Sunday, May 17, 2009

#50 Asking for "green" gifts

I debated about posting about this, since I wouldn't consider it the greatest success.  But I tried!  I enclosed a note to the parents in the invitations that said something like, "Please feel free to search your child's unwanted toys or a thrift store for a treasure for our princess.   We promise she won't know the difference."  Well, a couple of people took heed to that, but most didn't.  I'm not sure if it's just that they chose not to, or that they didn't see the note in the invitation.  
So how does this save me money?  I hope to start a trend.  Really I don't know anyone who is just itching for their child to get a whole bunch of new toys with all the packaging that they come in.  My kids really have too many toys as it is, and every so often I have them choose out things to give to goodwill.  My plan is to start a "gift box" where I can store things that my kids no longer want that I think may be gift worthy.  I can add to it things that I find at yard sales as well.

Pros: More reused items, less waste, less cost for used things.

Cons: My kids are hard on toys-- finding one with all pieces intact and they don't want can be a challenge.  Some people may take offense to the idea (I don't think that any one we invited did, but I can't be sure.)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

#49 Green Birthday invitations

It's birthday time around here.  My daughter is turning 4 and having her first real party with friends over.    It is of course going to be a princess party like most girls her age would ask for.  I am now up for the challenge of making sure her party doesn't create too much waste or have a negative environmental impact, but still lets the kids have a lot of fun.   The first thing is the invitations.  I looked everywhere for something that was decently priced and eco-friendly and just had no luck.  Any recycled paper invitations I could find were outrageously priced.  But, I found a site with free printable invitations.   I let my daughter pick the one she wanted, then printed them on my own recycled printer paper.  Voila!  Wait, what about envelopes?  I printed those as well!  It prints the picture in the right place for you to fold your own envelopes.   They turned out great.   My daughter had fun putting stickers on them to keep them closed.  

Pros:  Easy, cheap, saves packaging, saves a trip to the store, and you know the invitations will eventually go in the trash anyway(well, hopefully the recycle bin.)

Cons:  It took quite a bit of printer ink.