Yesterday, there was one thing on my daughters mind and that was her birthday party. However the truth is, I hadn’t even given a second thought to a birthday party. Suddenly it dawned on me; Briar’s third birthday was only three weeks away and this little lady was anticipating a party. I needed to get planning.
I have to admit, Briar’s second birthday involved a bit of cheeky cheating on my behalf. It was a Friday and we helped run the Queanbeyan UC youth group on Friday nights. Being heavily pregnant and therefore sick and miserable, and having not yet established a firm group of friends outside work and church, I considered no birthday party at all. However, when it came time to plan the youth program for the night, the answer was clear: a two year old birthday party was on the cards.
For the teenagers, it was an opportunity to be silly and play kiddy games. For Briar, it was the party of her dreams; a bunch of big girls all fussing over her! A young lad from church has a family business hiring jumping castles, so we inflated a full size jumping castle in the church! It was a great evening and everyone had fun.
Fast forward a year and my almost-three year old has developped her own idea of what a party should be. She has strong interests and desires, and right now the flavour of the season is everything Elsa. It’s ironic as she is yet to see the Frozen movie, but some short clips have captured her imagination and she is Elsa-obsessed. So Briar wants an Elsa party and I have three weeks to organise it.
Suddenly I’m met with a challenge: how do I create a sparkly birthday party without giving in to the readily available plastic-fantastic earth-polluting rubbish? The easiest way to have an Elsa party is to head down to the local discount shop and buy up big on all the plastic Frozen merchandise. But this is so wasteful and feels very unethical.
I also want to hold the party in a park or outdoor space if possible, so that my little princess can do what she loves best; jumping, running, swinging and sliding!
So I’ve set some rules for our party planning.
1. We must consider the environmental impact of every item we purchase.
2. Anything single-use must be avoided at all cost. If a single-use item is required, it must be biodegradable.
3. I will make everything I am able to.
4. For items we need to purchase, we will buy from either local businesses, handmade sellers or second hand.
I know there will be plastic, let’s face it, everything is wrapped in plastic these days. But if we strive to work towards these rules, I hope we can reduce our birthday party footprint dramatically.
So on that note, today I’m creating birthday party invitations. I am using craft supplies I already have and a second hand Frozen picture book that has seen better days. By cutting up the pages of the book, I can create Elsa-tastic invites without buying anything new.
Wish me luck!!