8 Awesome Eco Friendly Baby Shower Tips
Updated: Nov 13
Hurray! There is a baby in the way! You would like to organize a baby shower or you would like to organize one for someone else and you would like to do that as sustainably as possible. Awesome! Babies often have a huge carbon footprint, (something they can do absolutely nothing about as they are just babies) and the sooner you take the first steps to make babies start more eco-friendly, the better. With these amazing zero waste baby shower tips, you can host a great party without adding to the unborn baby's carbon footprint.
Send the people you want to invite a digital invitation. A paper invitation looks great and is great fun to receive, however, they will most likely end up in landfills after a couple of weeks. I have written an entire blog post about the downsides of paper which you can read here. Just like a paper invitation, a digital invitation can also be designed just the way you like it. Lots of websites offer this service so you can create an invitation the way you want.
Do you really want to send a physical invitation? Go for a plantable one. Yes, they are quite pricy but at least you are not contributing to landfills. These types of invitations are becoming more popular (especially for wedding invitations) and there are increasingly more options available to create a baby shower invite you, love. The best part is you are not only sending your loved ones an invite for an amazing party, but you also send them a bunch of wildflower or herb seeds to be planted after the party.
Plantable paper is a biodegradable eco-paper made with post-consumer and post-industrial paper waste that is embedded with seeds. This means that no trees are harmed for this type of paper. When the paper is planted in soil, the seeds grow and the paper composts away after a few days/weeks. All that is left behind are the wildflowers or herbs and no waste.
Ask for sustainable gifts for baby and mom. In this blog post you can find lots of inspiration for zero waste gifts for a new mom. Have you ever thought about asking for / giving secondhand gifts? Babies can grow very fast and sometimes change clothing sizes every month. Other little ones also grow just as fast so clothes are often worn only a few times before they no longer fit. These clothes are still as good as new and can be worn by multiple kids. This also applies to shoes and toys. All like new but priced much better.
I would much rather receive a second-hand gift knowing that the item is loved more than once while I reduce my carbon footprint.
Ask for gifts without wrapping paper. In the end, wrapping paper is just fancy colored trash. This also saves mom a lot of time unwrapping presents when a lot of people were invited. This way a mom can spend more time with her guests. This might be a little uncomfortable but when formulated nicely (name mom… kindle requests any gifts to come unwrapped) people will more likely accept.
But some things really need a little wrap before giving. In this case, consider a sustainable gift wraps alternative. I have an entire blog post but several gift wrap alternatives like furoshiki gift wrap but also many other options.
Ditch the disposable decoration. I know glitter and foil balloons look super cute but in the end, it is all plastic and disposed of after it has only been used once. For the parties I host at home, I have fabric bunting made from scraps. It looks super cute and colorful and at every party, we host that involves kids we use them to decorate our home. These flags not only look so more original like the more common plastic or paper versions, but they are also much sturdier. If they somehow get dirty when we use them outside, they can easily be washed in the washing machine. If you are not handy with a sewing machine you can make temporary bunting with onesies for the baby or with baby socks. Simply use some cotton rope and wooden pegs to make a cute eco-friendly alternative for party decoration. Even better, go outside and you don’t need decorations at all.
Plates & Cutlery
Don’t use disposable plates and cutlery. Your own plates are fine. I personally think that disposable plates feel cheap and don’t like using them. Did you invite a lot of people? Opt to rent a (sustainable) location or maybe rent/borrow plates and cutlery. During my own baby shower, my mom did a quick hand wash off all the dirty plates. Some people had to wait a minute for a clean plate which they obviously did not mind doing.
If you really want to use disposable plates, go for biodegradable ones. This way you avoid the use of plastic while still having the convenience.
The same goes for napkins. Use reusable ones when you really need to use a napkin but go for biodegradable ones if you really want the convenience.
Games and baby showers go hand in hand. Play a baby shower game that does not create trash. For example;
Fold an old-fashioned cloth diaper and pin it to a doll or stuffed animal.
Trivia games with facts about the parents can also be fun.
How about coloring reusable baby wipes? When the baby is born, these wipes can be used on the little one.
There are just so many options for waste-free baby shower games.
Here is a Checklist to host your own Eco-Friendly Baby Shower
The basics – a few months before the baby is due
Create a guest list
Set a date
Set a budget (try to include everything like food, drink, decorations, etc)
Think of a theme (if you want)
Set the location (If not the moms to be home - check for availability asap)
Design the invitations and make your desires clear (like secondhand gifts, no wrapping paper, etc.) and ask for an RSVP
Send the invitations
Brainstorm about games you could play on the day and any things you might need
Around a Month Before
Check your RSVPs and chase up anyone who hasn’t responded.
Plan the food and drink (any people with allergies?) and make a shopping list
Have you got enough chairs, plates, glasses, etc? Ask people to bring their own or rent what is necessary.
1 Week To Go
Confirm the RSVPs.
Check with your guest if they would like some responsibilities for the day. Someone for food, someone for drinks, someone for games, etc.
Gather the supplies for the games
Gather your decorations
A few days before the baby shower
Prepare some food for the big day and freeze what is possible.
Create an overview of the location. Where are the seats, food, drinks? Any place for the coats?
Buy your fresh ingredients for any other food that needs to be prepared.
The day before
Create a time plan. This is especially handy if you’re eating hot food and plan to play some games as well. When will the mom be opening the presents?
Prepare the remainder of the food you had in mind
Decorate the party room
Day of the Eco-Friendly Baby Shower
If you prepared well in advance, there should be very little to do by this point. Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy yourself!
If there was any wrapping paper used is collected and recycled, or reusable gift wrapping is returned to the owner.
Share your food leftover with your guests if there is too much for you to enjoy to reduce any food waste.
Preparing for an eco-friendly baby shower is not as difficult as you might think. These tips will help you along the way and the checklist above will make sure that you can prepare well in advance to have a great day that is both great for the mom to be as well as for our planet.