Planning a party to celebrate the exciting news of a new baby? Baby showers are a lovely way for friends and family to share in the joy of an anticipated new arrival.
Here are our top tips for a fun-filled but low waste and eco-friendly baby shower:
Let’s make celebrating a new baby a little greener!
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The best way to reduce waste from invitations is to go digital. With services like Paperless Post and Greenvelope this is really easy. You can still have beautifully designed cards, just without the trees.
Not only will this change be a great first step to making your event a little more eco-friendly, it can also make the admin significantly easier with online RSVP tracking, which is a real bonus for the busy organiser!
Rather than buying disposables cups and plates to throw away at the end of the party, hiring a local party kit can save over 100 single-use items from going to landfill. It can also work out cheaper to hire than buy!
Worried about all the extra washing up? Many of the party kits in our network will also do the washing up for you.
Or you can hire a vintage tea set. Normally you'll find a mismatch of classic floral designs, perfect for bringing a bit of class to the event.
In addition to tableware, many party kits can also lend reusable decorations such as bunting, paper fans, honeycomb balls and more - perfect for any baby shower theme.
There are loads more ideas for eco-friendly decorations on this blog post: Fun eco-friendly alternatives to balloons
Low waste party food
A party isn’t a party without cake and a baby shower is no exception! With a bit of planning you can avoid both food waste and unnecessary food packaging.
Making your own cake and sweet treats can significantly cut down waste from packaging and reduce the chance of overbuying. You can also buy cakes and pastries packaging free from the bakery counter in supermarkets - just take along your own tubs or tins.
The finger sandwich frequently feature on a baby shower menu; to reduce waste, ask some of the guests to help by making sandwiches rather than buying pre-made.
For nibbles, it's worth checking what your local zero waste store has on offer. From banana chips to chocolate coated yumminess, many of these can be found packaging free. Check out Zero Waste Near Me for stores near you offering items without packaging. Just take along your own tubs, old takeaway boxes, jam jars or even old bread bags and fill up.
Ask guests to bring with them a Tupperware for taking home a slice of cake or any leftovers.
Drinks with less waste
When catering drinks look for glass bottles, aluminium cans or, failing that, larger plastic bottles rather than buying individual drinks, all of which can be easily recycled.
If you’re planning a classic afternoon tea party the following teas are Fairtrade (or have strong buying ethics) and are Rainforest Alliance certified. The teabags are 100% plastic-free and the packaging is biodegradable and/or recyclable:
Teapigs is available online and in most UK supermarkets
When it comes to coffee, Percol is both Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance certified, and the packaging for their ground, whole bean and coffee bags are all 100% plastic-free and home compostable / recyclable. Percol is available in many UK supermarkets including Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Holland & Barrett.
Low waste baby shower games
For games and activities without the waste, why not try some of these:
Guess the size of the bump: For this game you just need a tape measure. Everyone has a go at guessing the size of the bump before measuring the actual baby bump.
Don't mention the baby: For this game you need some ribbons and small safety pins. Attach a small ribbon to each pin. Each guest receives 3 pins which they attach to their top. Guests have to try to avoid using the word baby during the party; if they get caught out by another guest that person receives one of their pins. The guest with the most pins at the end of the baby shower wins.
Decorate baby blocks: For this activity you will need a set of plain wooden blocks suitable for babies and pens. Each guest is asked to decorate a block which the new arrival can then play with.
Predict the birth date: Ask guests to birth date and time, gender and birth weight of the baby
Cloth nappy wrapping race: For this game you need a set of reusable cloth nappies and wraps. Get the guests into teams and see who can prep the cloth nappies the fastest.
Dress the baby: For this game you need a doll, set of doll clothes and blindfold for each team. The team who dresses and undresses the doll while blindfolded wins.
Eco-friendly baby shower gift ideas
After making the effort to make your party more eco-friendly, why not extend this to the gift for the parents-to-be!
Baby Clothes Rental: Many parents will tell you that their baby was gifted a lot of new clothes, some hardly worn before they grew too big. There is another way - Bundlee is the UK’s first baby clothing rental service significantly reducing waste while providing beautiful organic cotton clothing. A Bundlee gift voucher makes a great sustainable gift.
Sling Library: Many local sling libraries offer gift vouchers. As well as hiring a sling or baby carrier, the library can also help with babywearing support. Find your local sling library
Buggy Rental: Rather than buying it is now possible to rent your pram. Buggi offer a subscription service for the best buggies - all refurbished and pristine. A gift towards the cost of the new subscription would make a great eco-friendly gift.
Reusable Wipes: Even for parents-to-be who haven’t yet been persuaded by cloth nappies, reusable wipes are still a great alternative to wet wipes for mucky hands and faces, especially during weaning. A kit from Cheeky Wipes is an easy way to get started. About 40 reusable wipes are enough to keep even the messiest baby clean between washes.
Group Video Gift: Get everyone in on the excitement and give the soon-to-be parents a baby shower video gift from VidDay that they’ll always remember. Gather fond memories, loving stories, and special moments for a cherished baby shower video montage. It’s easy to use and a thoughtful gift. Plus with every video created a is tree planted in an area impacted by deforestation.
Dedicate a Tree: Commemorate this special event by dedicating a tree - a gift for the future. The Woodland Trust are working to tackle climate change by supporting the planting and care of woodland in the UK.
Books make a great gift. Try Zaza's Storybox for newborns which contains books with high contrast images which are perfect for little ones.
Hand cream quickly becomes a must-have for new parents. Try Conscious Skincare or Blushberry Botanicals. These hand creams are made in the UK, available plastic-free and both cruelty-free and Vegan-friendly.