Event

How to host a party while being environmentally responsible ?

Environmentally conscious (Eco-Conscious) parties are a great way to throw a party while keeping the environment friendly for party goers and neighbours alike. But let’s be real, how many of you would go to a eco-conscious party? I mean, that doesn’t sound like fun at all when you hear it. Compared to a spider-man or nascar themed party, even a unicorn themed party sounds a lot more sophisticated and fun! So, we decided to shorten it to #wishmeparty which sounds much cooler and fun! 

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Let’s face it, throwing parties should really be considered an art or skill set. When party planning, it takes patience, conflict resolution, money management, budgeting, purchasing, negotiating, and many other skills to throw off even a small gathering. 

When it comes to creating and throwing an #wishmeparty we also need to add in mother nature planning to that list above. A #wishmeparty is a party where you give back to the universe in thoughtful way that shows we really care and don’t want to contribute to global warming or nature violence for the day. 

It’s easy to ignore the world and earth we live on because see everything as a need and resource readily available for our disposal. Here are some fun list of ideas for hosting an Eco-Conscious party or #wishmeparty

 

Eco-Conscious Party Invitations, Greetings and Gifts

To keep your party eco-friendly start by creating invitations that do not use paper, postage, printing, wrapping… anything! You can do this by downloading the Wish Me party invitation app. Create your first invitation using the balloon — you will see it when you sign up. Upload a video or a picture to the invitation and send it out to all your invited guests. They will always have the updated invitation on the app and can RSVP and send you back a video wish along with a gift card from your wish-list – Did you notice you haven’t wasted anything yet?

 

Sending invitations with the app – the app gives you two options. You can either send them via email or via text. It’s up to you which method you prefer and luckily, both are keeping your party environmentally friendly. 

Greetings and Gifts – You can receive video or photo greetings within the app and communicate your desire for an eco-conscious party by uploading your favourite shopping destinations to your wish me wish list!! 

Party Wish Lists – Instead of creating a party wish list in invitations and sending them out, using paper and earth’s resources, the Wish Me app allows you to add your party wish list directly in the app. This saves you time and money plus keep trees in tact! 

 

Eco-Conscious Party Theme

Since we already know we are going to be using an environmentally friendly party theme it’s now time to skip to the venue option. Will you use your home or spend money renting somewhere? A park would be a great party place to go with your #wishmeparty

Eco-Conscious Party Supplies

Buying and re-using recycled materials and supplies helps to keep things environmentally friendly. Walmart and Amazon offer great cutlery made from recycled milk jugs and we love these! Adding a bit of funk and fun to your party materials can be done by using funky straws.  You could also make your own cloth napkins, so you can wash and reuse them in your home.  

Here are some options for re-usable and environmentally friendly party supplies. 

 

Amazon has an amazing selection of Palm Leaf, Wood, Bamboo supplies… A great alternative to re-usable ceramic and china plates. 

Great for parties, entertaining on the weekends and even picnics! 

Eco-Conscious Food

Bringing food from home makes for a cost-efficient party. Kids love finger foods like tacos, nachos, pizza, and pasta so this works perfectly to purchase and make easily from your home kitchen. Another cost efficient and healthy party food alternative is to use fruit skewers or just fruit bowls. If you’re planning on making a cake, make a homemade cake or cupcakes instead. There’s no need to spend a ton of money on a professional cake. 

Eco-Conscious Decorations

If you opt to have a park party, there’s no need for decorations as the park flowers and trees will substitute. For parties at home or venue based, buy reusable decorations so you can continue to recycle them year after year. This saves you a ton of money for yearly parties also. Get creative by opting out for age appropriate décor and instead choose “happy birthday and not happy 7th birthday”. This allows you to reuse. 

When you explain to your kids you are planning a party and purchasing things that can be recycled, you’re educating your kids on how to save the earth and teaching them valuable lessons about needs verse wants. They don’t need to have everything they want even if it is their day. It’s a great life lesson learned. 

 

Benefits of hosting an Eco-Conscious Party

I am biased towards hosting eco-conscious parties because I love teaching my kids life lessons that are practical and will help them save time, money and effort in the future. And I also feel that actions speak louder than words. Hosting an eco-conscious party gives you (the parent) a great opportunity to not only preach what you believe but also walk your talk. 

Your kids will learn that:

1. It’s easy to be environmentally responsible and home life translates from what schools are teaching about being eco-conscious

2. Earth day comes more than once a year in your home – a great lesson for all ages

3. Actions speak louder than words and they will take you seriously when you talk about some other pressing issue

4. Being eco-conscious can be fun !

Our Son’s Sixth Birthday — a revelation!

