The ABC’s of a Healthy and Green Baby Shower

Here's a simple approach to plan a green baby shower that celebrates the life and health of the baby, as well as the Earth she'll be living on.

Especially during pregnancy, it’s usually best to keep it simple, healthy, and pure. Here’s our simple approach – with help from the ABC’s – to plan a green baby shower that celebrates the life and health of the baby, as well as the Earth she’ll be living on.

Ask everyone to forgo fragrance. Avoid exposure to phthalates by making it clear in your invitations that this event is scent-free.

Buy eco-friendly decorations. Use potted plants, artfully arranged twigs, rocks and shells or even crystal bowls filled with seasonal fruit (a la Martha Stewart) for lovely, natural decorations.

Clean up using eco-friendly supplies. Look for natural products or use kitchen ingredients like baking soda and vinegar.

Dish up food on compostable or reusable dishware. Use your good china to really make the day feel special (and reduce an enormous amount of waste). Or go second best by using eco-friendly disposables. Check out the Biodegradable Store.

E-vite your guests. Using email invitations (like is a great way to quickly get the word out and track RSVPs. It’s also better for the environment (no paper, no waste, no fuel emissions from sending invites, etc).

Find the most natural setting. If you can have it outside, great! If not, at least choose a venue that will respect your green ideas.

Get your green game on. Choose waste-free games and provide green prizes like natural personal care products or soy candles.

Have a good time. This goes without saying, but really – after all this planning – just enjoy yourself during the party.

Inform your guests that this is a green shower. Make sure your requests are clear, so none of your guests feel awkward from missing the memo.

Judge not. Make sure that no matter what shade of green a guest is, she feels welcome and appreciated.

Know your guests. Some may take a little more cajoling to make the green jump.

Look for local. Whether it’s food or flowers, try to find all of the products you need from local vendors.

Make it a learning experience. You’ve taken all this time to make it green, share your newfound knowledge with your guests.

Need help? Ask! Hosting a green baby shower can take a lot of preparation. Have a team to help.

Opt for organic. Look for foods and beverages with the USDA Certified Organic seal.

Plan far in advance. Coordinating any type of party takes time. When you’re trying to make it as healthy and green as possible, you should start even earlier.

Quench your thirst with pure beverages. Keep mom and all her adoring guests healthily hydrated with filtered water (not bottled). Have a pitcher and plenty of glassware available.

Register for green gifts. Make it easy for your guests to find the perfect green gift by having the mom-to-be register at on-line stores such as Maple Grace, Our Green House, or Better for Babies.

Strive for zero-waste. Use dishware instead of disposables. Look for products and packaging that are recyclable or compostable.

Try not to get neurotic. Do what you can and let go of what you can’t.

Unwrap. Encourage guests to rethink wrapping. Use a baby blanket, a pretty silk scarf, or a recycled paper gift bag.

Ventilate. Keep fresh air flowing by opening a window (even just a crack, for a few minutes if it’s winter.)

Write eco-friendly thank yous. Use e-cards to send your thank yous. Some services will even allow you to embed a video. (Your guests would love to see your new baby!)

eXamine gifts. I know you’re never supposed to look a gift horse in the mouth, but after your guests leave, decide which gifts are keepers. Just because your Aunt Mary gave you a bottle of expensive baby lotion (with risky chemical ingredients) doesn’t mean you should slather your new baby in it for sentiment’s sake.

Yank some plugs. (Hey, there aren’t many verbs that start with “y”.) Save some energy by unplugging unnecessary electronics and appliances.

Zip your memories. Have everyone email you their images and video and then zip them into a file to send to everyone else. You’ll save the memories of the day and save paper and chemicals by allowing everyone to only print what they love.

Published on: February 04, 2010
About the Author
Photo of Christopher Gavigan
Christopher Gavigan is Chief Executive Officer of Healthy Child Healthy World. For more than a decade, he has dedicated himself to improving the lives of children and families. He holds degrees in environmental science and geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and has extensive graduate training in child psychology and education.
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