Monday, January 29, 2018

Healthy, zero waste and happy birthday party connecting with Mother Nature!

When it’s a child’s birthday all parents and the child want to have a beautiful birthday party. With lots of kid’s favorite food, games, friends and gifts etc… They think about the best venue, make the booking, send the invitation, order food and then the big day comes. What you have to do is go and enjoy the party.

Most of the time many young kids do not have a choice and do not have an idea of their birthday party. Only parents and especially mothers get ready. So it’s easy to follow steps mentioned above.
But when a Mother is too conscious about the impact of her child’s birthday party, and the child is a “Nature Kid”, there is a lot you have to do. In fact, not as easy as planning “just a party. I have a beautiful story to share. This is not the first time this Mother organized a “Nature Friendly Birthday Party”. In fact, it’s her second. She did organize a Nature Friendly birthday party with zero waste for her daughter’s 10th Birthday and this time it was her son’s 10th Birthday. I am proud to say the Mother is my first cousin Nimna Ariyaratne and her daughter Tiara Ganegama and son Niven Ganegama were getting training under our “Nature Kids” programme. So it was my pleasure to be with them and conduct a session as a treat for their birthday.

This Birthday took place on the 22nd July 2017. I am posting this today as the previous blog was a result of this birthday party, and wanted to share how the ripple effect works and good things happen.  Niven the Birthday boys invited 10 of his friends to his home to join with the birthday party. We all went together to center close to their home called “Dilmah Sustainable agriculture center” at katubedda ( All the friends and their mothers came and some of the Mothers stayed to get the novel experience of Nature walk.
Feeling like part of the Nature...

showing them wild plants but not weeds....

So I conducted a Nature walk around this urban forest patch and let the kids experience Mother Nature by touching, smelling, tasting, listening and feeling. It was a short walk with loads of fun that the kids touched a millipede for the first time in their lives. It was good practice for them to understand how to respect other living beings and handle them with extra care and love with lot of patients. 

handle millipede with care and love 

First time they have tasted a wild plant which their parents never knew its edible and full of vitamin C. They were referring to that little wild plant “a bad weed” but for us it’s a beautiful nectarine plant for butterflies and bees and full of medicinal value to all living beings. Mothers were surprised and were sad to learn about this plant as they were removing it from their lawns so far.  Well after the short walk we all ended up at the butterfly garden in the same premises and all were inspired to see how many butterflies can be attracted if we only plant some common plants and leave some “weeds” in our lawn. Then they all planted few chili plants at Dimah Farm. 

Carefully watching at a wetland...

Experiencing planting...

After these outdoor activities it was the real party time…we all went to Birthday boy’s home for food. 
The party was visible…..The table was arranged for food. The table cloth is not a fancy glittery plastic or polyester but it was a jute cloth with earth colour, table d├ęcor was so attractive, they have used some left over tree barks and stems and some commonly found leaves and flowers. It was such a creative table decor done by his elder sister Tiara.  

Then the food time…wow…here come the plates…kids were surprised as they were not ceramic or plastic or even not paper plates. They all were natural paper made out of natural Arecanut palm leaf (Areca catechu). So kids were already surprised and were asking questions about the plates. Next…all homemade, healthy natural food with no artificial colours, flavors or preservatives. Drinks were the same.

Kids were happy with food and even no paper napkins but used only cloth. Before we served food we advised them not to waste any food and we showed them that left over garbage was almost zero other than some accidentally dropped food items.

Then the game time started. They all got to gether around a small fire place and story time began and also with them we made some traditional play items using young coconuts and leaves to have their leaf crowns to act as kings. So it was truly a happy birthday party which is healthy for kids and healthy for Mother Earth.  We need more Nature parents and Nature kids like them!