Whole Living Daily

A Kid's Birthday Party With A Conscience

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I recently got an email from my cousin inviting my children to her 8-year-old son’s birthday party. Unlike the normal evite that regularly shows up in my inbox, this email was from a company called ECHOage, “a charity-driven, eco-friendly, online birthday party service where children learn the value of giving and receiving while celebrating.”

ECHOage allows the host to choose an invitation and select a charity from a list of US and Canadian charities ranging from Reading is Fundamental, WWF to Healthy Child Healthy World. The host sends out the email invitation with the following message:

My ECHOage birthday party is a giving celebration for everyone! Instead of bringing a wrapped and packaged present, we invite you to RSVP and give a secure online gift. Half of your contribution will go toward the purchase of a gift I've been dreaming of, and the other half will go toward the charity I have chosen…

How It Works:
ECHOage keeps track of who is coming to the party and the money that is collected. After the party, ECHOage sends half the money to the charity of choice and the host receives an official tax receipt. The other half of the money is sent to the birthday child to pick one dream present.

I am going to the party this weekend so I can report back on how it goes. But it seems like the perfect way to make a child’s birthday both fun and meaningful in a bigger way. I am happy because I don’t have to go to a toy store and wander the aisles wondering what to get for my cousin. And the environment is happy because we’re skipping tons of extra packaging and wrapping paper and a potentially unwanted gift. Seems like a win-win.

Francesca Olivieri is co-founder of sage baby, an online eco-friendly baby store offering everything from organic clothes and skin care to furniture. She also runs a green consulting business; blogs for The Family Groove and Scenic Hudson; and contributes to Daily Candy Kids, YogaCity, Citiscoop, and NRDC’s Simple Steps. Please visit her website at FrancescaOlivieri.com.

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Comments (7)

  • Love this idea- we've done similar - but asked for gifts to be donated to the children's hospital or food for the food bank... I don't know about all peoples kids, but mine have enough crap. :)

  • We love Echoage and are proud to partner with them to assist parents in greening kid's birthday parties. Green Planet Parties offers cloth, felt and wooden party decorations, sustainable options in goodie bags items, and eco-friendly disposable & reusable tableware. One-stop shopping to green your next event is available online via http://www.greenplanetparties.com.

    Owner Green Planet Parties

  • Being the "cousin" throwing the party we have been thrilled not only with the concept of the Echoage party but the customer relations with the people at Echoage is fantastic.

    My son if thrilled with the idea of getting one fun present that he really wants and it has opened up the lines of communication about charitable giving.

  • Hmmm... I like that idea. We usually do this for weddings, but kids birthdays.
    Please let me know how it went !

  • [...] A Kid's Birthday Party With A Conscience - Whole Living Daily 22 Sep 2010. Tags: birthday, cards, Eco-friendly, kids, party. Start fresh this fall with healthy recipes, new fitness routines, and post-summer skin. - A Kid's Birthday Party With A Conscience - Whole Living Daily [...]

  • Great post...my life has also a memorable day.its my lovely day when i was 7 year old and my mom organize a birthday party...

  • I am not an expert baker, but I am a great lover of cake. It's my hobby to prepare homemade cake to celebrate every big and small occasion, and I use different cake decoration ideas for celebrating the birthdays of my children, and the theme has kept on changing through years, as they started growing. This year, I need to explore amazing 19th birthday ideas for my son, as he is going to celebrate his last birthday as a teenage boy.

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