, really? Not me. I used www.evite.com, one of the many electronic invitation sites on the internet.  Huge thanks to Tiny Tillia  who has some adorable, stylish, designer invitations on evite.com (here is the one I used).

PRO: PAPERLESS! (Also so cute)
CON: I didn’t have all the little weaners email addresses.
SOLUTIONS: Good old fashioned telephone (confession: and facebook).

Party Games

I hosted the party at the park so the kids did not need much entertaining!  They ran through the sprinklers, played on the swings and went down slides.  There was no abusing that poor old donkey at this party.

PRO: Physical activity for kids, need we say more?
CON: Well if you don’t want your kids to sleep really good at night you may not like this idea

Decorations

I decided against a lot of decorations.  I sewed a tablecloth that can be reused for all the weaner’s birthday parties to come.  Other than that I did not see a need for anything else.  If you do decide to go down the decoration road some green options are to choose things that can be re-used for many years and if you absolutely must use balloons please make sure you use 100% latex!

PRO: I didn’t have a garbage bag full of plastic Dora decorations.
CON: I sewed.  It was interesting.
SOLUTION: If you don’t want to make your own decorations check out Green Planet Parties.

Good Organic Birthday Eats

Organic. Organic. Organic.  I was able to buy most of my ingredients for the cake, snacks, drinks and wraps at our local organic food store.  I made my own cake, (side note: it is so nice to know how much sugar is in the cake your kids are eating!  I am sure the last store bought cake we ate had at least 5 times the sugar it actually needed!)

PRO: Homemade baby/big people food.
CON: It takes a bit more time to throw this all together.
SOLUTION: I put the oldest weaner to work with me the day before to make sure I didn’t have anything left to prepare on the day of the party.

Plates/Cups/Utensils

It makes my stomach turn at every party to see all the useless waste and cost from one time use plates and cups.  I brought the plates, cups and utensils from home.

PRO: No waste.
CON: The clean up and you may not have enough plates.
SOLUTION: Dishwasher (mine is about 6 feet tall, my kids call him Dad). If you are worried about not having enough plates and cups ask your guest to each bring one from home.

Birthday Crafts

We painted some potters, added in the soil and planted some ivy.  (I have to give a shout out to my husband’s best friend, Kyle, for this one).

PROS: The lifespan of a planter. it was soo fun to see the weaners and co. making these adorable planters!
CONS: Good paint that will stay on the planter is often toxic and not very good for the environment.
SOLUTIONS: I found a recipe for milk paint!  Check it out: http://parentchildcrafts.suite101.com/article.cfm/how_to_make_environmentally_safe_milk_paint#ixzz0QU2FlILN

Birthday Loot Bags

The plants were the giveaway of the day.  I gave the babies each one of Bright Eyes & Bushy Tails flannel wipes. For the bigger kids I made a playlist of some of their favourite songs and burnt them each their own disc.

PRO: No plastic bags, no extra candy, they learn about the environment and are introduced to gardening.
CON: I found it a little bit difficult to find something that works for multiple ages.
SOLUTION: Thank you internet!

Birthday Presents

The first thing I must say about this is “I am not a mean mom!” With that said I am sure you can imagine some of the feedback I received from friends and family when they read this, “In lieu of gifts and to stay with our environmental theme, we are asking for a $5 donation for the girls’ CIBC Run for the Cure fundraising efforts.  If you have already purchased a gift please ensure that it is not wrapped in order to reduce waste.”  This is the hardest tradition to stray from.  Everything else went almost unnoticed to our guests, except this!  In the end the little weaner did end up getting presents from about ½ the attendees.  I would like to say thank you to all of our attendees, the presents did rock and we will definitely be able to pass them on once the weaner has outgrown them. Even better, we raised a large chunk of change for the cause!

PRO: I know the ‘toy section’ at the landfill has not been filled by my children. Raising money for a good cause!
CON: This totally depends on the child, some kids are not ready to give up all this loot!
SOLUTION: If your child (or parents, whom as I have learned seem to have a harder time letting go) is resolute on receiving gifts try and dwindle down your guest list.  If this isn’t possible maybe you can ask your weaner what they would like the most in the world and get your guests to all bring money to pitch in and buy one large gift instead of 20 small ones.

Mommy’s Tear Catcher

A flannel wipe, check them out at www.bebt.ca. Thanks for getting it to me April, I really needed it!

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