From Little baby to Big boy…

How do they grow up so fast ? I want to hold him forever — he is so dear to me.. my love, my baby. I realized on his sixth birthday that he will be attending grade one in September. Yes, this September. He was just a newborn yesterday. Oh how I miss the baby cuddles and baths. No, I do not miss the sleepless nights — don’t get me wrong — but I wish I could feel the same new baby love that I felt a few years ago. How do we get those feelings back?

His sixth birthday weekend…

His sixth birthday was different. He wanted nothing to do with a big party! All he wanted was a movie date with his two best buddies. No, his little 2 year old brother was not included in that boy gang!

When we asked him what he wanted for his birthday present, all he asked for was books and toys. Dinosaur books and Dinosaur toys. And of course a trip to the amusement park. And a movie date with his boy gang. Pretty simple for a six year old!

We knew that some family and friends would want to wish him anyway — on the phone or in person. So we took calls all day on his birthday and also hosted a dinner party for close family. When our guests asked me what my son wanted for his birthday (his wish list), as his official accountant (his mom), I requested gift cards to his favourite stores (Toys R Us and Chapters) so he can pick his own toys and books. With gift cards, not only does my son learn the value of money but also takes part in the exchange of money and stuff! And bonus: I save time by not making trips to the mall to return gifts we will not use!

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As requested we received gift cards which makes me really happy. But, we also received greeting cards. I do not like to give or receive greeting cards. I know this sounds really cold but I have my reasons. Listen Up….My son does not really care for greeting cards. Seeing his family and friends is enough for him. He never asks to read those cards after the party. Neither do I. I do not remember the last time someone actually wrote something personal in a greeting card. Greeting cards have become an accessory to the packaging for the gift. Or storage for gift cards.

So I end up throwing them out. With guilt.

On a happier note, my husband and I gave him seasons passes to an amusement park. Yep all season. At his beck and call. Pretty much. I know exactly what he needs / wants at this stage of his life and that qualifies me to give him an actual gift. Because he will not return it or re-gift it. I guess that is a parent’s privilege. Let’s see how long this lasts :S

Anyhow, back to the main topic — my son’s birthday weekend celebrations! The next day, I took him and his two grown up friends (8 and 10) to watch Jungle Book! My son loved the movie and so did I ! What an amazing birthday for him and his mom HA HA

Change is Great…

So his sixth birthday came and went and I am happier that I do not have any gifts to return or re-gift and my house is birthday gift clutter free. It’s a first for us.

I am not sure what he will want for his seventh birthday but I have a year to figure that one out!

Moments make Memories

Occasions

…the moments memories are made from. There is a whole industry that supports occasions — it comprises of companies for greeting cards, gifts, event planning, venue management, photography and video, clothing attire, printing, catering, cakes, decorations etc.

We create the input (life events worth celebrating) and the industry creates the output (after much processing). It’s definitely not a simple task.

We choose to take a moment and elaborate it, dramatize it so we can talk about it and remember it for many years to come!

And rightly so.. our nature as humans is to create memories that will help us when we need them the most. Be it celebrating birth, death and everything in between…each milestone in our lives must make memories. So we can move on.. so we can enjoy the moment.. so we can live to our fullest.. so we can be happy.

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Celebrations

In our family, we celebrate milestones like birthdays, graduation, promotions, new house, new baby, baby’s first birthday and anniversaries for everything etc. These events are very important to us as they remind us of why we are working hard to sustain a family, create a fulfilling life and find happiness each step of the way.

Every year we plan the celebration differently. Some years its a party with friends and family and some years it’s quiet travel… It all depends on how much time, money and emotion we have at our disposal. The only aspect of the celebration that stays the same is the event planner (moi) and the pictures and videos we take to remember the moment after.

Event planning

… is something I learnt “on the job”. I can create an awesome event experience with a little bit of time and money. But for the most part, there are feelings of anxiety and stress that come with perfectly crafting an event. Although I love being part of a celebration, the event planning phase (invitations, follow-ups and reminders, decorations, food, gifts, thank you cards etc.) makes me quite cranky.

Then why do it?

It all comes down to…

memories. memories that result from celebrating any occasion. Creating memories takes work and effort but they are worth the pain that goes into making them come to life! Those memories capture the time we are in, the laughter, the love, the smiles and happiness of all involved.

And that’s my prize at the end of it all.

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