For Owen’s birthday I had a small party and asked guests to bring recycled gifts – toys or books that were cluttering their attic or their toy rooms. You can get away with these things when your child is just turning two. When I asked nearly 5-year-old Will if he wanted to do the same for his upcoming birthday, I wasn’t surprised when he opted for new presents over the eco-friendly option.
But I’m still trying to keep things a little greener. Tonight I wrapped his presents from us in butcher paper posters my preschool kids had made last year and a painting Will had done a while back that he didn’t feel attached to. Our party favor bags are simple lunch bags painted by Will and they'll wind up holding mostly consumable treats and some stickers from our little pinata. We’ll do those biodegradable cardboard plates rather than Styrofoam and break out my hodge-podge of silverware from pre-wedding days to avoid plastic ware. Little things that save us money and cut down on packaging and paper and plastic consumption too.
Of course one of these wrapped gifts holds Will dream birthday present: a big plastic Star Wars light saber that is battery-operated, purchased at Wal-Mart and no doubt made in China. So I'm no purist when it comes to going green.