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Ideas for a Green Baby Shower

12 Mar

Eco-friendly baby showers are becoming increasingly popular.  Parents-to-be are becoming more conscientious about how the products they buy and receive impact their newborn and the environment.  Below are some ideas and inspiration for holding a green baby shower.

Invitationsplantable paper invites

  • Depending on the formality of the event and web-savviness of guests, consider using electronic invitations such as Evites
  • If you must send paper invitations, make your own on recycled cardstock which even comes in natural fibers such as bamboo.
  • Consider sending post-card style invitations that do not require an envelope. 
  • Ask guests to RSVP via telephone or email to avoid paper RSVP cards.
  • Ensure that the design of the invitations reflects the green theme. 
  • You may want to highlight the theme with a phrase, such as “We’re hosting a Green Baby Shower for Lisa to help preserve the planet for her little one” or simply, "Earth-friendly baby gifts would be greatly appreciated".
  • There are plantable paper invites (paper embedded with wildflower seeds) that guests can plant and watch grow into something beautiful!

Gifts

  • Nowadays, the invitation usually lists where the mom-to-be is registered for baby items.  The baby boutique and/or registry selections should reflect the eco-friendly theme as much as possible.
  • In terms of selecting green baby items, think beyond organic cotton onesies; there are green options for all sorts of baby items, including glass or BPA-free bottles, wooden toys, cloth diapers (many options) and natural bath products.  wooden duck toy
  • Consider asking guests to bring their children’s outgrown clothes, used baby books and other used items in excellent condition. 
  • On the invitations, encourage guests to use earth-friendly wrapping methods, such as recycled paper, reused gift bags, newspaper and other materials such as cloth diapers (prefolds), baby clothes and baby blankets.

Decorations 

  • If you have an outdoorsy crowd, consider holding the shower in a backyard, park or garden.clotheslines
  • Instead of balloons and streamers, which tend to get thrown in the trash, decorate with biodegradable materials such as flowers, potted plants, rocks and fruit.
  • Decorate with items the mom-to-be can use by stringing a clothesline pinned with baby clothes and toys. 
  • You may want to use the shower as an opportunity to educate guests about choosing green and sustainable options.  Consider displaying small notes around the party area with eco-conscious facts about the benefits of organic food, how to shop for sustainable goods, and the eco-friendly aspects of the shower.

Refreshments

  • Where you can, go organic, local and seasonal. 
  • Use dishes, silverware and glasses instead of paper and plastic items.  If you must use paper, go for recycled goods. 
  • Tablecloth and napkins should be linen.  green salad
  • Keep a recycle bin nearby for trash and gift wrap. 
  • Food is a good opportunity to incorporate the green theme with colour: green-leaf salads; fruits such as kiwi, green apples, green grapes; and punch made with green sherbet and lemon-lime soda. 
  • If you're having the meal catered, find a caterer who serves organic foods.

Games and Party Favours

  • Besides games like Guess the Type of Organic Baby Food and Organic Baby Word Search, consider a group activity such as planting a tree in baby's honour.  seed packets
  • Game prizes should be natural and organic such as a wooden picture frame, organic bath products or even the potted plants serving as centerpieces!
  • Ideas for green party favours include sacs of organic chocolate, organic tea or fair trade coffee, a packet of flower seeds personalized for the event, handmade soaps and soy candles.

Showers and gifts are wonderful but it's up to you to provide your loved one with the things you believe he or she needs to be healthy.  (And don’t forget to thank your guests with recycled thank-you cards!)

Creating a Healthy Eco-Friendly Nursery

08 Jan

Think you're creating a healthy environment for your baby by preparing their nursery with new carpeting, freshly-painted walls and popular furniture? Well, you may actually be increasing the chemical burden of the room where your baby will spend an average of 16 hours a day. Babies are more vulnerable to chemicals in their environment than adults because their bodies are that much smaller and their body systems are still growing and maturing.

Here are some considerations for creating a healthy, eco-friendly nursery:

  1. Real Wood Furniture – Choose furniture made with solid wood and finished with natural oils and waxes. Furniture made with wood composites such as plywood, particle board and medium-density fiberboard (MDF) offgas toxic chemicals like formaldehyde. Used furniture (more than a few years old) is likely to have released all of its harmful chemical fumes and may be an affordable option.      eco paint
  2. Low-VOC or VOC-Free Paint – VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are toxic chemicals that are released into the air by certain solvents and paints (that ”fresh paint” smell). They have been linked to asthma, neurological defects and cancer. A safer alternative is low-VOC or VOC-free paint, the latter of which is made from all-natural ingredients such as mineral pigments, plants oils and soy resins. It is also a good idea to paint the nursery at least a month before baby’s expected arrival.
  3. Forget New Carpeting – Standard new carpeting offgases toxic chemicals and harbours dust mites, mold and other allergens. It is better just to leave whatever flooring is already in the nursery and clean it well with environmentally-friendly cleaning solvents. If you need to install new flooring, consider real hardwood (only from sustainably managed forests), bamboo, natural linoleum or cork.
  4. Green Mattress – Regular mattresses contain harmful and potentially cancer-causing fire retardants such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), in addition to stain- and moisture-resistant chemicals. If you purchase a regular mattress, do so a few months in advance to allow for as much offgassing as possible. A healthier (but pricier) option is to purchase a mattress made with natural materials including organic cotton, wool and rubber. Consider using an organic mattress pad, especially over a regular mattress.eco crib and bedding
  5. Green Bedding – Conventional cotton is one of the most heavily pesticide-sprayed crops in the world. Some of these chemicals remain in the cotton and can be irritating to baby’s sensitive skin. Organic cotton is a nicer alternative for baby as well as for the environment.
  6. Natural Cleaning – Once you create your non-toxic nursery, keep it clean and safe by using only natural cleaning products, which you can usually prepare yourself at home.
  7. Ventilation – Provide fresh airflow in the nursery by setting the windows open a crack and ensuring the nursery door is not closed all the time. Take care that baby does not get cold from any drafts.

 

6 Steps to a Greener Baby Nursery by The Daily Green

How Healthy is Your Home?

20 Nov

An interactive website created by WebMD and Healthy Child Healthy World to help you discover what may be affecting your family's health in each room of the house.  How Healthy is Your Home?

Creative Veggie Trays for Kids

18 Sep

Kids won't eat their veggies? Any one of these creative veggie Yo Gabba Gabba Vegetable Traytrays may prove to be irresistable! With ideas for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are also Elmo and Brobee-themed creations.  

Credit: Amy at livinglocurto.com

Top 10 Household Products to Avoid

24 Jul

Family Education highlights the Top Ten household products to avoid in order to lessen your light bulbfamily's impact on the environment and even protect your family's health.  Instead of buying products that are non-biodegradable, manufactured with harsh chemicals and/or made from non-renewable resources, consider the greener alternatives suggested.  The article includes information on why you should avoid toys made with PVC plastic and what to look for instead. 

 

Going Green: Top 10 Household Products to Avoid by Family Education