Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Baby Shower for a Zero Waster

Zero Waste Baby Shower

I know you are probably wondering, "How/why would a zero waster have a baby shower?", "Doesn't that go against the principles of zero waste?" Well, first of all, I don't know if there are any rules other than to be mindful of the waste you produce in your life and to tell my mothers that they couldn't throw me a shower might have resulted in me on a naughty list - or in the hospital. Ha!

For those of you who have had little ones, you know that showers are so much help when trying to prepare - especially for your first. Trying to buy everything you'd need - which really isn't THAT much - can get a little overwhelming, wasteful, and expensive.

My husband and I knew that we didn't want a lot of stuff for our little one due in May, so we had to strategically organize the details with our mothers to ensure it was as waste free and minimal as possible.

Holy cow - May!! That's this month!!!! Give me a moment while I sit here and panic........

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........breath in....1....2.....3.....breath out......1....2....3....

OK...

Our shower was absolutely perfect and we couldn't have been happier with the love and generosity that our family and friends showed us.

Homemade Gifts
The beautiful quilt my grandmother made.
Since I wasn't really allowed to touch or organize anything for this event, I will describe how my family threw this for my husband and I with our zero waste lifestyle in mind. I can't stress enough how important it is to have people in your life that support you for whatever you stand for. They did an amazing job at keeping the waste at nearly zero! I hope there are some good tips here for you to use at your future parties.

With any baby shower comes the invitations. We immediately knew we wanted E-vites but we also knew a lot of our family members didn't have computers or smart phones. That meant a few paper invitations would need to be ordered. Having E-vites as the primary source of communication, eliminated A LOT of initial paper waste and also allowed us to keep everyone informed of last minute details that arose, digitally.

Baby Shower Invitations

Our invitations were really the ultimate tool to relay exactly what we needed from everyone, which was very minimal. My mom wrote an amazing poem to describe in a beautiful way how my husband and I wanted a waste free and minimal shower. I literally bawled my eyes out when I read it.
Bring a book on the above date,
If you bring it unwrapped that will be great!
A gift card from the registry would also be swell,
the mother to be could use it quite well!

The families request is very small,
they want to preserve the future for all.
So even recycled gifts will do,
as long as they're picked with love by you.

Waste is what's being avoided with care,
just put in some thought when you wish to share.
Wooden and metal is better than plastic,
A healthier home and baby is fantastic!

So please join us in sharing with our new baby boy,
A new life and home that will soon bring us joy!
Friends and family will all gather near,
and love on this bundle who is very dear.
Excuse me while I go cry again.....

I know our requests aren't the "norm" and probably catch a lot of people off guard so I thought the poem approach was very eloquent.

Now for the registry, babies don't need much but they do need a few things, so we opted for Baby List so we could customize what we needed from any store local, sustainable stores, and stores that supported environmental and handmade options- even secondhand. I didn't like the idea of registering at "insert big box retailer here" only to be able to select items from them. Baby List also allowed me to make personalized gifts like home cooked meals, dog walks, and for someone to come over and do my laundry - I'm hoping someone bites on these! I'll go into more detail later on what I chose for my registry items.

The decorations were all reusable. My mom is a teacher so she utilized what she and her coworkers already had to throw us a "Book Shower". It was adorable!

Zero Waste Baby Shower Decorations
No disposable decorations allowed!
 The food was all homemade and served with real plates, glasses, silverware, and cloth napkins. I honestly don't know why anyone would want to use disposables anyway, I mean just look at how pretty everything looks!


I drank way too much punch - I'm not sorry.

Pretty antique plates! Don't you just love the cloth napkin that was folded like a diaper around the silverware?
As for the gift waste, I was so touched that so many people respected my wishes and left their gifts unwrapped or used a baby blanket, burp rag, or cloth napkin to wrap the gift. Some that brought gifts in bags even took them back to reuse and for the rest, I was able to give away on a "free swap" group on Facebook to be reused.

For the rest of the packaging - wrapping paper, boxes, etc. All was taken to the recycling centers. By the end of the day the only trash we had was one small grocery sack of non recyclables including plastic wrap, plastic bottle lids, and some plastic film that came wrapped around some gifts. 

Now, it will be inevitable that you will get duplicates are items that don't quite align with what you want so returning the gift for cash at the stores they were purchased is perfectly ok. We used the money we got for our exchanges on a convertible car seat - a very important baby accessory!

A lot of guests "wrapped" their gifts in baby blankets, burp rags, and swaddles.

Zero Waste Shower Favors
How cute are these favors? My Mother-in-Law got ice cream cones in cardboard packaging and planted flowers in them so guests could take them home and plant them in their own biodegradable container.
 All in all, I honestly couldn't have asked for a more perfect shower. The amount of love that my friends and family showed my husband and I and of course, our little Ollie was just amazing!

Don't mind my husband's unbuttoned shirt, haha!

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8 comments:

  1. Awh...your story was very touching...I didn't realize it meant SO much to you! uhm...excuse me while I go have a good cry. BTW once your a mother, crying is like a "right of passage" into motherhood that never ends! Commercials, FB, stories, bleh...life! Get used to it! I love you and am very proud that we could support your wishes and make this a VERY special day for you and little "Ollie"! With much love,
    Mom

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    Replies
    1. I'll never forget the love and care you put into this shower! :) XOXO

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  2. Your shower was adorable! It's so nice that your family went out of their way to support your lifestyle.

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    Replies
    1. Aww thanks so much! Yes, I'm pretty lucky to have them. :)

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  3. So cute! I hope you got plenty of cloth diapers.

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  4. Parenthood is an important part of everybody's life. You should enjoy it. I know, sometimes you may get irritated, but imagine--you were also irritating to your parents one day. Well, you have touching stories every time I come to your website. Baby-shower gives us moment of surprises and a lots of memory to keep in. This is the day to remember! Give the best gift to your babies in their birthdays. But choose the gifts which will be beneficial for your baby even after ten or twenty years.
    Baby Shower Gifts

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  5. Both mom and dad should be involved in the process as one carrier may not fit nicely for one parent the way it does for another.
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    ReplyDelete