So you offered, or were asked, to throw a baby shower. Now what?
We’ve all been to dozens of baby showers before we know the drill so it shouldn’t be too hard to plan one right? But what about all the waste involved with showers? Paper plates and napkins, plastic utensils and cups, streamers and latex balloons and the wrapping paper. All that cute pink and blue stuff in the aisles of the party store are throw away items that just fill up landfills and waste your money. Wouldn’t you rather spend your hard earned dollars on cute baby gear than crepe paper center pieces and plastic baby bottle party favors?
Hosting an eco-friendly shower complete with earth friendly decorations and gifts is simple, fun and a lot less expensive for you as the host. That’s right, you can save money and help celebrate a sweet little baby in a much more earth-friendly and thoughtful way.
Don’t know where to start? Have no fear! Below you’ll find a list my favorite tips to help make the next baby shower you throw more earth-friendly and super cute to boot.
8 Easy Tips For Planning an Earth Friendly Baby Shower:
1. Go electronic.
Skip using paper invitations in favor if e-invitations from such sites as Punch Bowl or Evite. Guests can RSVP quickly and easily, leave you messages and see who else is attending and you can take it easy while the site handles and keeps track of all those RSVPs for you. Electronic invitations give you all the benefits with no paper invitations to purchase, no paper waste and best of all no licking envelopes.
2. Jump-start green gift giving with a green registry.
Encourage the Mommy-to-be to register for baby items that are more earth friendly such as cloth diapers, non-toxic and safe baby shampoos and soaps, BPA free baby bottles and responsibly made toys. It is easier for guests to be guided to buy green and earth friendly gifts if the registry is full of options. These days even large retailers sell a wider selection of earthfriendly items, but it is definitely worth it to look into creating a registry with a local or online retailer who knows earth-friendly baby items inside and out. If the mom-to-be is comfortable with it you can even encourage guests to purchase gently used items from second hand stores.
3. Leave the wrapping at home.
Gift wrap, gift bags and greeting cards are a big waste since they generally end up in the trash. Ask guests to bring gifts unwrapped. Or you can suggest wrapping gifts up in baby blankets or sheets, cloth storage tubs, baskets or even reusable shopping bags. I have found that guests think of very creative way to “wrap” gifts in earth-friendly ways. Also let the guests know that instead of purchasing greeting cards small gift tags will be provided at the party. Then you control the paper waste and can come up with something cute. Besides cutting down on all that unwrapping time can leave the mom-to-be more time to spend with her guests.
4. Skip the crape paper and cardboard table toppers.
It is fun and easy to decorate a baby shower in green way, you just have to think creatively. There are also a lot of ways to make your decorations do double duty. Real potted flower such as mini roses or mums spread throughout the party area can do double duty as decorations and prizes for the winners of all those baby shower games. Some twine or ribbon, gently used baby clothes and clothes pins make for a great alternative to crape paper, streamers and balloons and all those adorable hand-me-down clothes can double as a gift for the mommy-to-be when the party is over. Baby bouquets made with clothes, cloth diapers, and other baby items make for a great gift and an adorable addition to your green baby shower decor.
5. Keep it real.
Serve organic, all natural and local food for guests. Doing this is healthy, better for the environment, delicious and good for your local economy. Mini-quiches or baked mini-frittatas, roasted red pepper or sun-dried tomato basil hummus and pita chips, and olives and cheeses are all good ideas in addition to fruit and veggie platters.
6. Use what you have.
Forget buying all those matching pink or blue plates, napkins and cutlery. By using your own plates cups, silverware and cloth napkins you not only cut down on waste but you also save money. If your selection of dishes or glasses isn’t large enough borrow some from friends or family. The plates may not match but a colorful variety of plates and napkins makes for an adorable snack table or buffet.
7. Keep it Clean.
Be sure to use earth friendly cleaners when cleaning up the event location before the party and refrain from burning regular wax candles to help keep the air fresh clean and toxin free for the mom-to-be, baby and guests. Baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice are all great natural cleaners.
8. Forget what you’re “supposed” to do.
Get rid of all those notions of how a baby shower is supposed to be and start thinking creatively. When you start letting go of all those expectations for wrapping paper and matching paper plates and cutlery you open yourself up to throwing a truly unique, memorable and earth-friendly baby shower. What could be better than that?
What other ways can you think of to make a baby shower a more eco-friendly party?