Do you want to make an upcoming baby shower fun and eco-friendly? There are more options than ever for creative gifts for mom and baby. Here are the best eco-friendly baby shower gifts, divided into 8 categories that make it easy to choose the ideal gift.
Baby Clothes and Bedding
Organic cotton is the obvious “green” choice. Baby Earth offers options like the organic short sleeve “Babybody Onesie” for $11.00 each. Another option is bamboo, which is touted to be very environmentally friendly. A SwaddleMe bamboo baby wrap is available for $11.00 at BabyEarth.com as well.
Even large discount retailers like Walmart and Target are offering “green” baby products. At Walmart.com, you can find an organic cotton 4-piece crib set for $79.99; organic cotton nursing shawls range in price from $18.88 to $25.48.
Help set up a new library for the little one. Shower guests can give books that are designed to be easier on the environment. Toys”R’Us has the Little Green Books: Little Panda Cloth Book for $9.99. Green moms may also appreciate gently used board books that other children have enjoyed before.
Diapers are a very practical, mom-approved gift for a shower. Diapers are always appreciated since either cloth or disposables can be expensive and babies need a lot of them! Find out which type the mom prefers first–disposables, hybrid, or cloth.
Disposabled diapers can be better for the environment if you purchase chlorine-free versions (see a review of Seventh Generation chlorine-free diapers by J. R. Tarascio). Save the new mom the time, trouble, and fuel needed to dash to the store for more diapers by showering her with a large stockpile. Diapers need not be wrapped, and if you want them to have more gift pizazz, order eco-friendly diaper cakes or make one yourself. Diaper Cakewalk offers eco-friendly diaper cakes for $79.00, which are available in four different themes.
There is also the “hybrid” diaper, known as gDiapers, which have flushable inserts inside a cloth cover. These have gotten rave reviews from moms who have tried them. New moms are more likely to go for these if they are stocked with them at a shower. Otherwise, the slightly higher expense can cause some would-be users to decide against gDiapers. A starter kit costs $26.99 at the gDiapers website. A gBaby shower gift set is $89.99 and includes a starter set, an additional gPant and a case of refills. Hybrid gDiapers can be purchased online at gDiaper.com or found at certain stores, including Whole Foods.
Cloth diapers often appeal to green mamas, of course. You can have friends contribute towards purchasing a complete set of cloth diapers. The popular bumGenius brand is available on Target.com. A 2 pack set of cloth diapers is $35.99.
A diaper service could be another gift option for a mom who wants to do cloth diapering. Check to see if there is a diaper service for her area. A state-by-state listing of diaper services can be found at Magicyellow.com.
Family Friendly Meals
Another thoughtful kind of shower is to have guests contribute frozen meals for the family to have on hand after the new baby arrives. Having meals in her freezer will mean fewer trips to the store as well as save her the time and energy that meal planning and preparation require.
Gift certificates can enable the green mom freedom to choose fun and eco-friendly gifts. They
also can save each guest having to shop for individual gifts. The greenest way would be to coordinate cards to be at one or two stores, to save on stops the new mom makes. Or she can opt to shop online.
Gifts of Time
If the mom and baby are already well-equipped, treat her to spa services. If she would enjoy a house cleaning service, gift her with cleanings for after the baby comes. Merry Maids, for example, has house cleaning gift card that you can purchase online. Or see if you can sign the mom and baby up for baby classes at Kindermusik or Gymboree. Enrolling in a Gymboree class can cost about $88 a month plus a $30 fee for new members. Check with the specific location for exact prices. Gift certificates for Gymboree Play & Music classes are available online here. Kindermusik classes are also fun, and typically cost around $75 a month. Go to Kindermusik.com for details, locations, and online registration.
Guests can also offer their own “free” babysitting or errand-running coupons. Just make sure you follow up and encourage the new mom to take advantage of the services offered.
Gift givers can also chip in for a good stroller, which will allow the new mom more chances to get out and about and leave the car behind. Not only is walking easier on the planet, it helps new moms stay healthier and happier. The mama-to-be can select a stroller as part of a baby gift registry, or guests can get a store gift card.
If you are looking for a specifically eco-friendly stroller, one example is BabyPlanet’s Endangered Species stroller line. They will give money toward wildlife conservation for each stroller purchased; the company will also donate or recycle your stroller when the baby is finished using it. Amazon sells the Baby Plant Endangered Species Stroller online for $189.99.
Toys and Baby Gear
Look for products made from sustainably harvested natural materials like wood, organic cotton, and bamboo. Eco-friendly toys by manufacturers like Haba and Plan Toys can be found at Amazon.com and Planet Happy Kids.
For safety gear, Safety 1st makes a bamboo safety gate with recycled panels; it is available for $22.99 to $29.99 online at stores including Walmart, Amazon, and Toys”R”Us.
3 More Ideas to Keep with the Green Theme:
1. Gift Wrap
To keep with the green theme, go easy on the wrapping. Look for eco-friendly wrap alternatives, like blankets, as Sonya Covert suggests, or gift bags that can be reused. You can even cut plastic shopping bags into “mock” tissue paper squares, which are reusable and recyclable.
2. Gift Receipts!
In case there are things received that the mom-to-be doesn’t need, make it a point to include gift receipts. The fewer stores the better; then any returns or exchanges can be completed in one fell swoop.
3. Carpool with Friends
Guests can carpool to stores to save fuel. Also the same thought goes for the day of the baby shower. Share a ride and enjoy more chat time in the process of reducing carbon emissions. Your planet and the children who will live in it will thank you.
Websites and Sources Consulted:
Covert, Sonya. Eco-friendly and Green Ways to Present Children’s Gifts Without Wrapping Paper. Associated Content.
Tarascio, J. R. Product Review: Seventh Generation Natural Diapers. Associated Content.