Saturday, August 20, 2011

Party time

It is birthday season here at A Happy Green Life, in the next month we will be celebrating both of our husband’s birthdays and three of our kids’. While planning my family’s parties I realized that while I am an expert at planning a rockin’ party I have no idea how to throw one that is ecofriendly. In our family we have three birthdays within two weeks so we are strapped for cash. I needed to figure out how to go green without spending too much money, so I turned to the internet. Instead of ordering invitations like I usually do I sent our guests all e-vites from For my hubby’s party we created a Facebook event and had all of our friends reply online. I love invitations, I am always looking for the cutest ones that I can use for my kids’ parties but I am pretty sure I am the only person at the party who pays attention to them. Think about how much paper is wasted from the invitation, envelope, and stamps; by using online invitations you can cut out all the waste.
I found a great site called Green Party Goods that sells everything from party decorations to forks and plates all of which are ecofriendly. They have great biodegradable plates made from bamboo and utensils made from potatoes or corn! I decided to look for paper products that were made from 100% recycled products, these use 97% less carbon dioxide and 95% less water (try Seventh Generation products, their napkins are made from at least 50% post-consumer products).  For my husband’s party we decided to cut our paper all together and plan on using our cloth napkins and our regular dinner plates!
When it came to decorations I was a bit stumped. My three year old loves balloons but everyone knows they aren’t ecofriendly, right? Wrong! I found out that latex is a natural product made from rubber tree sap. It actually breaks down, they are 100% biodegradable!! What about streamers and banners? Why not use fabric! Having a best friend who makes cloth diapers comes in handy sometimes, we can just cut out streamers and banners from the excess fabric we have. We can even select fabrics with patterns to match our party theme! If you aren’t creative check out the felt banners at Green Party Goods. You can use them again every year!!
Last but not least were the goody bags. How many plastic bags jammed full of candy and cheap plastic toys have my kids taken home over the years? Tons!! The toys are used for approximately one hour and then everything ends up in the trash can, they aren’t very ecofriendly. There are tons of ideas online for great ecofriendly goody bags. My daughter decided that she wants a Popsicle party this year so we are giving each of her guests Tovolo Ice Pop Molds (they are reusable, nontoxic and very cute!). My sons says he is too old for goody bags but came up with a ton of great ideas: reusable bags (made from fabric), recycled crayons melted down into cool shapes, homemade bubbles, homemade chalk, little plants or even seeds!
I will be honest with you, when we set out to make our parties ecofriendly we were a little apprehensive (my husband actually rolled his eyes at me) but it didn’t end up being that hard. There was a recyclable, biodegradable option for all of the products that I needed to buy. I spent more time making my decorations but it will be worth it next year when I have stuff already made to use!!
We will be having these parties soon so wish us luck! And send any ecofriendly party ideas you have our way!!

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