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You’ve offered to plan your best friend’s or relative’s baby shower and one or both of you wants to make the event as low-waste and environmentally friendly as possible. Where to start? Is it possible to have a creative, fun, affordable green baby shower? Absolutely!
Tips for hosting a green baby shower
Here are some ideas, from invitations to favors, that keep the earth, as well as the mom and the upcoming baby, at the forefront of this special event.
1. Opt for Recycled or Electronic Baby Shower Invitations
The greenest way to invite guests to the big event is via the internet — through email or sites like Evite and Facebook. That’s not a practical option for everyone, though, especially if some of your guests are older and don’t use the internet. If that’s the case, use recycled paper invitations. Even better? Make your own.
2. Ask Guests to Skip the Wrapping Paper
Half of the paper Americans use goes toward packaging and wrapping goods. Yes, it’s pretty, but its beauty is fleeting, and it’s wasteful. If you don’t want to skip wrapping paper altogether, ask guests to wrap their gifts in recycled newspaper. If even that seems too extreme, ask gifts to be wrapped in already-used gift bags: We all probably have a few at home.
If guests do wrap in elaborate wrapping paper, bows, tissue paper and gift bags, another way to ensure a green baby shower is to make sure someone brings the wrapping home to use for future gifts.
If all of it cannot be reused, remember to recycle what is to be thrown away. Most of the time, restaurants and other party venues will not be able to recycle for you. Remember to bring from home your own garbage bag or box, specifically for recycables. Take everything possible home to recycle.
3. Have Reusable Baby Shower Decorations
Instead of crepe paper, “it’s a baby” banners, and other party store decor, get creative. If the shower has a theme, think of ways you can incorporate reusable decorations that are in-line with the theme. Some inexpensive potted flowers or plants will add color and guests can take them home as a party favor after the party. Or, buy some inexpensive items off the registry (bottles, pacifiers, etc.) and incorporate them into the decor, then give them to the mom-to-be after the shower. A cute idea is to hang some bibs and onesies with clothespins on a piece of yarn to look like a clothesline.
photo credit: clevercupcakes
4. Request Hand-Me-Downs
Assuming it’s okay with the mom-to-be, request that guests bring used baby clothes and green baby toys in lieu of — or in addition to — a gift from the registry. Babies grow so quickly, there’s no need to have exclusively new items. Check in advance for recall of items, especially cribs, toys, playpens, car seats, high chairs, baby swings, etc. Make sure to clean all items in advance of gift-giving.
5. Forgo Paper Plates and Plastic Silverware
At parties, it’s tempting to justify using disposable utensils. After all, who wants to spend an hour cleaning up the mess? But the truth is, gathering and running a load of reusable dishes doesn’t take long, and it’s a much more eco-friendly option.
6. Choose Local, Sustainable Food
If the shower is catered, choose a local restaurant or catering company that employs sustainable practices. If you’re making the food yourself, buy local and/or organic ingredients.
7. Skip Cheap Party Favors for the Baby Shower
Instead, offer something edible. Most people don’t need any more plastic knickknacks in their lives, but who doesn’t love taking a chocolate cupcake to go? You can get creative with your edible treat to make it memorable. Or, see above for the idea of having little planters filled with flowers or plants. Packets of seeds or tree saplings are also a cute ideas and help to make a green baby shower.
8. Have it at Home
You will use less resources overall by having a baby shower at home instead of at a restaurant. However, a lot depends on the number of guests and the size of the home. You can make more eco-friendly choices and have less waste, which is really the essence and the point of throwing a green baby shower.
These tips will help you green any baby shower! Here’s some great ideas for having a green wedding too.
Eco-friendly baby shower
Lastly, remember to be strong! It’s easy to cave in to consumerism, especially when it comes to babies. Everything is so cute and small! Of course, it’s okay to choose some less-than-green options, but try to resist the urge to go all out. Stick to your principles, and you can have a successful, fun, sustainable green baby shower. Here are more ways to have a sustainable baby shower.