Think Green and Party On!

Autumn signals party time in our family. Since our sons attend preschool programs specifically designed for children who have birthdays that miss the September cut-off date, not only do my children celebrate birthdays in October and December, so do all their friends.

Now add the other parties for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukah and Christmas, and we are double booked solid each week! Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the social aspect, getting together with friends to play dress up and catch up; however, I abhor the waste of it all. We’ve already started using better choices for the things we can control like the hostess gifts and wrapping, but what about all the disposables you see at parties?

Instead of lament, I try to find the silver lining for us and seize the opportunity to change our habits and inspire others to do the same. How? Make it too stylish and simple not to!

Take our son’s preschool Halloween party as an example, I volunteered to bring the plates, napkins and silverware. Even though I could purchase disposables made from organic or recycled materials, I am going old school and bringing a real tablecloth covering, decorative plates, and napkins, all in my little market tote. Considering the only extra work is stacking the used plates and silverware inside the tablecloth, folding and placing it inside your tote for cleaning back at home, the benefits outweigh the extra measure.

The small investment is nominal when compared to the waste of throwing away party after party. Since I am addicted to focusing on the function of an item when I purchase it and space it will take to store when not in use, I make a thoughtful purchase on the front-end to save on the back-end. My Halloween plates are universally autumn themed so I can use them for the big holidays as well as just play dates and everyday use. Simple steps like these make your dollar go much further!

Sometimes actions speak louder than words. Holiday parties are prime opportunities for showing how easy it is to throw a little party without producing a big bag of waste. Maybe by sharing this and other simple green tips with the class, parents and teachers can think about forgoing disposables for their next party, and that, is a great start!

An Original 5 Minutes for Going Green post. Jen also blogs as The EcoChic Organizer sharing her journey of raising two little greenies in the city.

3 Responses to Think Green and Party On!
  1. Andrew
    October 31, 2008 | 6:18 am

    Just thought I would let you all know about this site, I get loads of free green eco-freindly tips and recipes from it for all sorts of cleaning jobs:

  2. Mary@SimplyForties
    October 31, 2008 | 7:01 pm

    I love the idea of volunteering to bring the disposables and then using that opportunity to purchase more eco-friendly stuff. Being the permanent volunteer for that task really lets you get your money’s worth too. I’m going to pass the idea along to friends of mine with young children.

  3. Lisa in Chicago
    October 31, 2008 | 11:48 pm

    Jen, I love your post. It is great to see someone take charge in this situation. Perhaps you inspired more people to do the same in the future.