As excited as I was to be having a baby, the idea of a typical North American shower with diaper cakes and over-packaged toys was a bit nauseating. Luckily for me, my co-workers understood this and threw the most lovely, low-waste baby shower: no silly party games and no disposable diaper cakes. Instead there was home-made food, thoughtful wishes for Holden and good company.
Of course there were gifts - but carefully purchased to reflect our waste-conscious values. Even the wrapping was reusable or recyclable. To give guests ideas, we signed up with Cravings Maternity and Baby’s gift registry, and man do they have neat stuff! Of course, by ‘neat’ I mean durable, reusable items, made with organic fibres, natural materials and/or recycled content.
If you want to get someone a greener-than-average baby gift here are some pointers: Reduce - don’t give parents more ‘stuff’ than they need. Money always goes over well. Reuse - hand-me-downs are fine! We are thrilled with the really useful used items we have received. Recycle - believe it or not, there is a company that makes toys entirely from recycled plastic called - you guessed it - Green Toys. I have also seen building blocks made from reclaimed wood.
Some Saskatchewan stores carry childrens’ toys and gifts with a smaller waste footprint. Some of the ones I am aware of are: Saskatoon -- The Better Good; Cravings Maternity and Baby; and A Soft Landing; Regina -- Groovy Mama; and Hello Baby! Prince Albert -- Era Maternity and Baby.
Update: Last issue I wrote about our cloth diapering and ‘elimination communication’. It’s going well. Holden is now 3 ½ months and not one disposable diaper has touched his cute little bottom yet. Yes, we do leave the house, and yes, we have made reasonably long car trips. My resolve is unshakable.
As I write, Kris is upstairs taking Holden to the bathroom. When we think he might need to go, we take off his diaper and hold him in a squat over the toilet. Although we still rely fairly heavily on cloth diapers as a backup, it is obvious that Holden prefers to go outside of them.