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Eco-Friendly Birthday Parties

My oldest son is turning two at the end of February. While feeling simultaneously excited and distressed about this, I have been planning his party as best I can in-between nursing sessions with my infant, and am excited with the progress that I have made.  Last year for his first birthday, I sort of went overboard, but this year is going to be a much quieter affair with a more eco-friendly twist. Here is what I came up with:

E-mail Invitations

Yes, I sent out Evites this year. As cute as the personalized invitations are, they can be really expensive and a lot of times you have to buy them in bulk, so you wind up with leftovers that are a waste. I even saved a few for my son’s baby book and I still had leftovers. (I’m not particularly crafty so I have yet to come up with something brilliant to do with the other ones!) While I was able to use the extra envelopes, the double-sided invites unfortunately are just sitting in yet another pile of things that I don’t really know what to do with, but do not want to throw out. With an Evite, I don’t have to worry, plus you save by not paying for postage. (Go green and save green, right?)

Go (relatively) Paper-Free

This is taking some serious consideration and planning because, let’s face it, two year olds aren’t the neatest in the world. In fact, I don’t know who I’m kidding, I myself require at least one napkin to make my way through dinner. But I really want to try to eliminate using excess paper, so I went to my local dollar store and bought some cheap cloth napkins This works out well for me anyway, as I needed some extra ones so I don’t have to do laundry quite as frequently. I did decide to go with paper plates, because again, these kids are toddlers. I found the Preserve Disposable plates, which are made from recycled yogurt cups, and am quite pleased with them.

Go Plastic-Free

To eliminate the need for plastic utensils, we have opted for an all finger food menu—homemade chicken nuggets, fresh fruit and veggies, and cupcakes made from scratch with homemade frosting.

Get Green Goodie Bags

These were very simple, I got some small fabric bags from the dollar store and each child is getting a wooden kaleidoscope and a couple of board books.

Splurge on Decorations

Decorations were a bit trickier, as we had decided on a dinosaur theme and I’m not particularly artistic and neither is my husband.  We decided to invest in some vinyl inflatable dinosaurs and get some green biodegradable balloons.

Do you have any eco-friendly party ideas?  We would love to hear them!

Amanda Romine Lynch is the Prime Parents’ Club Green Living Contributor. She was forced to re-evaluate her lifestyle choices after her son had a reaction to disposable diapers, and has been finding ways to go green and save green ever since. She is also the author of ANABEL UNRAVELED, which is available on Amazon and its sequel ANABEL DIVIDED. You can find her on Facebook at Facebook, or on Twitter as @thebookprincess.