Throw a Green Office Birthday Party: Three Fun, Eco-smart Tips for Wishing Your Co-worker a Happy One.

Throw a Green Office Birthday Party: Three Fun, Eco-smart Tips for Wishing Your Co-worker a Happy One.

The New Year has always been a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. If you have resolved to make 2009 a greener year, here are three ways to make the year’s birthday celebrations in your office more environmentally friendly. These simple steps to “green” your office birthday parties might even turn out to make things more fun.

1. Bake A Cake
If you or a co-worker can make the cake at home instead of buying a ready-made from the supermarket, you'll have control over the ingredients, so you can opt for organic, fair trade, sustainable products. Plus, if you're secretly (or openly) a wizard in the kitchen, it's a great chance to show off your skills and impress your colleagues with a super-tasty cake Your co-workers will be more than grateful not to have to fake-grin their way through the mound of B-grade frosting that all too often smothers commercially made birthday treats.

2. Do The Dishes
Although buying disposable paper plates, plastic cups, plastic forks, and paper napkins is much more convenient than the hassle of toting in dishes from home, washing them at the office, and then packing them back up, there's another great green option. Why not get a set of dishes that you can keep in the office kitchenette for future parties? Since you know there will be more birthdays down the road, getting a set of dishes is a one-time green decision that will pay off countless times in the future. Ask everyone to pitch in a few dollars, then hit the thrift stores to see what great second-hand deals you can find on ceramics, glasses, and cutlery to stock your office party pack. Or, ask everyone in the office to donate a single plate, so that you'll have a full (albeit charmingly mismatched) set.

3. Choose Green Decor
Instead of crepe streamers that you'll throw away, or balloons that'll clog landfills after they deflate in a couple of days, grab a more sustainable option, like a "Happy Birthday" banner that you can re-use in the future. Not only will you save the planet, you'll save money in the long run, and you'll save time and trouble by always having a ready-to-go party-in-a-box instead of having to run all over town to get the decorations. Plus, when it comes to celebrating, newer isn't always better. Think of the fun of taking out your favorite Holiday ornaments, or the special tablecloth you use at Thanksgiving, and try to channel that vibe in your office birthday party.


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