Wednesday, June 24, 2015

5 Ways to Green a kids Birthday Party
It is hard enough to convince your partner and children to make 'green' changes in your home, and it can be harder to even consider asking in- laws or your kids friends parents to get on board with your zainy planet saving ideas.

Stick to your values though and know that what you are doing is greatly appreciated by our future earth inhibitors. One thing I have learned over the last few years about having specific requests for different family rituals is to give people a few trys and keep politely reinforcing- eventually they will get it. Also respect others peoples rituals or do not interfere with theirs, like skip the part you don't want to be involved instead of asking them to change everything for you, if you want people to respect your rituals you have to respect theirs.

Here are my wacky ideas to green your kids birthday party.

Presence not presents

Request no presents
or request second hand presents
or request donations in loo of presents to give your child's favorite charity
or ask for 'experience' gifts (lessons, tickets, days out, ect. )

Think Im crazy? Here is why having tons of stuff is not good for children and here is why 'stuff' is not good for the environment. Present giving has become so impersonal and unthoughtful and it puts undue financial pressures on people- let's change the world and forget about present giving...please.

Martha Stewart up some crafts

Disposable products use resources, chemicals, and cheap labour to be made- not to mention the emissions from traveling across the world. Any d├ęcor and wrapping paper can be made at home out of recycled paper or my favorite- newspaper- already destined for the recycle bin and free! You could always just skip the decorations all together.
Bust out the good dishes

Instead of buying disposable dishes, cups, napkins, and cutlery use your own- if you don't have enough grab another set at the salvation army real cheap and stash them in a box when not in use. As mentioned above disposable stuff might be cheap and easy but has big environmental and social implications.

Make them into mini stewards

The main activity could be planting trees or seeds, a nature walk, or head over to your local environmental organization and participate in, or hire a private educational guide. The kids program at Gamiing Nature Centre is super interactive, fun, and educational- an experience the kids will remember more than a bouncy castle!

Send home memories not stuff

If you planted seeds than that is a great send home, but other than that we are again talking about stuff that uses resources and lets face it- ends up in the landfill faster than it takes to get made, skip the loot bags I promise the kids wont miss them.

Be bold, be creative, be different! In- laws, kids parents, and kids wont know the difference-but you know who will- the planet :)

Our family celebrated our son's first birthday last weekend. We attended Bird's of Prey at Gamiing on the Saturday and than had a zero waste picnic at Green Up's Ecology Park and Food Forest on the Sunday. I got to skip the decoration making, support and show off a green space provided by an environmental organization, and I had a no present rule so actually it was an easy thing to do.

Thanks for reading my blog!
Julia Taylor
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