I wanted to give my little eco-warrior an eco-friendly party this year… Within the time and money constraints I was facing. I mean I couldn’t have the party in a hut on a mountain, (where we hiked because of the carbon footprint) and ate only 100% organic produce picked by the light of the moon wearing only certified vegan flip-flops… Not yet anyway.
So how did a run of the mill, mom with a penchant for cheap imports make things reduced waste and vegetarian? Well….
Eco-friendly party food and drink …
Let’s start with the food. Aidan was adamant that the adults could eat what they want (my mom in law’s curry and rice and carrot cake) but the kids would have to go meat free.
Aidan is vegetarian based on a simple fact: “I don’t think animals like it when you eat their friends and family, it makes them sad”. He feels like he is always dodging hotdogs and sausage pizza at parties so at his he wanted to keep it vegetarian.
The food was oven baked chips, I upped the eco-factor by serving the chips in easily biodegradable pine boats, my friend Jenine organised (turns out they are pretty readily available and not too expensive, despite how extra that sounds). I then bought a container of squeezable All Gold tomato sauce (I did an All Gold jam inspired scone recipe a while ago you should check it out) which the kids shared instead of having their own little bowls which would have added to the waste.
We had organic locally grown refreshments in the form of Soga Organic products (which they sponsored as they were very on board with my crazy party idea). The juice comes in these handy bottles which were used to drink water from later and a few moms took the actual bottle home as the size is super cute and convenient. Their just squeezed and freezed rockets come in 100% recyclable cardboard tubes which add to the eco-friendly party ethos.
As you may or may not know I made little pillowcase like party packs out of material which could be taken home and reused by parents/kids. Less waste win! The snacks in there were not fancy only organic things. I did stay away from imports though (that helps with the footprint right? Having the treats 85% produced here in good old SA?) I had Niknaks, chomps, Simba corn bits, and then I had packages of biscuits and lollies.
I also went without straws and paper serviettes (had cloth napkins at the ready) and no one seemed to notice, or they did notice but had the decency not to complain.
Eco-friendly party decor…
I did this by minimizing decor and making everything else out of my pile of recyclable paper.
I folded pin wheels out of newspaper and added buttons from my reclaimed buttons bowl for an accent wall.
The happy birthday sign was printed on used paper… My printer went crazy and printed some alien language a while ago, I kept the paper for just in case and it came in handy now as no one turned the sign to see the back.
The bunting was made from paper the boys use for drawing and my sister tried her hand at emoji sketching to add to it.
The jumping castle and soft toy service I used Bouncy-Boo Baby and Toddler Soft Toy Hire (I highly recommend them if you are in my area #notsponsored) added so much color and life to the party that the kids didn’t even seem to care that I gave balloons a miss (I couldn’t track down the biodegradable kind).
Bouncy-Boo’s people are so nice and friendly (I have a tendency to do local business by heart like a right old hippie – I won’t work with people a second time if they give me bad vibes, but in this case I’ve been sharing their details with all my local mom friends).
I pulled out my giant bean bag (my mom made for Aidan when he was a baby) and my Koosh Toosh lounger and then created low tables by putting table tops on the tyres we have laying around for the boys to play with. Then we grabbed pillows from my place, my moms and my sisters and presto we had seating right by the play area which kept things fun and festive. The party was snug between the boys’ jungle gym and the jumping castle and the parents were right in the mix which added to the fun feel.
Little eco-friendly party extras…
Having heard about the eco-influence alot of the guests either wrapped Aidans gifts in newspaper or placed it in reusable gift bags which was really appreciated.
My bestie was roped in to make play dough from scratch (she used my recipe actually) and these were our thank you gifts. Yes it’s in plastic packets-but I’m hoping I get extra points for suggesting mom’s start their own ecobricks and pop them in there after use.
We then did face painting for kids using non toxic face paint and Google because how do you paint a superman face, how?
– there are a lot of things I’d add or take away in the future but in my book this was a success… And best of all the kids had to be dragged home. So they clearly didn’t feel deprived by their little hippie friend and his extra AF mom