Lucy from Little Cherry was in touch the other day and really opened my eyes regarding party bags and products. She sent me a nice box of samples and my girls had a ball playing with everything. And I was surprised (and happy) to learn that most of the items could go right into the compost bin after use.
My greatest discovery was the biodegradable balloons. A party isn't really a party without them. These balloons are made of natural latex, which is tapped from rubber sustainably. They have been FSC certified, are traded fairly and packaged in a compostable bag with a recycled paper label. They come in seven colours and you get 10 for £1.99. I got pink ones for my daughter's party. They were easy to blow up and lasted a few days. Now they are with the worms.
My second coolest discovery was the compostable cups, which are made of bio plastic which can be described as a greenhouse neutral polymer which means they have a low carbon emission footprint. They are available in pint (.18) and half pint (.15) sizes. They are durable (and reusable) and look great -- I would use them for adults as well. The best part is when you are done with them, they can be composted.
The party bags are excellent. They are all made of cotton and contain a selection of eco-friendly toys made from sustainable wood and painted in non-toxic paints by fully vetted manufactures who pay fair wages and ensure good working practises. They come in three categories per child: less than £4; £4 to £7, and more. The £3 and £4 bags have some cute stuff like clips, bracelets, spinning tops and door hangers.
Also cool: the palm leaf bowls, which are made from naturally fallen leafs, which are then soaked in spring water before being stamped into shape. They are made in a rural community in India where the producers are supported and earn a fair wage. There is a large range that includes serving plates, bowls, dip bowls, and others.
This stuff doesn't come from Tesco, and will eat into your wallet. But why not cut back in other areas and help save the Earth. That's the best birthday present you could give your children.
This post was written by Susanna, a London Mums Blog founding contributor. You can read more at her blog, A Modern Mother.