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Throwing a green baby shower

We received the best email from one of our readers, Elizabeth, whose friends threw her and her husband a planet-friendly baby shower. Check out her story:

"I thought you and your readers might be interested in the results of the Green Baby Shower my friends CC and Ande hosted for my husband and me last weekend. (We are adopting a 12 month old baby boy from overseas). I had mentioned to CC and Ande that we are trying to minimize our environmental footprint and so gently used/lightly loved items would be preferred.  My thought was that since so many of our friends have children it didn't make sense for them to run out to buy something new when children outgrow their toys/clothes so quickly.

The shower was fantastic on a number of levels--

  • It was coed! The guys got to share in the fun.
  • The toys/clothes we received as gifts were 'tried and true' --- people commented that their children had really loved the items and were their longtime favorites.
  • Several of the moms commented that their children really got into selecting toys that they thought "the baby would like" and had asked if they could "teach the baby how to play with the toys" after the baby arrived. These moms also mentioned that had they just selected the toys themselves there would have been a lot of tears.
  • Children were present when we opened the gifts and were thrilled to be part of the celebration. Several of the moms thanked us afterwards for the teaching opportunity.
  • People were creative with the wrapping paper -- the gifts came in recycled gift bags, comics, homemade wrapping paper, and old maps!
  • CC, Ande and I were able to come up with enough glasses, plates, and silverware for 35+ people. Just a quick loading them into the dishwasher afterwards. No plastics or throw-aways!
  • We kept $s in the community. It was an opportunity for friends to either free up space in their closets and know the items would be very appreciated or to buy from a local resale shop or used bookstore. The few new items we received were classics and were accompanied with comments or notes to please pass the items on when they were outgrown. We also had a local Vietnamese restaurant cater the food and so $s were again kept in the community.

    In sum, it was a great time for everyone and we were thrilled with the lovely gifts we received for the baby.  We also felt good about having a big party with a much smaller environment footprint than we could have had.

    And thank you for your blogspot!  I have enjoyed reading it over the past several months and knowing that there are likeminded people out there who care deeply about how their actions impact our environment."

Sigh. This makes me so happy, and almost makes me want to have another baby. (But not really.) This is what it's all about, right? Sharing much loved objects so that others can benefit and love them as well. No need to buy a bunch of new stuff when the old stuff has already been tested and approved by both parents and children. I wish every pregnant woman could read this story. (How can we get this to print out at the Babies 'R Us registry station?) Seriously. Send a link to this post to every pregnant woman you know. Let's make it a trend, a movement. The hot, must-have baby gear for new parents is the stuff that's already been tested out by other babies! 


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