A green birthday party favor that leaves the plastic behind!

DSC01077Both of my kids just celebrated another birthday and we’re on the cusp of yet another big birthday party.

Along with the pressure of creating the greatest birthday celebration (EVER!) comes the pressure of letting your little party-goers walking away with a little something special of their own.

Now I (truly) don’t intent to guilt anyone if they’ve ever fallen into the trap of the treat bag tradition (because I HAVE!), but all too often the treat bags we create include what I deem “trinkets ‘n trash”…  a loot bag filled with candy and plastic “stuff” that’s eventually destine for a landfill (and to live on, endlessly!).

In years past I have given the kids canvas tote bags and nylon sport bags so they can be used again and again.  This year I figured I’d better switch it up, if I don’t want to hear “ANOTHER bag?!?” from our guests.

This year I found these fantastic stainless steel water bottles.  They’re BPA Free and (would you believe) made in the USA! Cost each: $3! All it took was a trip to a local discount store and there they were!  I’ve easily spent $3 on those other treat bags, filling them with plastic toys, so the cost didn’t sway me.

My kids love them and can’t wait to give one to each of their friends. Their friends also seem excited to get a party favor that is a “big” gift too!

Whether it’s a tote, a sport bag or a water bottle, shop around and you’ll likely find a party favor that the kids and parents will appreciate, and the environment will thank you too!

Mom Goes Green is TWO YEARS OLD!!!

2nd bdayWhile it’s true that since I personally hit an (unfortunate) milestone birthday not long ago (and I decided to start counting my chronological age backwards) I can actually (and truthfully) say that I’ve reached my toddler years as Mom Goes Green! Yes, MGG is TWO YEARS OLD!

Two years.  Wow.  This post is # 315. I’ve still had moments where I thought I would give up and put it to rest, but then… along comes a reader, full of thanks and praise, and I wonder how I could even think of stopping.

So… what has Mom Goes Green been doing in the past year? (*insert dizzying dream visual here!*)

Through my journey as Mom Goes Green I have:

Ah, yes.  My journey.

Have I struggled at times?  Yes.  Have I been frustrated?  Yes.  Am I proud of what I’ve done?  Yes… I am.  Absolutely.

And I have appreciated everyone who has taken time out of their life to read Mom Goes Green and give some consideration to all the things I have shared.

Thank you for joining this journey. With love and appreciation – Mom Goes Green

How to keep your birthday parties green!

bday ckeI hardly blinked and my kids’ birthdays were staring me in the face again! Besides the celebration of the two amazing days that they arrived, I knew it also meant lots of planning… for parties, presents, treats, favors and everything that goes with their big days.

I also knew that I didn’t want to get sucked into the vortex of waste… something that seems to go hand-in-hand with any celebration!  So, was I able to keep it green? You bet I was, and here’s how:

  • Gifts – only one gift each:  a new bike.  The outgrown versions will be donated to a charity so some deserving kids can ‘get their pedal on’ too!
  • Party – hosted at home, I pulled out all the dishes, the cups and glasses, utensils, serveware… every last thing.  Use of disposables: NONE!
  • Wrap – all wrapping paper was recycled, gift bags were flattened and saved, along with ribbons and bows.
  • Decorations – yes… I tried to talk my kids out of balloons, but they insisted… so I insisted on the biodegradable versions and they will be properly disposed of.
  • Waste – there was none.  At the end of the night, I asked my husband if he had taken out the trash… he said he hadn’t, but there wasn’t one piece of trash that was added to the can during the course of the entire party.  Even the cake box… recycled!nyln bag
  • Party favorsjust like last year, no plastic junk here!  I instead opted for drawstring tote bags (picked up at the local craft store for $1.99 each!).  They’ll get used by the kids again and again!
  • Treat bags – everyone at my kids’ schools traditionally brings a treat bag for their friends on the day of their birthday.  Instead, we gave their friends a recycled paper mini-notebook and pen.

Each year I seem to get a little better at this!  For every choice you make, there IS a greener, more environmental option… don’t let yourself go down the usual road just because it’s what you’ve always done.  That’s a route you don’t need to take.

Remember, “green parties” are NOT just for St. Patrick’s Day or politics!