Thursday, June 30, 2011

Backyard Birthday Bash

Back in mid-May, my husband let me in on a secret:  He was planning a party to celebrate my 33rd birthday!!!  This was big news to me as I couldn't remember the last birthday party I had... AND... as soon as I got over the "shush, no you're not" feeling... I began to get excited.  Not only were we going to be having a Bushwalla house show... this was an opportunity to throw a different kind of party.  Normally parties create a lot of trash, because who really has enough plates, flatware, and such for 50+ people?  Red solo cups, aluminum cans, plastic flatware, paper napkins, bags of chips, and convenience foods reign during parties.  For my party, we had to do something different.  So on Saturday, June 25, we did just that.
Photo credit: Tracy Carr
In general, I have this great desire to prove (most often to myself) that when we most think we can't get around plastic... there ARE ways around it and through planning and rethinking it can be done.  Deciding to throw a party without using the typical party fare: paper plates, plastic/compostable cups, plastic cutlery, etc. takes extra thought.  The first thing we did was figure out what kind of food we wanted to have.  Based on past experiences of trying to reduce waste during parties, we immediately decided on foods that didn't need forks, spoons or knives.  Here's what we ate:  Flaming Amy's Burritos, chips with salsa, Mellow Mushroom Pizza, watermelon, cantaloup and cupcakes.  Here's how we avoided waste:  Took our own containers to Flaming Amy's for salsa, requested no plastic, composted food scraps including cupcake wrappers and the pizza and cupcake boxes :)
Another thing that I wanted to consider was filling my recycling bins with a bunch of aluminum cans and glass. Obviously, we got a keg of beer.  Then we made an easy decision:  No soda.  Instead, we had sweet tea and homemade lemonade.  We put the sweet tea in one of those big Igloo coolers (like you see get dumped on sports players). While we were at Hands Across the Sand on Saturday morning, my mom made fresh lemonade by squeezing 50 something lemons!  Then we filled reused glass juice jars that I had saved with the lemonade.  The lemonade could be poured from or drank directly from the bottle.  It was SO yummy!!  Check it out... can you guess how much I LOVE lemonade??? ;)
Oh right... so what did we eat on and drink from?? At first we thought about going to Goodwill and buying extra plates, but after the suggestion from a friend... we ended up renting plates and glasses.  Seriously.  What was awesome about renting was that we didn't have to do any dishes.  We just put the plates and glasses in their respective trays and took them back to the party rental place!
Photo by: Gabrielle Lyons

The party was SO much fun... everything turned out better than I could have ever anticipated.  We created  zero-trash and I would guarantee that nobody felt like they missed out on anything or realized that we were striving to go plastic-free. (Ok... there were a few people that knew what was up ;) ) Now... I can't end this post without mentioning how amazing Bushwalla was is.  Not only is he an extremely talented artist and an amazing performer... he's also like-minded.  What I mean by "like-minded" is that he's eco-conscious.  While at Hands Across the Sand, he was exactly like me... stopping to pick up every piece of litter he saw... even the cigarette butts!  He even wanted to do a 20 minute beach clean up with me!  (Bummed we didn't get to it, but no doubt there will be another time!) Turns out that he's been wanting to start doing beach clean ups in San Diego for quite sometime... and now he's feeling inspired to get it started!  YAY!!!  So if you don't know "who" Bushwalla is... go check out his music and support this eco-friendly, funky, soulful, hip-hoptimistic, being love musician...entertainer....artist.

Gratitude to all of my family and friends who shared my birthday with me... I had an absolute blast!! 33 is going to be good... real good... I just know it :)