Hosting a baby shower doesn’t have to equate with throw-away plates and piles of wasted wrapping paper. At least, that’s what I decided when I hosted a baby shower for my friend Katie last weekend. I set out to host an event (co-host actually, with her sister-in-law) as free of garbage as possible, and we were quite successful without much extra effort. Here’s what we did:
We kept the decorations simple with a few bouquets of fresh cut flowers from my yard (no carbon footprint there) and a dozen helium latex balloons. I realize the balloons would not be considered eco-friendly but we divvied them up at the end so various moms took a few home to their kids to enjoy, at least getting a double use from them.
We steered free of any prepackaged, processed foods in favor of homemade brunch goodies. The food responsibilities were divided between four of us so didn’t create an undue burden for anyone. I baked blueberry muffins, my friend Karin made fruit kebabs on bamboo skewers stuck playfully in a pineapple, my co-host, Zephyr, baked a fabulous cheesy egg breakfast dish, and Katie’s mom Vivian baked some sinfully sweet muffins. Not only did we avoid waste from food packaging, the food was all so delicious there was no food waste to speak of either!
Plates, Cups, etc
Last summer I bought several dozen reusable plastic plates and cups on clearance at Target for less than it would have cost for the same quantity of paper plates and cups. Their bright summer colors (pink, green, blue and yellow) work perfectly for baby showers and have also been perfect for hosting large summer barbecues. The plates and cups are unbreakable so can be used outside and can be thrown in the dishwasher to make cleaning up easy. We used real silverware (why not, since we were running the dishwasher anyway) and broke down with the use of paper napkins. Those that weren’t heavily soiled we were able to recycle.
Art Project Instead of Games
I actually think baby shower games can be fun but a lot of people roll their eyes at them, so for Katie’s shower we replaced games with decorating organic onesies instead. I bought super soft Gerber plain white organic onesies which each guest decorated using fabric markers. This made for a great activity as people were arriving and Katie left with a dozen unique pieces for her baby girl to wear. There were some budding artists in our midst that day!
Baby showers can create a huge pile of ribbons and wrapping paper, some of which can be recycled but it’s always better to reuse first. Literally all the guests used gift bags instead of wrapping paper, owing perhaps more to our lives as busy young moms than our eco-sense, but it’s an example of going green making life easier rather than more complicated, as is sometimes falsely assumed. Katie left with one huge gift bag full of tissue paper she plans to reuse plus a pile of baby girl gift bags she can pass on at other baby showers!
The Happy Mama and Grandma-to-be