What’s not to love about a day set aside to celebrate your pregnancy with those you love? Plus, if you’re lucky, you get to wear a new dress… and open gifts too!
I love baby showers as much as the next woman, but they’re not always the best party. Have you ever been to that shower where everyone felt at odds? Polite comments made, predictable games played, frilly pink outfits admired, handknit baby blankets passed about, but no one feels comfortable? Or, worse yet, have you been the beneficiary of such a shower in the past? When the guests leave you find yourself with a garbage bag full of disposable plates and a pile of cute, but impractical gifts. Next follows the compulsary paper thank-you notes, each destined for the trash… What’s a modern-day, eco-sensitive mom to do?
Take action! Brainstorm with your party-thrower to green your baby shower. The result will be a party that wastes less, celebrates you rather than tradition, and hopefully ends up being more fun for all (at least because it’s different)!
First things first. Here are a few little ways that your party can tread more lightly on the planet:
- Use a free service like Pingg.com to send attractive digital invitations.
- Decorate with nature. Use flowers, branches, pinecones and such from your yard or a local grower.
- Say “no” to disposable supplies. Use real dishes and tablecloths. They do wash… and it sets a nicer mood.
- Delight guests with local food. Plan your menu around what’s in season. It’s affordable, healthier and more eco-friendly too.
- Inspire worthwhile gifts. Make it fun and easy for guests to gift you with items you need and feel safe using.
It’s that #5 that really gets me. You’ll feel strained working to graciously accept 10 baby blankets or countless newborn outfits that are neither practical or comfortable for baby. And, the guests will feel it. No one likes to give a bummer gift. If you’re a discerning mom, you may not be able to find the safe, non-toxic products that you desire for baby locally, which makes gift-giving a challenge for your guests who don’t usually shop online.
And so… I suggest a themed shower! They’re so much fun!!! The last baby shower I threw was a cloth-diaper shower. The mom was celebrating her 3rd baby and was planning to do cloth for the first time. Cloth diapers are a considerable investment, so it was something she really needed. And they make an interesting subject for a shower. Even young moms who weren’t interested in cloth for their babies, were curious to see and touch modern cloth diapers. Grandmas who had diapered with “old-fashioned” prefolds and rubber pants raved about the ease of BumGenius diapers.
To make it easy, our pregnant mom registered online for diapers and diapering accessories (like cloth wipes, a diaper sprayer, pail liner, etc). Those who liked could order online to send an individual gift. In addition, we set up Pingg to help us collect money for a group gift. It was so easy! Guests could rsvp online and then send some money via Paypal through Pingg.com into the pot for the large set of BumGenius diapers that was purchased. We made one order with the group money and gift-wrapped it with the names of all who had contributed via paypal or old-fashioned cash. The happy guests didn’t have to order online, deal with shipping or anything. So convenient!
We chose Cloth Diapers, but there are many other green baby shower themes. Here are some ideas:
- Organic Bedding (there’s a pricey one!): Expensive organic mattresses or bedding sets make a great group gift, while organic, vinyl-free mattress pads, sheets, swaddlers, etc are nice individual gifts.
- Plastic-Free: Start baby out with old-fashioned glass bottles, a wicker or wooden bassinet, rubber pacifiers, wooden teethers and cloth toys. There’s a truly green party – safe products for baby that don’t leave a legacy of waste in our environment.
- A Treasury of Books: This is a great theme for the family that already has all the basics, to avoid unnecessary gifts. Carefully choose a selection of meaningful, timeless books and/or ask guests to choose a book that means a lot to them. Be sure to encourage books for toddlers and preschoolers too! Guests can buy them with ease through Amazon or at the local bookstore.
Any one of these themes can create interesting and genuine interaction between guests. Imagine the conversations that would ensue about meaningful childhood books or the questions you’ll be asked about all this “plastic-free” fuss! And, when you select a theme that means something to you, it creates an opportunity to share your passion with loved ones. Have fun!