By Eliana Eissler, Itsabelly Baby Planner, Chicago
Each day become more aware of the tremendous impact we have on our environment, and with that awareness comes a sense of responsibility as to what each of us can do to be more ecologically conscious. Many of us have taken our first steps toward eco-living by reducing waste in our homes, consuming organic and sustainable products, and ridding our living spaces of toxic materials and chemicals. It only makes sense to put even more emphasis on Green living when preparing for the arrival of a baby, not only to provide them with the most natural and healthy start in life, but also to set a great example from the beginning. With taking all of these things into consideration, what better way to start going Green with your baby than to throw a Green baby shower? You will be amazed at how easy it can be, and how much simpler than organizing a traditional baby shower!
- Go with ceramic or porcelain dishes, regular silverware, and reusable glasses. In the end, everything can be thrown into the dishwasher and there will be no carbon footprint traced back to you! Also use reusable cloth table linens, not only are they eco-friendly, they also add a touch of class to your table settings!
- Instead of balloons, go for fresh-cut flowers artistically placed in empty glass bottles.
- If serving cocktails, use diaper pins to spear fresh fruit and garnish the drinks (which will, of course, be served in re-usable glassware!)
Food & Drink:
- Divy up the responsibility so that several guests each bring one dish. Visit local farmer’s markets for fruits and veggies, even your flowers for decoration.
- Serve organic wines and beers, or create a signature cocktail you can make yourself using organic vodka and fresh organic fruit juice!
- Add ambience using soy candles in recycled glass jars, or baby food containers.
- Decorate with articles that can be used by Mom later, such as using clothespins to hang multi-colored onesies on a string, or placing wooden blocks and toys on tables! Be creative!
- Instead of a guestbook, purchase an organic cotton or bamboo onesie that each guest can sign with permanent marker! This is an original keepsake that Mom is sure to treasure forever.
- The most eco-friendly way of inviting guests is to go paperless and use online invitations, such as Evite
- If you don’t want to go paperless, a new trend emerging is to use “plantable invitations“, printed on special seed paper, which when planted in soil produce wildflowers! What a wonderful eco-friendly way to remember a special event in your life!
- Finally, you can always make homemade invitations using recycled paper and pressed flowers for an earthy organic touch.
Gifts and Wrapping:
- Many local Green baby stores offer gift registry service, which is an easy and convenient way to ensure your guests (some of which may not yet be well-versed in Green living) give gifts that are truly needed and earth-friendly.
- Give your own gently-used baby clothes that you no longer need as a very personal eco-friendly gift! When my friend Ana was expecting her baby girl, and I was on a budget, I took a diaper bag I never used and filled it with some of my daughter, Isabel’s, gently worn clothes that no longer fit her. I just saw Ana, and her daughter Kaja, on Sunday and it gave me such joy to see Kaja wearing an adorable onesie that used to belong to Isabel!
- To avoid any waste whatsoever, an original and totally ecological gift is to find one of many online services that will plant a tree in honor of the expecting family and their baby.
- Green cleaning products, such as Seventh Generation are also a great and practical gift, since there will soon be many messes to clean up!
- Of course, an excellent gift would be Itsabelly’s very own Guide to Going Green with Baby , the very first book to help parents through the confusing maze of eco-friendly baby gear, as well as provide advice about organic and natural family living!
- Instead of gift bags or wrapping paper, use recycled Green tote bags, bandanas, cloth diapers or baby blankets to wrap your gift! These are all items that will come in handy in the future.
- Have linen napkins monogrammed with the baby’s initials and wrap organic candies or almonds in them, finishing them off by tying up with organic ribbon!
Planning a Green baby shower is not only a fun and productive way to get your creative juices flowing, it is also a great way to celebrate the arrival of a new life in an earth-friendly and natural way. Happy planning!