Sacramento Parent has an article in its current issue about how to make your child’s birthday party a little bit greener. It quotes me (with a link to the blog) and shares some of the ideas my daughters used last year in planning their own green birthdays.
With both of their birthdays right around the corner–plus wedding season in full swing–I thought now was the perfect time to revisit those ways that you can keep green and save green when planning a party, celebration or other kind of special occasion–heck, even some teens are planning green graduation parties:
- Use reusable whenever possible. In the case of my daughter Annie’s party last year, we invested in a reusable tablecloth, cafeteria-style trays and shatterproof drinking glasses. We continue to use those items whenever we eat outside.
- Bake the cake at home. Because I’d stocked up on cake mix and frosting when it was on super discount at the supermarket, I was able to make a birthday cake for about $4. In addition, I saved gas because getting the cake didn’t involve a trip to a bakery–I just had to walk into the kitchen.
- Invite guests virtually. While we haven’t gone as far as sending a TXT invite to a party (yet), we have used email and on-line invitation sites like Evite and Pingg. Other sites offer on-line invitations for free, too, such as MyPunchbowl.com and Socializr. Not only does this on-line option save money on invitations and postage, it saves paper, too.
- If you’re going somewhere else for the party, carpool. I don’t have to explain the benefits of carpooling your guests versus having everyone arrive in a separate car. Nuff said.
- Even the favors can be green. A “status symbols” at my daughters’ middle school these days is having a stainless steel water bottle. The funkier the design on the bottle, the better. I’m hoping next year that the Parent Teacher Group can sell those water bottles as part of a fundraiser. Nonetheless, a great green favor you could give out would be some kind of refillable water bottle. In addition, you can use reusable shopping totes to hold favors, and then the bag becomes part of the favor.
- Use locally grown food. The best way to get the freshest and most affordable food for your celebration is to think like a locavore. That is, to buy items that were grown or raised locally. Most farmers markets are in full swing this month, and you can always visit the Local Harvest website to uncover your additional locavore shopping options.