Are you planning a baby shower for your eco-friendly green Mama to be? Here are some tips to guide you in giving her a fun and memorable day that will leave her with happy memories and have minimal impact on mother Earth.
Green Invites – Use electronic invites instead of sending out traditional invitation cards, and encourage people to RSVP via email. This will help minimize paper waste.
Encourage Minimal Packaging – Encourage the guests you invite to use reusable packaging, such as gift bags (remind them not to write on the bag itself but to put their names on the removable card) or cloth wrapping. Give a door prize for most creative eco-friendly packaging. Craftsy moms could even wrap the gift inside itself, for example a baby blanket could be folded attractively to hold an outfit. Look in books on Japanese wrapping for inspiration.
Carpool Prize – Offer the moms who carpool to the baby shower location an extra door prize to encourage them to do so. If you live in an area where bicycling is common, do the same for Moms who bike or walk to the party.
Responsible Registry – Thankfully, there are many online baby boutiques that offer a gift registry. Encourage your guest of honor to choose one or more so that she can pick all the organic baby clothing, toys and cloth diapers she wants. Then let guests know on the invitations that they can save gas and time by ordering just what the new mom’s heart desires – over the internet.
Go Organic – Be sure to serve locally grown organic food. Fruit is always a winner for any baby shower because it goes down easy for a pregnant belly.
Swap Meet – With the permission of the Mother-to-be, why not encourage guests to bring kid hand me downs that are still in great shape to the shower? They could give these to the new Mom – new babies typically don’t wear out their clothing and equipment, but outgrow it. Or, they could exchange the gear amongst themselves. You can keep baby stuff out of the landfill by hosting a mini swap meet.
Ditch Disposables – Instead of using disposable paper plates and plastic cutlery, purchase inexpensive melanine plates and encourage the guests to take them home as a door prize. That way you won’t have to wash any dishes! You can also use attractive heirloom dishes that don’t match for a kitschy look. Or, hold the shower in a restaurant (one that uses real plates and cloth napkins) and let them do all the dishwashing.
Green Gifting – Sometimes, the best gift for a new Mom is the gift of time. How many cute outfits does one newborn need? Not many. But giving Mom a freezer full of healthy meals (in reusable freezer containers, of course) is worth a million dollars. A new Mom needs to eat healthfully, yet she also needs to relax and enjoy her new baby. How about having a Casserole Shower instead of a traditional one? Encourage guests to cook a healthy casserole or other easy meal in a container that they don’t mind Mom keeping (or tell them to put their name on the dish to pick up later).
Shower guests can also give the new Mom a gift certificate good for a week’s (or a month’s!) worth of maid service, or cloth diaper service. Another idea is tickets that are redeemable for child care for the older child, or a load of laundry or other household chore, etc. And what about, in lieu of gifts, guests donate to a savings account that the Mother has set up for her new arrival? This might be especially thoughtful for a Mom who already has children and plenty of baby stuff but less cash.
With a little forethought, you can give Mom a fun day and set a good example of environmental stewardship.