When preparing for your baby’s upcoming arrival, many new parents are given a baby shower. This common rite of passage can be a great help to the new parents, if it is in tune with their lifestyle that is. Many new parents are looking to do things more naturally, and more reusable, so some of the traditional aspects of a baby shower may not be the best idea. This is where a Green Baby Shower comes in.
So what exactly does it mean to have a Green Baby Shower?
(To learn how to make this awesome sock
bouquet, click on the image above!)
Here's a few ideas on how to be more green at your baby shower:
- Use reusable dinnerware, instead of disposable plates, cutlery, napkins, etc.
- Find local, organic foods to feast on.
- If you choose to have flowers, go local, in season. Or try small potted plants that can be given to the new family.
- For a centerpiece, fill a bowl with apples, oranges, pears, whatever fruits are in season, and send them home with mom afterwards.
- Use recycled or upcycled place settings, decorations.
- In lieu of a guestbook, sign names and well wishes on a onesie or baby shirt
- Decorate with items the new mom can use, like a clothesline of baby clothes or cloth diapers or toys. Make “flowers” from cute baby clothes folded like roses.
- Make the cake yourself, or make it out of cloth diapers. Use a potted flower or greenery for the topper.
- Instead of single use wrapping paper, use newspapers, baby clothes, or reusable.
- Find second-hand baby needs, especially for the big stuff like a crib, stroller, etc. Re-used clothing is great for little ones, since they grow out of it so fast, there’s no time for it to wear out! Check out Freecycle.org
- Find gifts, or sign up for a registry from a small, independent company or local baby store. If you can do something handmade, even better! Ask for things that are reusable over single-use.
- Make your own invitations with handwritten details. Or go paperless with things like Evite.
- If you need a new outfit for the shower, ask a friend, or check the thrift store.
- Party favors... Seeds! Veggies, flowers, your choice.
- Carpool to the party.
- Have all the guests bring a bead to make into a necklace for mom to wear during labor to help remind her of her circle of support. Or make them during the shower.
- At the shower, make a mobile from the extra wrapping materials.
- Host the shower outdoors, and use natural decorations like stones, a fountain (great for making baby wishes for the new parents!), etc.
- Send recycled thank you notes afterwards, especially from the wrapping paper.
- Ditch the gifts. Just spend time together, and focus on “showering” the mom with a happy relaxing, afternoon together. This is especially good if mom has already had a baby, and she’s got all the goodies she needs for this one.
- If you choose to go the route of having games, here’s a few simple ideas:
- Guess Who - Instruct guests to bring a baby photo of themselves to the shower. Place all photos on a bulletin board or use magnets and put them on the fridge, and have guests try to match each baby photo to the guest they belong to. The winner is the person with most correct guesses.
- I Remember - Have guests share special memories from their childhood, or of their own children. These may be written and kept, or shared out loud.
- Onesie Painting - Supply organic baby t-shirts or onesies (plain white works best) and non-toxic paints or natural dyes for your guests. Have them decorate a shirt any way they want as a keepsake for baby to wear.
- A basket filled with baby goodies that friends have to try to remember what’s in it.
- Guess baby’s name or gender.
- Write a Letter to Baby - Have guests write a letter to the baby and save them in a scrapbook or decorative box for baby to read later in life.
- Advice - Have guests write their best baby advice and suggestions for the mother-to-be to keep and read after baby is born.
(To learn how to make this awesome fruit
bouquet, click on the image above!)
So now that you’ve decided to have a Green Baby Shower, it’s important to let everyone know you’re planning something a little different, and give them suggestions on how they can help... You don’t have to do everything, just what you feel comfortable with, and makes sense to you.
Sample way to phrase it: "Sarah has chosen to have a natural pregnancy and birth. Let's help her celebrate with a Natural Baby Shower! Here’s how you can help....” Suggest different ways that guests can help, and remember the mom can always exchange something later if it doesn’t match her preferences!
If you’re looking for a gift for the new parents, take a look at our New Parent’s Gift Guide.
Whichever aspects of the baby shower you focus on to be more green, whether it’s just a few things, or a lot, you are still making a difference. Each effort you make to reduce consumption, choose local options and choose reusable makes a positive change towards supporting a more reusable and sustainable future.