Hosting Birthdays

Birthday Party: Part 1

This is our first birthday party and our solution to have a party that reflects our Zero Waste lifestyle was to collect used toys/ gifts from visiting friends which were still in mint condition. Put them in used shoeboxes and send them to “Box of Hope”
The kids loved it and my 3 years old did not even ask for presents, she was too excited to play with her friends, blow her candles and eat her favorite chocolate cake.
I am not sure how many more years this can still work
Ultimately, after such an afternoon of fun, she forgot about her presents from her grandparents so we decided to keep them for Christmas ( Are we bad parents? )
Today, she just keeps on talking about yesterday fun day at home with friends and her blowing the candles.
Great time with friends.

Birthday Party: Part 2

Party Favors
Ask guest to bring their own bag.
I was debating if we should hand out party favor until I found what is for us a good little gift.
For kids: A little pot of “Organic Veggies” tomato/ eggplant…Grow your own veggie waste free/ fun and educational.
For mums (there was no dad): Face cleaning sponge from the “body shop” although packaged it saves a massive amount of cotton. Simple math, minimum 2 pads a day (eye & face) that’s a minimum of 730/ year there was 12 women that’s a lot of packaged cotton.
It is the season of roselle, a beautiful burgundy fruit with the perfect color for fall. Every guest got a handful to make their own tea.
If you do party favors, please share Zero Waste or close to Zero Waste idea of party favors.



Birthday Party: Part 3

Cloth napkins, reusable plates, cup cutleries.

Filtered tap water with lemon and vanilla bean, tea with loose tea leaves, lemongrass tea (with local lemongrass). Homemade pastries, salads, tabbouleh…

Zero Waste except for aluminum butter wrap.

Paper bags of flour, sugar, chocolate (for the BD chocolate cake), eggshells are in the compost.

At the end of the party, our garbage was empty except for 1 juice box and few wet wipes left by guests, not so bad for a birthday party with 12 kids being 3 years old.


School Birthday Celebrations

20 reusable plates, 20 cloth napkins.
Teachers had special cupcakes (the molds are in silicone from Ikea, no more paper/ waste molds).
chocolate cake wrapped in a cloth (much nicer and less toxic than the plastic wrap).
To make it easier children used their hand to eat the cake.
The Smarties paperbox is now in the compost. Smarties are really cool to write the child name on the cake.
Everyone had a wonderful time and no waste was created, love it.


Attending Birthdays

Birthday Presents

Respecting the planet by breaking the etiquette.
1 year old birthday party in one of HK top hotel.
It would have been very tacky last century but it should be common sense in this century. 
This is 2014, this is this very baby’s future that will depend on the way we consume and mainly on the way we change consuming. If we want our children to breath clean air, drink clean water and eat clean food, we need to change the way we consume.
I cannot in a clear conscience offer new things to a 1 year old when my 2 years old just outgrew their toys.
Here sweet baby, ‘new’ toys that did not add any carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and did not damage your air, water and food.
Let’s break the taboo together (alone I look just like a super cheap person, together it will just be the new way to offer gifts).


Present Wrapping

Use your child’s drawings as wrapping papers (we would love to keep them all, but let’s face it we cannot). It really adds a personal touch and wrapping papers sold in stores are so wasteful on paper (I know obvious) , plastic film, strong cardboard roll, price tag and shipped from the other side of the planet plus… save a few bucks.
Birthday Cards, every year around the Christmas season we pack up on Unicef cards plus they are FSC labeled, just buy nice children cards from your favorite charity or make your own, you will have a spacial art & craft time with your child doing it, the girls love to add stickers, stamps, glitter to their cards.
We love to add a pot of HK honey to our gifts, people are always a bit surprised but love the idea. Once we explain it is local natural honey they are intrigued and amused I guess by the thought.
Get you local honey from:
Julien $110/ jar the jar is pretty basic but it does the job
HK Honey: really cool modern jars
Bees Nest: beautiful jars

For the lucky ones who have a garden with some fruit trees or a low rise rooftop surrounded by plants you should consider having a beehive. As we all know our bees are disappearing but at the same time are crucial to the pollination of the planet plus it is just too cool to have a beehive and make its own honey. You can contact Julien for more details and HK Honey I believe is always looking for additional locations.



Children Birthday Gift

3 year old birthday present
What little girls does not like rose soap & honey?
All Made in HK, return for reuse jar/ pump.
Wrapping: ribbon to be reused.
So Soap: Savon de Rose $180 Non-Profit company, traditional soap making in Tai Po.
Honey from farmer Ki Kishing $110 or you can get it from HK Honey $220/ jar



Tonights Birthday Party

Birthday Gift:

HK Chinese Basil
HK Rosemary
HK honey
So Soap handwash, tea tree oil
So Soap bodywash, rose
HK natural loofah
Champagne is not on the picture
Honey jar, flower pots can be returned to the farm for reuse.
So soap bottles can be returned for reuse (she lives not too far from Sparadise on Mosque St, they carty the collect box).
Looking forward to party tonight.


Wrapping Paper and Birthday Cards

3 birthday parties coming, 3 presents ready.
Wrapped with oldest’s child artwork (great recycling) and taped with beautiful washi tape.
Birthday cards from the UNICEF (ordered them from UNICEF HK) made out of recycled paper with FSC label.