To mark the arrival of her second son, Leslie Quigley's family and friends "showered" her with goodwill and gifts. But they also made sure to sprinkle the earth with goodwill, too, in the form of an eco-friendly baby shower.
"Limiting my daily impact and carbon footprint is a huge part of my daily life," says Quigley, a California mom. She works hard to "green up" her daily routines and writes about her experiences with environmentalism, natural mothering, and going green at her website, RecycleYourDay.com.
"Moms have the ability to be influential with their dollars and their decisions," says Quigley. "Having an eco-friendly shower sets a standard and an example. As a mom, you have the opportunity to lead the way in helping save the environment and influence other moms to do the same."
Making the Shower Green
All the main aspects of Quigley's shower were eco-friendly. "The favors, games and prizes, food, utensils, napkins, plates, and invitations were all taken into consideration," she says. "Even my outfit was bought from a secondhand store!"
Quigley sent out invitations using e-vites and entertained guests with games using items around the house. Prizes were all-natural, nontoxic bath and beauty products. "We served local and organic food and made fresh squeezed lemonade using lemons from my grandfather's tree," she says. "Even the cupcakes were lined with recycled paper. We used compostable utensils and recycled paper plates and napkins and didn't purchase any decorations or other unnecessary waste for the shower. We passed out wildflower seeds for favors, and I purchased thank you cards on recycled paper. We tried to make each element as eco-friendly as possible—down to recycling the wrapping paper and party miscellaneous afterward."
More Green Inspiration
Cathy Hale, a similarly eco-conscious mom, thought a green shower was the perfect way to welcome a new little one, so she hosted one for her good friend while she was expecting her second child. "We decided it would be a 'sprinkle' instead of a shower, which seemed perfect for the second baby, since my friend already had an infant car seat, stroller, playpen, and bouncy seat," says Hale. "After brainstorming about ideas and taking hints from Hollywood mamas like Sheryl Crow, who also had a green baby shower, we were excited to do it."
The main centerpiece—a three-tiered "cake" made from different-sized cotton cloth diapers—doubled as eye candy and a useful gift. "We threw in a few colored diaper covers and some Snappies (fasteners) to add a splash of color," she says. "We topped the cake with fresh flowers. After the shower, the mom-to-be kept the cake as a gift!"
Hale had all the guests decorate an organic bodysuit with messages to the baby, which doubled as a shower activity and keepsake. Everyone was encouraged to use eco-friendly shopping bags, like BlueAvocado bags, instead of paper gift bags. Hale also suggested guests wrap gifts in baby blankets instead of tissue paper.
The party was made both green—and classy—with the use of glass dinnerware instead of paper plates. Party favors were glass baby bottles with colorful organic candies. Those who didn't have babies at home gave their bottles to the expecting mommy, too.
"I think moms-to-be should have a green baby shower because it's a great way to celebrate a new life, while expressing responsibility for all life," Hale says. "It's a neat way for eco-friendly moms to share their dedication to protecting the environment with their family and friends. Plus, a non-green mom might be more motivated to rethink her lifestyle if she sees how easy it can be to make little changes."