Today is my son’s twelfth birthday and I can’t help but to reflect on how things have changed in the time that he’s been on Earth. Back in 1997, I gave little thought to things like carbon footprints and e-waste. Deforestation was probably the furthest thing from my mind and I’m pretty sure that the term “upcycling” hadn’t even been invented yet.
Looking back over all of our birthday parties, it makes me cringe to think about how many decorations, trinkets and disposable tableware items I have sent to the landfill. Each of my son’s parties had a theme, and with each theme came a whole slew of coordinated plates, cups, tablecloths, napkins and banners purchased from the discount party or dollar store. As soon as the guests had departed, everything was quickly gathered into a black garbage bag and taken to the curb with little regard for the environment.
Your memories are not disposable, why should your decorations be? Replace paper banners and start a new tradition with one of these charming, eco-friendly Happy Birthday Banners (above) from Little Birds Boutique.
Fran, the busy mom behind Little Birds Boutique, made her first banner for her twins’ first Birthday last year. She plans to use it for the whole family, putting it up on each family member’s special day, and encourages others to do the same. She creates the fabric banners in a rainbow of colours and styles to suit a variety of themes for birthday boys and girls of ALL ages. After the party, they can be carefully stored for generations of use.
Ask any child what their favourite part of the birthday party was and you’re likely to hear that it was the “loot bag” given out at the end. No matter how much fun the party games were or how yummy the cake was, it’s always the little parting gift at the end that leaves the lasting impression. Often, though, the favours are cheaply-made disposable toys that quickly lose their play-value and end up in the trash. Why not send your guests off with a special handmade item that will be used and cherished by the recipient long after the event?
These colouring wallets (above) from the Bits n’ Pieces, etc shop will delight your party guests and give them a lasting reminder of the occasion. Each adorable, yet functional wallet holds 8 crayons and a blank memo pad, has an interior pocket, and is available in a variety of fun prints.
Award-winning crochet artist Heather Drum of Heather’s Treasure Box crochets these special party hats (along with a full line of the coolest booties ever) at her studio, just north of Seattle. Perhaps it was the stunning natural surroundings of the Pacific Northwest that prompted Heather to create a reusable, planet-friendly version of the ubiquitous birthday hat. I can only speculate, but whatever the reason – I’m glad she did. These hats are fabulous!
Heather has been making her hats by hand for close to 5 years now, and it makes me smile to think of all the birthday boys and girls who have worn them while happily blowing out candles and pinning tails on donkeys! It does a disservice to the hats to simply call them a “substitute” for the cone-shaped paper ones, though. They are truly heirlooms in the making.
PS…Happy Birthday, Jake!