How to have an eco-friendly baby shower
We are all aware of how important it is to be environmentally responsible and many of us look for ways to incorporate 'green' issues into our everyday lives. It's no surprise then that eco-friendly baby showers are becoming very popular. If you are planning a 'green' baby shower for a Mom-to-be, here are a few tips to help you plan the event.
Invitations - The vast majority of people have email so use the thousands of resources on the 'net to find some - usually free - invitations to send electronically. In addition to being a greener option than regular post, it's also faster; it's not called 'snail mail' for nothing!
Advise guests on eco-friendly gift wrapping - When you send our your e-invitations, include a suggestion for using environmentally friendly wrap or packaging when selecting a gift for the Mom-to-be. Ask that they use only recycled and recyclable packaging or reusable wrapping such as a cloth diaper for instance or a baby blanket.
Suggest Carpooling - You could ask the guests to try to minimize the number of vehicles used to get all the guests to the shower itself by carpooling or perhaps you could suggest that those who can, walk or cycle to the event.
Green Gifts - There are hundreds of websites offering free gift registry services and many of them already have environmentally friendly gift options. If however your guests won't be using a registry, ask that the gifts they intend to buy are, for example, only organic fabrics for baby clothes or again, cloth diapers rather than disposables.
Organic Foods - At the shower itself, serve only organic - and preferably locally grown - foods such as fruit and vegetables from your local farmer's market. Moms-to-be should eat lots of fruit anyway so a lovely fruit basket selection is sure to be a hit.
Recycling Themed Shower - If your Mom-to-be doesn't have any objection, maybe you could further theme the shower to be a swap-meet too. Ask your guests to bring clothes, toys and other items that their children have grown out of or no longer use and set up tables especially for this so that everyone can exchange their items.
Tableware & Cutlery - Rather than using disposable tableware, cups etc., ask everyone to bring a few pieces of flatware and cutlery to the shower so that there will be enough tableware to go around and no one person has to find dozens of items alone! If you plan to hold the shower in a restaurant then of course you have the added bonus of not having to wash all those dishes yourself afterwards.
Alternative Gifts - The majority of us probably think first about buying baby clothes as a gift for a baby shower or toys or keepsakes, all of which are of course lovely but how about something really practical to help the new Mommy out? Frozen meals for her to use after the birth can be a real lifesaver, so suggest that some guests cook organic, healthy meals that Mom-to-be can keep in her freezer for the days when the newborn doesn't allow time for lots of cooking! Your guests could make casseroles or individual plated meals; whichever suits them best.
You might suggest gift certificates in general but also certificates or vouchers for a few hours use of a cleaning service perhaps or a cloth diaper laundry service. For those guests who want to personally help the new Mom out, maybe they could create hand made coupon entitling the Mom to a few hours free babysitting or cleaning or laundry. Money gifts are usually very welcome and many people choose to set up bank or savings accounts for the new baby.
Making the baby shower eco-friendly can be fun and allows for all sorts of new ideas!