Saturday, June 23, 2012

How to turn a pink elephant party green

Since beginning my going green journey, I've done a lot of online research and found so many different ideas and challenges for leading a more eco-friendly life.  I'm especially attracted to the reduce, re-use and recycling concepts and feel that until now I've missed out the perfect opportunity to embrace these concepts - kids' birthday parties.

The most recent birthday party we hosted, was for my 4 year old.  I'm not a big fan of creating  themes for parties at this age, however, I am a very big fan of cakes.  Growing up, my mom let us choose an original cake from the Australian Weekly's original cake book for each birthday.  I have fantastic memories of my and my three sisters' elaborate (for that time) cakes; and I let my daughters choose their cakes from that book too.

Australian Weekly Cake

In April, 4 year old Eliya chose the pink elephant for her birthday cake.  It's probably my least favourite cake in the book, so I girled it up a bit when I did it, but it still resembles the picture in the book.  The rest of the party kindof fell into place around the cake.

1. Pink-ish decor. 
2. First activity: make binoculars out of toilet paper rolls.  I stapled two rolls together, and punched holes before the kids' arrived in hope of being organised.  I set out different crayons and pencils as well as stickers for decorating.  The kids then chose a pair of binoculars, decorated as they wished and chose a piece of pre-cut ribbon to thread in the holes and tie around their neck.
If you're wondering how this fits into birthday theme:- binoculars - safari - elephant

Activity Children's Party

3. Second activity: ice cookies.  I bought paper cookie 'plates' and after my cookie baking failed, placed a store-bought cookie in each 'plate'.  I then set out several bowls of different colored icing and bowls of decorative sprinkles and gave each child a plastic knife.  The kids loved decorating and tasting.  Please don't ask how this fits into birthday theme:- pink elephant - pink icing?

4. Pink Elephant Cake - see above.
5. Going Home Presents: plastic bags *wince* filled with binoculars, wrapped iced-cookies and a small plastic camera (if you look in the camera you see photos of animals -fits into theme:- pink elephant - safari - animal photos).

A happy birthday girl showing off her creations

And now, to answer the title of this post...
How would I turn this pink elephant party green?
1.  I would use far less disposables and try to use my real dishes, at least for the adults
2.  If I wanted to be adventurous, I could make the cookie plates from old cardboard/paper
3.  I would definitely not buy the goodie-bags, and either just hand out their gifts with no bags, or make an alternative.  I'm planning a future party where I fill a home-made carton wallet with sweets and give that instead of a goodie-bag.
4.  I think the cheap, plastic camera toy was unnecessary.

So hopefully, the next birthday party I plan and post will live up to my going green ideals.

Happy party-planning everyone

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