Palmetto Parent July 2012 : Page 8

Simple & natural It’s easy to throw a birthday party that makes lasting memories Story by Chris Worthy C arissa Leventis-Cox celebrates family every day. Birthdays are extra special, of course, but they stay in keeping with Lev-entis-Cox’ focus on natural, environmentally friendly living. Her son, age 5, is growing up with family traditions that don’t include an overly commercialized party. “We don’t have big parties,” said Leven-tis-Cox, an Irmo resident. “We don’t wrap presents. We have a hunt where he looks for them through the house. We hang out at home with the grandparents.” Birthday celebrations can be meaningful and make lasting memories, without break-ing the bank or creating a negative environ-mental impact. Simple, natural parties keep the focus on celebrating the birthday child and family ties. Instead of stacks of paper plates and dis-posables, Leventis-Cox said her family uses their usual dinnerware, reducing expense and waste. For her son’s 5th birthday, she and her family were already visiting extend-ed family in the Philippines. Th e occasion did become a large aff air, with 40 children and adults in attendance, but the party retained its natural focus. “We were at my mother’s farm and the entertainment was the worms in her vermi-compost area, her fi sh in her pond, her pig and chicks,” Leventis-Cox said. “We hired a drum band and a dance troupe. Th e food was all vegan.” Guests who thought they would need a post-party visit to a fast-food restaurant 8 Palmetto Parent Anni Daulter, author of “Naturally Fun Parties for Kids” and a mom of four, says parties can be creative and fun for parents and kids, while still being “green” and simple. Daulter’s book in-cludes tips for hosting a variety of parties — such as a natural spa party — that celebrate events throughout the year. July 2012

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