The big day is coming soon and you have been tasked with organizing an eco friendly baby shower for your best friend, sister or loved one and you don’t know where to start! It can be overwhelming at first to plan around the organic theme or green theme baby shower, but after you sit down and think about it, the shower can be very easy to organize. If you break it down into categories you will be on your way in no time to the perfect green baby shower! This page will help give you some ideas on organic baby shower party favors, how to find (truly) recycled paper invitations, where to hold the baby shower, green baby registry suggestions, and more helpful hints for easy setup.
Photo of baby shower flowers by herkie on flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0.
Where to Plan Your Eco Friendly Baby Shower
First things first! A date is the first thing to select when planning a shower. Depending on whether the shower is a surprise you may want to work with the parents to be to select a mutually agreeable date. You don’t want to pick a date where the couple will be out of town or have a prior engagement. After picking the date you then have to decide where the shower will be held. Traditionally they can be held at someone’s home, a restaurant or a hall. For the perfect green event consider hosting at someone’s house-this will make it much easier to use reusable utensils when it comes time for the actual party. If the baby shower will be during the warmer months, you can plan on having the shower outdoors to enjoy the fresh air.
Here are some other ideas on places you could have your green baby shower:
- Rent a home by the ocean for the day (or week). It may wind up being cheaper than renting a hall.
- Use a sunroom or brightly lit room to give the room a more “natural” feel during the winter.
- Decide to have the baby shower at the parent’s or grandparents home. Nothing beats convenience!
- The Godmother’s house – less clean up for you, less environmental waste, too.
Be Up Front!
There’s nothing wrong with telling guests what you’d like! Don’t be afraid to remind people in an insert with the invitations that you have enough of a certain size of clothing, or to avoid buying certain things. They want to get you the gift you want, too.
Recycled Paper Baby Shower Invitations
Look for 100% post consumer recycled paper invitations to be even greener
Once all of the details have been ironed out, it is time to select the invitations! For a green organic shower, you should look for invitations made from recycled paper. You should look for the highest percentage of post consumer recycled paper as possible, because post consumer recycled paper is paper that has actually been used previously and then was recycled.
100% post consumer recycled paper invitations would be the greenest option, but is also sometimes hard to find. If you’re looking to go completely paperless, you can use evite to coordinate your guest list (though expect some old school people will not respond unless its paper!).
I used this for my own eco friendly baby shower invitations and was quite happy with how they came out. I’d give them a recommendation!
Setting Up a Green Baby Registry
It is likely that because the mom to be is having a green, organic shower she has taken the time to set up her registry with organic clothes and organic crib sheets, BPA free baby bottles, eco friendly cribs, baby safe dishes, and everything earth friendly for her baby. Therefore you do want to be sure to include information with regards to the registry on the invitation.
You may want to suggest that if people would like to purchase something other than what is on the registry that they keep in mind the mom to be’s wishes of giving her baby organic and BPA free items. When in doubt, a gift certificate may be the best option, as then the mom to be can pick out the things she still needs after the shower that she will be comfortable using with her baby.
As this is a green organic shower you may want to put a gently reminder to the guests that gifts do not need to be wrapped, and if they would like to wrap them provide some suggestions. For example some smaller items might be able to be wrapped in reusable diapers with diaper pins. For larger items you could suggest using an organic sheet or two to wrap the gift again closed with diaper pins. This eliminates wasting the wrapping paper and also gives mom a few extra sheets for the cradle or crib which she will certainly need. For items that are a medium size you could suggest organic receiving blankets-which always come in handy with a little one.
Green baby shower favor ideas
Next on the green baby shower to-do list would be the green party favors! There are plenty of green options out there. Some people prefer to make a donation for each of the guests attending the shower to a green organization. Others prefer to have something that the guests can take home that is organic. For example, organic mint chocolate favors, or small bags of organic coffeewhich you can make yourself if you buy a larger bag and separate it out into reusable containers.
Why Ballons are a Bad Choice for Green Baby Showers
What to use instead of traditional baby shower decorations
Balloons are something you definitely would not want to have at the baby shower. Not only are they a waste only item, because after the party it is likely they will end up in the trash immediately or shortly after if one of the guests takes them home. You also run the risk if the balloons are filled with helium that someone may let one go outside (accidentally or on purpose) and the harm that one balloon could cause to a marine animal is substantial. Balloons tend to look a bit like jellyfish when they land in the water and could be eaten by an unsuspecting sea turtle or whale. Streamers are another decoration which may seem nice for the few hours it is up, but you can find natural items to decorate the room so that you can pass on the streamers. The streamers are something else that will be thrown away right after the shower and will be a waste of paper. The dye in the paper will also start to leak out after it has been thrown away and it starts to break down. Read more about what balloons do to our environment here.
Natural Decor for Baby Showers
There are some even more beautiful, natural alternatives you can use for shower decor. If the shower is in the winter time, you may think about using pine cones, pine boughs and other natural items. Spring and summer would be a great time use potted flowers and spices as mentioned above. Fall, especially in New England, you have the colored leaves which have fallen from the trees. You could hand pick some large multi color leaves to decorate each table, or you could make you own potpourri style basket for each table complete with a colorful sampling of the best that fall has to offer.
Creating a Green Baby Shower Menu
Recommended themes and foods for your eco friendly baby shower menu
When creating the menu, though it may be hard to offer everything organic-consider making the food offerings fair trade, organic or locally grown. This is especially easy in the spring, summer and fall when farm stands and farmer’s markets are open. If this proves to be too challenging, you could offer special items noted as fair trade-such as the coffee. Or perhaps make a dessert such as brownies with an organic chocolate. The mom to be will appreciate your efforts! As this is a green, organic shower you will want to be sure that you have reusable plates and utensils. This is easily done if the shower is held at your house as you can use the plates and utensils and then put them in the dishwasher for an easy clean up. Paper or plastic plates, plastic cups and plastic utensils all just cause extra trash from the party. The mom to be will appreciate your go green efforts and thoughtful planning!
Another great gift for Mom:
The Reusable Bamboo Utensil Set is perfect for work, school, and any woman on-the-go that would like to be prepared (and green!).
A Better Choice Than Disposable Gift Bags
Reusable bags – use them over and over!
Why throw away a paper bag, only to have it end up in a landfill? If this is truly a green baby shower, the new Mom will love that you’ve used a reusable bag instead of a plastic one to give their gifts in! This bag is made of 100% cotton canvas, and is easily machine washed or hand washed. This will hold approximately 3 x as much as dispoable plastic grocery bags, and is the size of a medium sized gift bag. It’s a gift in itself!
More reusable tote bags from EcoGreenBags.
P.S.: The author of this page is a Mom, and tries to lead the greenest lifestyle possible, whenever possible. Whether it’s natural baby products or the use of soaps that won’t cause damage to our rivers and streams, there are small things you can do to help the environment and yourself. You’ve probably heard the expression, “Rome wasn’t built in a day!” This expression applies well to leading a green lifestyle. Too much change at once can be overwhelming, so take it slow, do what you can, when you can, and never stop learning!
You can find the eco friendly products the author sells and recommends on this page, including the reusable paper towels, reusable dryer sheets, earth friendly soap nuts, organic lotions, and our entire organic spa line at TheGreenerEarth.com. You can also read more earth friendly advice from the author right here at A Million Ways to Go Green.