It was a zero waste Birthday (almost!)

Filed in Blog by on March 7, 2011 5 Comments
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Little Miss Green makes a wish

Little Miss Green makes a wish

Last week was Little miss green’s Birthday, and as any zero waste family will know, such celebrations can weigh heavy on the earth.

Fortunately, the landfill is going to remain pretty empty, bar a bit of packaging after our own events.

One of our readers wanted to know what Little Miss Green’s gift list comprised of. She had:

An ipod touch which was her Christmas and Birthday present combined and yes, there is some ‘return to sender’ paraphernalia that arrived with that!

A game of “Guess Who” (second hand from eBay and every bit as good as the original)

A small hamper full of posh chocolatey things; unfortunately this has polystyrene packing peanuts in it, but they will be reused when I need to send something fragile in the post. All the chocolate itself came in cardboard, paper or foil.

K’nex – these arrived in a strong, reusable plastic box with a lid and had just one piece of recyclable polythene

Dvds – wrapped in cellophane which will end up in landfill

Sylvanian families set – I have some SF packaging to go back to the manufacturer from Christmas, so this will be added to the envelope. Unfortunately, like many small toys the packaging is pretty excessive

Books – excellent gifts as they are zero waste

Money – the perfect zero waste pressie

All in all, not too bad. For her actual Birthday Little Miss Green wanted to go shopping and spend all the money that was burning a hole in her pocket. An interest in clothes has started over the past 6 months, so instead of buying toys, which is her usual choice, she bought clothes. They even had ribbon to tie the price tags to the items rather than plastic and of course we took our own bag – yipee!

LMG wanted pizza for lunch and fish and chips for tea; which meant takeaway sans packaging and I made her Birthday cake. The following day we took a friend ten pin bowling and went to McDonalds; I was pleasantly surprised to see that all the waste from the meal was cardboard and paper (a bit like the taste of the food). There was only a polystyrene cup and plastic lid which LMG’s friend had coke in. I was going to try and convince her she might like to take it home but never got around to it, so that will end up landfilled. Then again, perhaps next time she comes over I could be crafty and invite the friend to plant some sunflower seeds in it 😉

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth’s fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (5)

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  1. Julie Day says:

    Not bad going. Liked the comment about the food.

  2. nicola baird says:

    Lovely – and useful. Happy bday Little Miss Green. I think by not having loads of friends around bearing gifts you help yourself. But when i suggested a no-present birthday party my just about to be 10 year old rebelled, and I’m a softie and agreed perhaps that was unfair. We did an activity party – but it was making knickerbocker glories so easy for everyone, altho few of the children managed to eat the whole of their creations! Nicola

  3. LJayne says:

    Sounds like win-win all round 🙂 Glad she had such a lovely day.

    DS will be 8 very shortly and I have an eye already on the packaging that will come with his gifts. He is Lego-mad and I am heartened to see that some of the bags that come inside the cardboard boxes are plastic 4 although some are still plastic 5. He also wants a football shirt, some books and a hooded towel.

  4. Kathy says:

    Happy Belated Birthday Little Miss Green! Sounds like it was wonderful, and pretty earth friendly too. All the best to you this coming year!

  5. Mrs Green says:

    @Julie Day: Thanks Julie, not a bad weekend at all!
    @nicola baird: Hi Nicola, I agree, keeping it to just one friend as they get older is much easier. I think a ‘no presents’ birthday would be very hard for LMG to accept; I wouldn’t even suggest it now that she’s an orange belt in kick boxing LOL! Love creative parties; it’s a great way to ensure they are waste free.
    @LJayne: That sounds like a great present list that will be ok packaging wise too 😉
    @Kathy: Thanks Kathy; she’s loved reading all the messages on the site!

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