My, but that’s a lot of buzzwords in one title, right? But intentional living isn’t always about checking off a list of trendy catchphrases or cutting-edge ideals. Sometimes you just want to gather together a group of like-minded friends and throw a kick-ass celebration, and you don’t want to fill up a bunch of 13-gallon trash bags with the waste, either.
Let’s unpack this idea a little. First, it’s a baby shower. Someone is having a baby, and everyone wants to party. It’s a beautiful and exciting thing! Second, it’s a vegan baby shower. Everyone involved is agreeing not to use anything that harmed an animal during this celebration of life. Third, it’s eco-friendly. That means that everyone agrees not to buy cute little onesies whose production turns the ocean pink; they’re going to need to do a little research about the stuff they buy for this party. Finally, it’s a zero-waste baby shower. That means no disposable plates, no excess packing materials, and so on.
As you explore what a baby shower with these guidelines means, you can see just how much of a challenge this might be. That’s exactly why this is a good exercise to help everyone realize just how much of a footprint we leave every single day.
And this is why we try to do intentional things. Living in an intentional way can open our eyes to actions and choices that we might not otherwise think twice about.
Gifts for the Newborn
One of the most exciting parts of a baby shower is the shopping for (and unwrapping) gifts for the newborn. Let’s be honest for a second: the gifts are for the parents, not the baby. There are a lot of expenses involved with having a baby, and during this party, friends and family can offset those by buying outfits, diapers, formula, strollers, cribs, car seats, and other important stuff. Trying to stick to vegan, eco-friendly, and zero-waste guidelines can become extremely difficult and impractical.
The most important thing to keep in mind here is the saying: “Don’t let perfection be the enemy of good.” In other words, don’t worry about sticking to the guidelines so much that you don’t buy the present you wanted to buy. For example, a true eco-friendly diaper is probably one that the parents are going to have to wash by hand, right? But there are a lot of eco-friendly disposable diapers of varying levels of sustainability. The point is that you’re being conscious of the choices you’re making and how those choices are going to affect the planet.
Besides diapers, other eco-friendly baby shower gifts might include:
- Vegan, soy based formula
- Rattle and teether set made from natural wood and silicone
- Bamboo baby dinnerware
- Changing mat made from organic cotton or another sustainable material
- Hand-crocheted baby booties
- Natural rubber pacifiers
- Toxin-free, silicone eating mats
- Locally-constructed toys
- Handmade stuffed toys made with recycled materials
Again, it’s important to note that you might have a tough time finding a sustainable, zero-waste baby stroller or car seat. However, these items can be incredibly expensive, and adding them to the baby shower registry can help cash-strapped parents.
Don’t Forget the Vegan Hors d’Oeuvres
A party isn’t a party without food, and this is one of the aspects of the vegan baby shower in which you can really shine. If most of the attendees aren’t vegan, you’ll be tempted to provide a lot of highly-processed, unhealthy vegan foods. However, you can just as easily provide a variety of healthier alternatives that are still delicious. Try the Forks Over Knives “healthy vegan snacks” recipes section for a large selection of crowd-pleasing ideas. And if you absolutely must use disposable plates and cutlery, search for compostable party supplies.