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By Natalie Roberts

09th April 2011

Throwing an eco-friendly baby shower isn’t as hard as you may think. You can keep your celebrations green without giving up the fun explains Natalie Roberts.

By Natalie Roberts

09th April 2011

By Natalie Roberts

09th April 2011

Organising the party doesn’t have to be hard, but there is a lot of work to be done. So let’s start with your guests.

Invitations
Once you have decided who to invite to the shower you need to send out invitations. Email, text message and social networking sites are a great way of doing this. If these options are not possible then why not create your own postcard invites out of recycled card and soy ink, then no envelope is needed. Encourage your guests to RSVP via the same methods. Or you could try the new trend of using plantable paper to create your invites. 100% recycled paper is embedded with flower seeds. Once your guests have finished with their invites they can plant the paper, which naturally bio-degrades and beautiful flowers then grow out of the seeds.
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Decorations
Use organic, reusable and recycled products to decorate your shower. Weather permitting, then why not have your shower outdoors. If your garden is big enough then hold the party there. If you don’t have a garden then why not go to your local park. Having the shower outdoors brings everyone closer to nature. There will also be plenty of natural decoration provided by the flowers, grass, trees and sky.

If your shower is being held indoors then decorate the space with potted plants and freshly cut flowers and pots of herbs. Place soy candles in used baby food jars or other fire-proof recycled containers. Organic green apples, or pine cones and dried leaves in a glass bowl can also make great decoration pieces.
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Games
Keep your party fun by playing a few enjoyable games. Ask your guests to bring a photograph of them as a baby. Number the pictures and get your guests to write down on a piece of recycled paper who they think each baby is. The person with the most correct guesses wins a prize, such as a packet of seeds or a soy candle.

Another great game is ‘Guess the size of mummy’s tummy’. Each guest cuts a piece of cord or wool to a size they think will fit around mummy’s tummy. The person with the closest measurement wins.

Food
Try to source as much food as you can from your local farmers market. If you grow your own fruit and vegetables then use them. If any of your guests do then ask them to bring some along. You can use your green theme in your food also.
Here are some green foods you might consider:
Apples
Kiwi
Avocado
Grapes
Salad leaves
Cucumber
Basil
A buffet style meal would be ideal. If you are having your shower in the park then a buffet is easy to transport .Make food that can be stored and eaten at room temperature. This saves on
heating and refrigeration costs. Use linen table cloths and napkins as well as real dishes, glasses and cutlery. It means more washing up but less waste.?

For drinks you could offer organic wine, beer and freshly made fruit juices. You could even make your own signature mock champagne:

MOCK CHAMPAGNE
2 litres Apple Juice
2 litres Ginger Ale
Grenadine Syrup (optional)

Pour apple juice and ginger ale into a punch bowl. Add enough grenadine to make a light pink colour. Serve with ice cubes in each glass.

Gifts
When you send out your invites don’t be scared to specify what gifts would be appreciate and those that would not. Not everyone you invite may be eco-aware. Encourage them to shop online where possible. You can also request they wrap presents in blankets, newspaper, towels or organic cotton sheets rather than traditional wrapping paper.

Here are a few gift ideas to consider:
Make a donation to a green charity.
Plant a tree in honour of the baby.
Wooden handmade toys.
Reusable nappies.
Homemade book of parenting stories and experiences.
Guests can sign up to make a home cooked, freezable meal for the mummy after the baby is born.
Homemade voucher for a massage, manicure etc.
One night free babysitting.
Guests could write a message on an organic baby grow that could be framed.
Get your guests using their imaginations.

Party favours
At the end of an enjoyable celebration why not send your guests home with an eco-friendly treat.
Some ideas include:
Handmade soaps.
Handmade soy candles.
Organic fruit baskets.
Potted plants. (Why not give them the ones you used to decorate the party with)
Packets of seeds to plant in honour of the baby.
Fairtrade chocolate.

After the party
Clean up after your green party using non-toxic, biodegradable household products. Send any leftover food home with your guests to avoid waste, or freeze where possible. Remember to recycle everything you can.

And most importantly of all, enjoy your eco-friendly shower.

Useful Resources:
Plantable paper: www.plantableseedpaper.co.uk
Cleaning products: www.ecoshopdirect.co.uk
Soy candles: www.busybeecandles.co.uk
Charity: www.woodlandtrust.org.uk

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