People come up with all kinds of wacky themes for baby showers, from sci-fi to Jack and Jill (males welcome) to a zoo motif. But one of the best ideas to hit the stage where baby showers are concerned is the eco-friendly shower. Not only can you green up every aspect of the event, including decorations, food, and games, but you might be surprised by how many products and services there are to help you reduce your carbon footprint and create a cleaner future for the baby whose creation you’re celebrating. All it takes is a little time and creativity. So if you’re looking to host an eco-friendly baby shower for your sister or best friend, here are a few ways you can green up the works.
- Invitations. Evites are hands-down the most eco-friendly option when it comes to sending out invitations. But not everyone uses the internet (especially older relatives). So if you find that you still have to send out a few baby shower invitations via snail mail (or you simply decide to go traditional), think about finding a company that offer 100% PCW recycled paper products. Many of them even use soy-based inks rather than chemical compounds. And if you live in a small town, think about hand-delivering via bicycle for zero emissions.
- Decorations. You might be tempted to buy those shiny, themed, non-recyclable paper plates at the party store, but resist this temptation! Instead, create a lovely and traditional setting with your own plates and cloth napkins. And skip the polyurethane balloons, which will languish in the landfill long after you expire, as well as cut flowers (grown with chemical pesticides and fertilizers). Instead, use recycled paper (or magazines) to create an eco-friendly flower arrangement (cut paper in flower shapes and attach to pipe cleaners) or go with an origami theme, hanging cranes and other paper creations throughout the space for a bit of flair.
- Food. There’s no better choice for an expectant mother than organic food items. You can create beautiful and delicious fruit, veggie, or pasta salads with produce from the farmers market or a local organic co-op. Or contract out to a catering business (or restaurant) that uses local produce and meats that are grown and raised organically.
- Games. If you opt for traditional games like “guess the number of diapers in the bin”, make sure to use cloth diapers (and give them to Mom at the end of the party). Other than that, you should think about games that require no materials, such as “how well do you know the mom” and “baby trivia”.
- Gifts. As the hostess, it is your job to provide favors for the guests. And you’ll also want to get a spectacular gift for the mom-to-be. Where guests are concerned, you can’t go wrong handing out gift cards (bonus: this also means a lot less work for you and less emissions from driving around to different stores). That way they’ll be sure to get something they want and the card itself creates a negligible amount of waste. For a double whammy, get gift cards for eco-friendly stores. As for the expectant mother, think about something she can really use, like a robe made from organic cotton (she’ll probably get plenty of use out of it for AM feedings) or an eBook reader loaded with kid’s books (less paper waste). If all else fails, she could probably use a gift card, as well.