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Tips for Hudson Valley Parents on Throwing an Eco-Friendly Party

Eco-Friendly is Easier Than We Think

A recent survey of mothers with children under the age of 12 indicates that the majority is looking for ways to green their everyday lives, however when it comes to planning parties and holiday get-to-gethers, many are not sure how to make the festivities eco-friendly.


Dr. Nadereh Afsharmanesh, the Director of Sustainability at Earth Friendly Products, has developed a variety of sustainable birthday party tips that can work for kid and adult parties and even have applications for holiday parties, housewarmings and eco-friendly weddings.

Read how to teach your child lessons about caring for the earth

Her tips include:


  • Invitations: Consider a simple phone call to invite guests or purchase seed invitations, like the beautiful ones from Botanical Paperworks. After the party, the invitee can plant the invitation in his or her garden and have a living reminder of the beautiful party.

  • Party supplies: Forgo the expensive, disposable cartoon-covered cups and plates and use real dishes. The environmental impact of washing dishes with an eco-friendly dish detergent like Earth Friendly Products’ Dishmate, is far less than adding a bag full of plastic cups and coated plates to landfills. Considering using an old sheet for a tablecloth; put out markers and allow the kids to decorate their place at the table.

  • Decorations: Paper balloons are far more eco-friendly than Mylar or plastic balloons and last longer. Kids can also make their own “balloons” with eco-friendly bubble solution and large, reusable bubble wands. Use flower petals, colorful leaves or blossoms that you gather, rather than plastic or paper confetti. Who doesn’t want to be showered in flowers?

  • Food: Don’t overdo it on the food so anything is wasted. Kids are more consumed with playing than eating at parties. If you have leftovers, encourage guests to take them home rather than throwing the food out. Put out pitchers of filtered water rather than individual bottles of water.

  • The Cake: Nothing says love like home-baked goods. Baking the cake yourself allows you to control the ingredients and let your inner Julia Child shine through. Baking the cake yourself also saves a trip to the store, where the sheet cake will likely be encased in plastic packaging – and more expensive than a homemade confection.

  • Games: Games don’t need to involve paper, plastic or other disposable items to be fun. Try “old fashioned” games like Red Rover and Musical Chairs for low-impact fun.

  • Party Favors: Rather than spending money on cheap, disposable dollar store items, consider one item with meaning and place it in a re-usable fabric bag, not a plastic bag. Favors can be as simple as homemade baked goods, potted seedlings or seed packets or another small, well-made item that a child can cherish, like polished stones.

  • Clean-up: Turn clean-up time into game with kids after the party has ended. See who can gather the most dishes, sweep the fastest or pick up the most wrapping paper. Reward the participation with a family movie night to wind down the celebration. Remember to only use eco-friendly cleaning products to wipe up the party, like Earth Friendly Products’ Parsley Plus multi-surface cleaner, which leaves a fresh clean scent and no bacteria behind.
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