Archive for the ‘gifts’ Category

Greener Birthday Party (Take 1)

Paisley Handmade on Etsy!

Like I ‘ve explained before, going green for me is a trial and error process. I try something new, make mistakes and learn every day. This weekend my little princess B turned 3. This marked the first birthday party I would have to throw since making the switch to a greener life. Greener Birthday party, take 1:

I like to keep my kids parties pretty small if  I can, this cuts down on costs, waste and clean up!

I invited everyone via Facebook or phone so no trees were harmed. 🙂

Decorations:

I have a huge supply of balloons at my house, as you know I do have a tainted past as a shopaholic, so I  have a lot of  “random stuff ” as my husband calls it, around my house . Also I don’t care what anybody says, helium balloons are fun. Although I was quite discouraged about the non-eco friendly-ness of balloons, I came across a blog post that told me I can compost latex balloons! Fantastic! Mylar balloons however  are NOT compost able. Since I had pre-purchased these balloons months ago, it seemed crazy not to use them. I had my balloons  blown up at a dollarstore where the ribbon used was not eco-friendly.I suppose all I can do at this point is re-use what is already in my possession and try to prolong the life-cycle of the ribbon. For future reference, these eco friendly ribbons would have been a pretty cool choice! Throw in a few streamers that I already had, I suppose it’s eco-friendly if I’m not buying anything new…. Also for future reference (slap to head,WHY wasn’t I thinking!!) I should have invested a reusable banner, like this one that I found on Etsy . I like to try to keep most of the decorations in one area of the house for easier clean up at the end of the

Fairy tea paty corner

day… Other than that I pretty much just decorated with a few pillows and created a little tea party area. One eco friendly creation I made were fairy wings. I could have gone out and bought new wings for like $3 each, but I decided to recycle craft some instead. I followed the directions on this website and they turned out ok! (Keep in mind that my idea of a successful craft is one that doesn’t immediately fall apart or burst into flames…)

Food:

I could have done better here: Pizza, chips,  pop, cheesies. All a little questionable… Should have gone for organic chips or even Sun Chips with their compost-able bags. I did ok here: I did choose to make her birthday cake this year with an organic cake mix. The feedback on it was pretty good, although next time I’ll attempt to do an organic/ fair trade cake from scratch. .. Also I didn’t purchase any disposable plates or cups (I have a large supply of napkins, and since the cake was cupcakes no plates were really required). If you were interested in biodegradable party wear Go Green in Stages has all kinds of options.

Treat Bags:

For treat bags I bought a cheap purse and wallet as well as some fair trade chocolate, organic fruit snacks, bear paw cookies and a Tinkerbell comic book. I figured that these things have pretty good play value for little girls (gotta have our purses!) so at least it wasn’t a cheap toy that would just be disregarded or broken. I have given out toys like this in the past….I could have stepped it up by purchasing perhaps a bag made from organic cotton instead. I was thinking about giving out little potted flowers, but at the age of 3 this is maybe an idea for a later birthday. For a spring birthday seeds to plant might be a cool idea…

Gift:

This is one area that I think I did great at. I purchased an eco-friendly tea set, made from recycled plastic, dishwasher safe, and the only packaging left over was a recyclable box, no plastic. Instead of wrapping the gift I used a Dora gift box that I received years ago and keep reusing almost every birthday. A friend of mine hosted a birthday party last year where instead of gifts guests bought items to donate to the Humane Society. the birthday girl got to go deliver the items and see all the animals she was helping. I think that this is a fantastic idea!

This was not by any means a perfectly eco party, but it is a step in the right direction and that is my goal!

Greenie deals – 1st edition –

I’m going to start trying to do an update every few weeks on green deals, worth talking about eco buys  as well as contests and giveaways!

**PEI readers see comments section for easy eco buys**

Lee Valley

Free shipping until September 27th- Get some new gardening tools and do your fall clean up sans carbon emissions!

Chapters

Big Green Purse Book($4.99)72%off or E-Book ($12.99)32% off

Eco S.O.S. , kids book ($19.10) 34%off

Well.ca this week

Nature Photo Contest- Submit Pictures to the Nature Conservancy Open until October 4th 2010.

Bamboo Towel Set Giveaway open until October 12th 2010.

Envirobottles, no sale here just great water bottles. Figured I should post it as I did mention Stainless steel bottles.

Moo!

One of my biggest challenges in switching over to  greener choices is trying to keep all the picky eaters in my house happy. Sometimes I can’t accomplish this, for example Organic milk.

My husband prefers the milk he’s used to, I forced him to have a blind taste test and he had no problem choosing his usual milk. He claims that the organic milk was a little too sweet, my 2 year old on the other hand didn’t notice a change.

I  aim to try a few new products every week . One new item I purchased last week was organic milk.  I picked it up and made the decision to spend the $6.29 price tag for 2L.  I figured it was a good thing to switch over and worth the extra cost since organic milk contains higher beneficial fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins than conventional milk.  Then there’s the growth hormone, rBGH. It’s use is banned here in Canada as well as in Europe, however unless it’s labeled rBGH free, or organic, dairy products from the U.S. still contain it. That rBGH seems to be an all around bad idea, what with the links to breast and colon cancer as well as the poor cows that have to produce so much milk that they can become malnourished. As a breastfeeding mom, I feel for them! For now I’ll keep buying the conventional milk for my husband, and my babies will get organic. I’m also going to make a habit of checking the label to see where my dairy products are coming from!

On another note,

Last week I had a great opportunity to make an easy shift in my spending to green. It is my Dad’s birthday this week (Happy Birthday Dad!!) and after digging around for info, I found out he needed some new t-shirts. I don’t have a big budget for birthday gifts, so I had to try and come up with a gift that was eco friendly, useful and inexpensive. My sister discovered that he was in need of some t-shirts. I was thrilled to find organic cotton shirts at wal-mart! I picked up 3 of them for $7 a piece!!

Last week’s  grocery totals for my One in a Million Challenge:

  • organic meats from Bluefield Natural Products Inc. $40
  • various organic, fair trade and eco friendly products at the grocery store $40
  • Birthday gift for Dad $21

Totals for O.I.M.C. last week: $101

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