Tips for an eco-friendly baby shower? — The Bump
The Eco-Friendly Family

Tips for an eco-friendly baby shower?

Hi everyone,

I'm new here, and 6 weeks pregnant. We are lucky enough to have several friends and family members who have recently had babies, and will be borrowing or receiving gently used a car seat (less than a year old and from a close friend so I know it's safe), stroller, bouncy seat, etc. etc. We are also planning on cloth diapering, breastfeeding and pumping (when I return to work), and trying to be as gentle on the earth as possible. I also really don't want lots of cheap plastic toys that will go in baby's mouth.

My baby registry will include cloth diapers and accessories (I am knitting wool covers), an Arm's Reach co-sleeper, and not much else that needs to be purchased brand new. But my new co-workers will be throwing me a baby shower, as will some friends. I know, first world problems and I will happily donate excess to organizations that help moms without as many resources as I have.

Any tips for encouraging people to honor our preferences? I'm totally fine with clothes and toys from the thrift or second hand stores, but I know people freak out and want to buy tons of brand new stuff for babies.

Thanks in advance!


Re: Tips for an eco-friendly baby shower?

  • Hi Heather, congrats! (I'm one week behind you, 5 weeks pregnant!). I have helped throw a few baby showers for parents with similar eco-values (we're crunchy types up here in Seattle!). I'd communicate your wishes with whoever is planning your shower(s).  They could specify on the invitation or announcement that you would prefer handmade or gently used items.  For example, we included a phrase on one invitation that said" the baby would appreciate home-made gifts or hand-me-down thrifts." I also helped plan a shower where the invite specified no gifts, but at the shower, we gave people opportunities to sign up to help out by cooking meals, helping with yard work/ house chores, offer babysitting, etc.  For your work shower, you might suggest a group gift everyone could chip in to purchase together (the co-sleeper, for example). Hopefully these are useful tips!

    first pregnancy
    due August 20, 2014
    (my blog about bikes, growing things, home remodeling 
    and other random life stuff)


  • A neat idea too, is to ask people to contribute to baby's registered education fund.  Most people love this idea to donate to.  I asked a few aunties who I knew wouldn't otherwise listen to my eco-conscious preferences if they would like to do this for a gift. 
  • A friend of mine insisted on all used stuff for her shower, and I thought it was great. Some people gave her stuff from their own children, some made things out of used materials, some went to baby consignment stores. Many of the gifts had sentimental value because a number of her husband's older relatives were there. I've been friends with the husband my whole life (parents were friends before either of us were born), and I found copies of his and his little sister's birth announcements, which my mom had since she used to keep EVERYTHING in her extensive scrap books. They were a big hit as neither the mom, nor the dad or SIL whose announcements they had been, had ever seen them.

    The announcements seemed particularly appropriate for this couple, since a couple years earlier I'd ridden on the city bus from their fancy wedding ceremony to their fancy wedding reception with them and the wedding party (now that's commitment!). Both announcements were home made. One of the announcements showed a stork carrying a baby on a bicycle, the other was a stork carrying a baby off a city bus.
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