Thursday, March 24, 2011

How to Throw an Eco-Friendly Baby Shower

If there’s one reason to treat the planet with consideration, it’s for the generation after us that we already pamper. Loving our planet is synonymous with loving our children, so what better way to celebrate a new life and growing family than with an eco-friendly baby shower? Throwing an eco-friendly baby shower doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, if you know what you’re getting into, you can actually save more money than if you were to go the traditional paper plates and table glitter route. A green baby shower can be trendy and responsible, and those are ideals we’d love to see in any growing child.
  1. Say no to paper. That includes paper towels, paper napkins, paper plates, and the like. Even recycled ones still go in the trash (since nothing that’s touched oil from food can be recycled again). Instead, stick with cloth napkins and ceramic dishes, silverware, and drinking glasses. Use your own or drop by the thrift store and pick up a set for cheap.
  2. Saying no to paper includes wrapping paper. There are infinitely cuter ways to wrap your gift than with dead trees that will never see the light of day again. Try using a baby blanket, a cloth diaper and reusable diaper pin, or a reusable fabric bag. They all become part of the gift. Also, the Japanese have a tradition of carrying little bags or wrapping gifts in beautifully printed fabric called kinchaku or furoshiki. Try the trend out yourself.
  3. Nix the guestbook. Instead, have guests use a non-toxic fabric pen to sign an organic cotton onesie. You can frame it or the baby can wear it.
  4. Think natural and functional. Decorate with those two key words in mind. Instead of balloons and streamers that will just get thrown out during clean-up, decorate doorways with a clothesline and pin baby clothes, toys, and pictures to it. For place settings, check out the farmers’ market for locally grown wheatgrass and flowers. Ready a plantable card for each guest and have everyone plant theirs in your garden when the party draws to a close. When the baby is a year old, flowers should be blooming!
  5. Serve local, organic food. Stick around the farmers’ market for your food, as well. Check out recipes online for what’s in season and select from the market accordingly. Alternatively, you can ask the farmers themselves for ideas (they generally love to talk about their products). At most farmers’ markets, you’ll find organic produce, organic meats, organic flowers, and even organic wine, so you’ll be set.
Guest post by Lisa Shoreland a resident blogger at Go College, where recently she's been researching federal grants for college as well as financial aid tips. In her spare time, she enjoys creative writing, practicing martial arts, and taking weekend trips.

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