Double digits and greener birthdays

This week, my daughter (my little girl) is turning 10. Yes, double digits – what the heck?! I’m freaking out about this and I’m not sure why. It’s not a case of “wow, if I have a ten year old, I must be old”. It’s just that I’m enjoying my kids so much at the age they are right now, I don’t want them to grow up. My husband and I always say to them, “Can you do me a favor and please stop growing?” Which we are kidding about, sort of…

Birthday Cake  
Photo via dark gonk

Some unsolicited advice I would give to moms with younger kids is to enjoy every age to the fullest. When my kids (who are only 18 months apart) we young, I missed out on the enjoyment of their age just waiting for them to be older. I was so exhausted by nursing, diaper changes (two in cloth diapers – need I say more), and the endless supervision of young children that I didn’t stop to enjoy it as much. Now, I’m making sure that I don’t do that. I’m really trying to enjoy the now.  


In honor of my baby girl’s birthday, here are some quick tips for keeping your birthday celebration simple and green:

  • Use easy, inexpensive, reused party décor –You don’t need to spend a bunch of money on decorations. You (or some of your friends and neighbors) already have many things in your own home you can use to decorate for the party – decorations from previous parties, scraps of material, stickers. Use your creativity to save money and reduce waste.
  • Ditch the plastic goodie bag – I’m a big believer in no party favors or just one small favor for each guest – like a fairy wand if you having a princess party or a sword for a pirate party. Ditch the plastic goodie bag filled with cheap trinkets. Those end up broken and in the trash by the time your guests make it home. Not to mention the plastic bag is always trash bound and totally unrecyclable.
  • Think reusable –Most of us can find enough plates, cups and cutlery for a small group of kids. If you are having a larger party, consider biodegradable plates, cups and cutlery, or paper goods made from recycled paper.
  • Buy better gifts – Every year my kids end up with gifts (from well meaning family and friends) that we just have no room for, no patience for, or they have no interest in. Here is a great solution – invented by two moms who were tired of all the birthday party waste, Echoage makes greening kids birthday parties easy. With this service, you select an eco-friendly birthday party invitation, choose a cause and invite your friends. Instead of buying presents, guests simply rsvp online and make secure online contributions. All the contributions are pooled for the purchase of one memorable gift for the birthday boy and girl and the rest of the money is donated to the cause of your choice. How easy, stress free and waste free is that?


Here’s to making each birthday a simple, green, stress-free celebration and enjoying our kids at every age!

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