Anyone who has welcomed a new baby into their life, whether it be your own or through someone close to you, knows that with all of that joy often comes thoughts about the future. What will they be like? Where will they go to school? Who will they take after? While these things are all important and fun to think about, one thing we should all consider is the future of the planet they will live in. Being a new parent or even just being around children, reminds us that the future is theirs.
"We don't inherit this world from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."
All children should get to live and grow old in a world as green as the one we were born into. So when it comes to planning life's most special occasions such as the birth of new baby, make it an eco-friendly celebration. Not only will you reduce your carbon footprint, but you will also encourage others to do the same. It may feel like a small change to go from plastic cutlery to reusable or from serving meat to vegetarian, but all these little things add up and they can make a huge difference if we all do it. There are tons of eco-friendly solutions out there than can help!
Here are a few guidelines for planning an eco-friendly baby shower:
Pick an easy access location
While you can choose to host an eco-friendly baby almost anywhere, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, try to pick a venue that is central for everyone invited. Not only will your guests appreciate this, but you'll save the world some emissions by reducing travel times. Choosing to host the event outdoors if possible is also a great way to go eco. Not only does it fit in with a green/natural theme, but it saves energy costs.
Choose earth-friendly baby shower invitations
Everyone loves receiving an invitation in the mail, but this formal gesture can also generate a lot of unnecessary waste. Choose an eco alternative such as plantable seed paper baby shower invitations or something on recycled paper.
Have a green gift registry
If you're planning a green baby shower, that probably means the parents have requested it and they want to make eco-friendly choices for all of their baby products. Make sure the guests are aware of their wishes and the parents are registered for eco-friendly, organic and all-natural products. You can also encourage guests to shop local and purchase products made nearby.
Ditch the gift wrap or request reusable gift bags
Wrapping paper looks great and makes gift giving more exciting, but it also creates a ton of waste. By choosing to leave gifts unwrapped, you'll save the new mommy a whole lot of work opening the gifts and the planet a lot of waste. If you simply must have wrapped gifts, ask guests to use gift bags since they can be reused in the future or recycled gift wrap.
Choose all-natural, biodegradable or recycled décor elements
Just because you are going green doesn't mean you have to miss out on planning a Pinterest worthy celebration! Get creative with natural elements such as pinecones, branches and leaves; having a nature theme works great for green baby showers. You can also choose some upcycle crafts that give old items a new life such as bunting made from old story book pages. Biodegradable confetti is also a wonderful way to decorate table tops and even gives your guests a little something to take home since it's plantable.
Avoid anything disposable
Plastic cutlery and styrofoam plates may make the clean up easier but at what cost? All that waste is one of the worst culprits in landfills. Choose a sustainable solution such as the products from greenmunch.ca or choose to go old fashioned and simply dish wash! A dishwasher may use quite a bit of energy, but when used with an eco-friendly detergent they are less harmful than all that waste.
Serve organic, locally made vegetarian food
It is estimated that the average American meal travels about 1500 miles to get from farm to plate! Not only does this generate a lot of emissions, but food that travels long distances generally uses more preservatives as well and can even be gassed to “ripen” in some cases. Choose in-season local and/or organic foods for your menu as well as vegetarian dishes. The production of 1 calorie of animal protein requires more than ten times the fossil fuel input as 1 calorie of plant protein, so going veggie when planning food for a lot of people makes a big difference.
Give eco-friendly favors
It's always a valued gesture to offer guests something to say thank you for showing up and supporting the new parents, but favors can sometimes be wasteful with packaging or cheaply made materials. Be mindful of what you choose and its environmental impact. You can even take your green theme one step further and choose something that actually has a positive impact on the environment such as plantable seed paper baby shower favors. By giving guests a gift that grows plants, you can help offset those unavoidable emissions created from the party. Plantable products from botanicalpaperworks.com grow wildflowers that benefit important pollinators such as honey bees.