We're getting ready for a double birthday party this weekend followed by a well deserved vacation. Planning a party for two boys is a green challenge in itself, but add to that leaving the very next morning for a 4 day trip and you have insanity. So, I must confess. It ain't as green as it could, or should be.
I passed on the juice boxes, soda and gatorades for the party, my homemade lemonade will be a stand in replacement. Beer? Well that comes in glass and that will just have to do. The eco 'burban dad just won't have a party without the beer. And, another confession? Mom will happily make lemonade and vodka spritzers for the girls. I have a lot of kids, come to my party and you will gladly accept alcohol within 15 minutes of walking through the door. The serveware? Paper cups, paper plates. Not as bad as plastic, but I just can't allow mobs of middle school aged kids to run around with my good glasses. You'll see why in a moment.
The food? Pretty simple but not local. Organic hot dogs, buns and condiments. Not so organic grated cheese. Sorry, my kids and their friends love cheese and grating $10 wedges of organic cheese would set me back about $40 and it totally would not be appreciated. Most of it will end up on the patio, only to be snuffled up by the dogs. So, the big bag of grated from Costco will happily take it's place. Organic corn chips, natural cheese straws (a birthday MUST from one of the boys), organic popcorn with my local butter and a big, fat cake from Costco round out the menu.
Hey - I know, I know. Where have my standards gone? When you need to feed middle school boys and all their friends, check back with me please. They will eat cake, have cake fights, make disgusting colors out of mixed icing that will be squished under their fingernails and possibly out of their noses. I am SO not making homemade and organic for that bunch.
The entertainment? We live on a lake, so all parties here require a bathing suit and towel. In years past we have - everyone GASP - rented a bounce house of sorts. This year, we are passing on indulgences. The eco 'burban dad has gotten creative and rescued a giant roll of visquene from a job site which will become the world's longest slip and slide down our gi-normous hill - dumping kids right into the lake. Add a little dish soap and a sprinkler and it will be crazy middle school boy fun for free. (OK, so anyone want to argue my choice on PAPER cups here?? Didn't think so.)
OK, OK, water WASTE I know. I have made my peace with it, again, it's a small price to pay to keep middle school boys occupied, out of my house and hopefully will keep them from throwing mud, rocks, jumping off docks, chasing boaters and all sorts of shenanigans. How do I know they will do this? Let's just say it's happened before. More than once. I have pictures to prove it.
So, why the confessional? Well, I like to be honest and while a lot of what I do might be green, some stuff just isn't. I appreciated Arduous's post on her trip to Vegas, because she freely admitted that it wasn't perfect, but memories were made, fun was had and she doesn't regret a moment. Being green is great. Being sustainable is super. Being frugal is fantastic, but where is it going to get me if I am missing out on great fun and great memories with my kids? So, I am hoping for a little of the same with our party and our vacation and I'm not sweating the small stuff. That is, unless it rains. Then what will I do?
10 hours ago