A friend had handed out return gifts in self-made newspaper bags. I was hugely impressed and decided to toe the green line. Fortunately, I could outsource the job to D and he came out with flying colors. We chose glossy supplements of newspaper. To give a Hawaiian feel, a hibiscus picture was pasted on each bag. We did not get time to color the flower. Gifting crayons as a part of goodies might have been a good idea but I desisted. (See my post: Of return gifts and goody bags).
In order to go the whole nine yards, I even made the glue at home. When I was a kid, we used lai - a boiled mixture of maida (white flour) and water. I wanted to recreate it.
How to make homemade glue:
1 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar,1.5 cups water, 1 tsp vinegar. (The ratio of flour to sugar should be 3:1.)
Mix flour and sugar. Then slowly add a little water to form a lump-free paste. Add the rest of the water, vinegar and put on slow flame till the paste thickens. Cool and store in an airtight container. It can be refrigerated and used for a month or even more. Try it out for yourself. Vinegar is to preserve the glue. If you are using up the glue immediately, you can skip it.
What went into the goody bag:
Though I could not avoid buying plastic totally, I tried to be more meaningful and minimal. Girls got slipper-shaped hairpins and floral hairbands, bubble blowers and candy. Boys got play dough, bubble blowers and candy. The green thing I wanted to do was to give an aloe vera plant to each kid (aloe vera is found abundantly in Hawaii), in a pot customised with the kid's name and decorated with a tiki mask. I got the plants too but finally faced severe time-crunch. Had it been included in the goody bag, this is how it would have looked.
The mask is not eco-friendly though as it is made of plaster of paris.
For future, I am making a list of green things that can go in a goody bag. If you have any suggestions, they are welcome with an open heart :)
With this write-up, I finally come to an end on the series on Anya's green birthday party. I had a lot of fun putting together this party. An interesting fact is that the nearer a party is, faster the ideas pour in. But then, I inevitably run short of time. Hope to get green ideas in time for her next birthday party.