Sustainable Party Supplies
Ms J’s gymnastics and Dance studio hosts dozens of kids’ birthday parties a year and, therefore, has their fair share a collection of trash at the end of every week. Actually, it’s often disgusting how much goes to waste. Uneaten pizza, unfinished cake, soda, and all the plastic containers these were served in, get tossed into a couple giant black plastic bags and are set out for the trash man to pick up. I am pained, almost to tears, at the sight of this repetitive occurrence. I can only imagine how many birthday party venues there are in Brooklyn and in every other city in the United States of America.
Then one day, after the children ran away from their plates to play, a mother began to collect the plastic ware and separate it into piles of washables, recyclables, and decomposables. Their trash amounted to only half of a small white plastic bag! I then noticed that all of the decorations were made of colorful cloth which she reused for all her parties. Even the table cloth and napkins were reused and washable.
So I asked her where she got all of these wonderful items and I would like to share these great ideas with all the parents in the world who are planning yet another annual expensive birthday party for their child. This is what she said, “I got the plates, the bowls, the napkins, the banner and the tablecloth from Green Party Goods. The forks, knives and spoons were by a company called Preserve. They make their stuff from recycled plastic and accept plastic #5 back (many WholeFoods locations now have a drop off bin for #5 plastic that they then send to Preserve). Their products you can find in WholeFoods and most smaller health food and similar stores.
Another great source for stuff that you can use for parties is that store called Junk on the corner of N. 9th and Driggs Avenue [Brooklyn, NY 11211]. When we were organizing the party, I realized I did not have enough large plates to use as serving plates, so I got a bunch from Junk. They have a lot of old, good quality plates, etc. for $2-3. The store does not necessarily look very inviting, because it is so cramped and dirty and there is all kinds of old stuff all over the place, but I just put the plates twice through the dishwasher and they are better than new!”