For All Their Tomorrows: The Green Baby Shower
The child born today will come of age at a time when our natural resources are at their most precious. With conservation efforts reaching new levels of public awareness and commitment, millions around the world are becoming more active and conscious about protecting the world and its environment. As an old proverb says, "we did not inherit the world from our parents. We have merely borrowed it from our children."
When planning a baby shower, why not choose to throw an event that's committed to sustainable resources, as sign of hope for the baby's lifetime? An environmentally conscious baby shower doesn't have to be the drab, ordinary event that many suspect - today's eco-conscious products and cuisine are every bit as satisfying as their non-sustainable counterparts.
The decorations at your baby shower hold some of the most promising potential for following your "green theme." For the floral arrangements, you can use flowers that can be replanted later, and use only flowers that are grown locally. This means each flower can be recycled and that travel time transporting the plants is reduced, which eliminates truck exhaust. The vases used to hold them will ideally be rented from the florist, and can be used again (they're also cheaper than buying.)
For the table linens and decorations, using recycled materials or linen not washed in chemical detergents will both reduce pollution and energy consumption. This same idea goes for the plates and utensils - make sure they're washed by hand using only organic soap, if possible.
Invitations & Registry
Reduce paper and fuel use by eliminating printed invitations that have to be transported through the mail. Sending out email invitations also allows everyone to submit a quicker RSVP. Meanwhile hostesses can coordinate a gift registry quickly and easily through a few more emails with a list of gifts and which guest would like to give what gift.
The last decade has seen a veritable explosion in organic foods, with entire supermarkets such as Whole Foods and Wild Oats offering a complete range of foods and beverages grown with respect for the Earth. As you plan your baby shower meal, try to use only free-range meats, along with vegetables grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Keep one central menu at the entrance to the baby shower space, rather than passing out copies. Finally, make sure that all unused leftovers are sent to a local relief agency or charity, which can put them to good use feeding the needy.
Gifts & Gift Wrapping
As you might expect, using recycled paper to wrap all baby shower gifts is a nice compliment to the green theme, as is saving the wrapping to be recycled again later. Guests may also choose to simply unveil their gifts without any wrapping at all, or use gift bags that can be used for other gifts.
Games & Entertainment
Keeping in mind the renewable resource theme, the hostess might like to try games where acting or speaking play a large role in the game dynamic. One popular game involves asking trivia questions about the new mother and recording the answers on a display board. Guests are asked questions such as: where did she go to high school? How did she meet the baby's father? What other names did she consider for the baby? The mother-to-be can answer verify everything herself, with the winning guest receiving a small prize (possibly an extra guest favor) as a reward.