Do you have a friend or family member with a new little sweet pea on the way? If it’s your turn to play baby shower hostess, here are a few ideas to help you throw an earth-friendly celebration for both the baby and mom-to-be.
The first item on the to-do list for any shower is the invitations. The best way to “go green” with your party invites is to send them via email. There are many options available but I recommend Evites. You can choose from dozens of baby-shower-themed cards or even design your own. You can even track reservations and who is planning to bring the Snickers Salad. With email invitations there is no paper, no waste, and they’re free!
If you really want to send paper invitations consider sending a postcard, which uses less paper since there are no envelopes, or use recycled or plantable paper.
Remember you’re celebrating life, so decorations like potted plants are always a good idea! Look for plants that help purify indoor air and they’ll double as fantastic, useful gifts for baby’s new room that your eco-conscious mommy-to-be will definitely appreciate.
The classic diaper cake can be swapped for its greener cousin – one made with biodegradable or cloth diapers. Be sure to ask what method of diapering the new mom is planning to use first.
Get out those fancy dishes– this is why you have them! Use real silverware and cloth napkins to really tell your guests that this is a special day. If you must use disposable dishware, opt for biodegradable and be sure to put out a bin especially for recycling/composting.
Use organic and in-season ingredients where you can. Your guests of honor (mom and baby) will both appreciate foods that are healthy and nutritious!
Possibly the most valuable thing you and your guests can give a new mother is the gift of experience. On your invitation, ask guests to bring with them a note that shares the parenting tips most helpful to them. Things they wish they’d known earlier, or thoughts they were so glad they had in advance. Collect them in a pretty basket and present them to the new mother.
Ask guests to bring their favorite baby wraps, slings, or carriers and demo them. If possible, write names on each one and lend them to the new mother so she can test them out with the new baby to see which works best before buying her own (I went through four different kinds of slings before I finally found one I liked –what a waste of money!).
Invite the moms in the group to tell a story of inspiration about their birth experience or parenting their babies, or perhaps just share an inspirational poem (stress in advance that the guests refrain from telling stories of negative birth experiences – don’t scare the poor woman!)
Shopping for babies is just plain fun! If your mom-to-be is trying to make greener parenting choices be sure to let your guests know! There are hundreds of websites with outstanding ideas for everything from cloth diapers, to wooden toys, organic wraps and clothing, hand-made items, and wool diaper covers.
Some greener choices have large up-front costs, like cloth diapering or organic mattresses. Pooling money together to go toward the purchase of some of these more costly items may be greatly appreciated!
Organize a weekly meal sign-up. Ask friends to sign up to provide meals to the new family the first couple of months after the baby is born. Load it into excel and email it to everyone, and then adjust once the baby arrives.
Let your guests know that you want to keep waste to a minimum and gently suggest getting creative with wrapping. Use reusable gift bags, baby blankets, cloth diapers, or fun fabrics instead of more traditional methods.
GrowInStyle.com has it right: “A clean planet is the ultimate gift one can give to our children.” The small choices we make every day have a huge impact on our environment and a baby shower is the perfect time to set the stage for a greener lifestyle!
To simple, green living,
“You must be the change you hope to see in the world.” -Gandhi
Carrie Brusven is an Independent Green Irene Eco-Consultant based out of Moorhead, MN and her website can be found at www.greenirene.com/carriefargo. Carrie offers Green Home Makeovers and “Go Green” Workshops/Parties to help you on your own path to greener living. Contact Carrie to schedule a makeover for your home: email@example.com.
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