Posts Tagged ‘green’
Step 1 – The Invitations – portraying the green message
The invitations are the first step to the shower. These will show your intentions to throw a Green baby shower. Here are some ideas.
1. Our first and favorite option is the Evite. Sending an e-invitation preserves the paper waste.
2. Print your invitations on recycled card-stock. You can find a variety of natural fibers such as banana, mango, palm, bamboo, cotton, recycled content or (our favorite) elephant dung. No, it doesn’t smell and its supports a great cause.
3. Make sure the invitations have the colors and text that reflect your theme. For example: Using earth tones colors “We are hosting a Green Baby Shower for Stacy to help preserve the planet for her little one.”
Step 2 – The Gifts –Wrapping the green way
The gifts are the second step to throwing a baby shower. Usually, this is where the largest amount of waste occurs; gift-wrapping and packaging. Here are some ideas to reduce waste.
1. First, and the greenest option, recommend your baby shower guests skip the traditional gift-wrapping methods all together.
2. Offer earth-friendly suggestions like old newspaper, magazines or brown grocery bags. They could also recycle gift bags they already have.
3. Use old shredded paper from junk mail that you receive as fillers for the gifts.
4. Depending on the size of the shower, you could send earth friendly gift-wrap to the guests with the invite.
6. For guests that purchase a lot of smaller items, using a laundry basket and wrapping the items in old newspaper, old magazines or something creative you already have around the home.
7. It is common practice these days to say where the mommy is registered in the invite. Have your registry selection reflect your desires. Register with a company that offers green practices, recycles all there shipping boxes and tries to operate on a paperless operation. Create a green baby registry.
8. Make sure your thank you notes are written on recycled content note cards. Better yet, use an e-card service and some have video options available where you can show your guests a video of mama and the baby.
9. Remember to always politely suggest, but never insist to your guests.
Step 3 – The Shower –Keeping it Green
So the last and final stage is the actual shower. Here is where you have more decision making power over keeping down the amount of waste and carbons that are created by the baby shower. Here are some steps that may help.
1. Consider purchasing carbon offsets or having a couple trees planted to offset the driving and carbons that are created during the shower. Carbonfund.org, urbanforest.org, and treepeople.org are a couple recommendations.
2. Shop at local farmers markets or farms for certified organic foods. At freshandgreen.com on the lower left page, you can find local produce. If you have the meal catered, seek out one who serves organic foods.
3. Please, please, please try to stay away from paper plates and napkins. Make the day special by using some of your own fine dishes. If disposables are completely necessary purchase biodegradable, compostable corn based products.
4. Decorate with potted plants and trees. Glass bowls with fresh apples, lemons or limes always add some beautiful color to any event.
5. Try to stay away from offering bottled water. Have many water pitchers available for your guests.
6. Offer recycling bins at the shower for any items that may need to be recycled.
7. Offer a compost area for the food waste at the end of the shower.
8. Consider getting organic seeds or bulbs party favors for the guests.
9. Depending upon the conditions outside open the windows and allow the fresh air to come in.
10. Leave little environmental tip notes around the shower letting people know why you are doing the green shower. For example tip:“1 ton of 50% postconsumer content copier paper saves 12 trees,” or “cotton production accounts for 10% of the worlds pesticide and 25% of the worlds insecticide use.”
11. Throw some eco-friendly games, for example:
a. Onesie painting: provide an organic white onesie or t-shirt and non-toxic paints or natural dyes and let the guests have fun decorating the shirts for the baby.
b. Plant a seed or tree: if the expectant parents have a garden, have the guests plant a tree or seed in the babies honor. Of course you will need to provide the gardening supplies, but everyone can work together and leave a positive impact on the planet. Just make sure it is an indigenous plant for the area.
c. Guess the baby game: Instruct guests to bring a baby photo of them to the shower. Place them all on a bulletin board or have magnets to place them on the fridge. Have the guests try and match each baby photo to the guest it belongs too. In the end, your guests can share a story of their childhood.
d. Letter to baby: Set up a keepsake box and have guests write a letter to the baby. Or if you want to have people get more creative, have them create their own cards for the baby and provide construction paper and art supplies.
e. Decorate my bottle: Guests can use their creativity for Decorate-My-Bottle activity. Purchase a BPA-Free, clear baby bottle and with the use of permanent markers they can use their imagination and create one of a kind baby bottles.
Step 4 – RELAX and have a good time
Last and most importantly, relax and have a great time. You have done all that you can to make your shower as green as possible. Enjoy your friends and family knowing the few things you did made a difference, plus you may have inspired others to do more.
Well . . . here is something that we have people asking us about all the time, so we thought we would add it to our blog……
What toxins should I worry about in my house? Today we will start with STEP 1…. Your bedroom. Since this is a place that you spend many hours a day, it is important to create a healthy environment. One of our favorite books and one that we will most likely quote often, is Homes That Heal, by Athena Thompson. Since reading this book, we have enrolled in a course called Bau-biologie. It is the study of how buildings affect our health and it has become extremely important to us. Eventually we will become certified but until then, we will provide information along the way that we are reading/learning about.
So! Back to your bedroom….if we all stopped and thought about the fact that every single item that we bring into the bedroom affects how we sleep, we would be overwhelmed. But it is absolutely true! Here are the shocking facts first:
1. Your mattress has more synthetic chemicals than a barrel of crude oil!
2. Most memory foam pillows have petroleum based chemicals.
3. Cotton production accounts for 10% of world pesticide use, and nearly 25% of world insecticide use.
4. Synthetic/cotton blends are usually treated with formaldehyde. (Oh and Fyi…. you can never wash out formaldehyde. More on that below)
5. Gases from formaldehyde can cause dizziness, nausea, fatigue and other symptoms (and we have our head on this!).
6. The average pillow increases 2 pounds in weight from the build-up of micro-toxins that occur naturally in every home. This means dust mites and their waste, mold spores, pollen and even pet dander….yuck!
Now, as much as we try to not shove the “green” way of life in people’s faces, this is where we have to just say, “People, this is what we are sleeping on every single night!”. And we wonder why the U.S. has the highest cancer and illness rate in the nation. Here are our top 5 tips of how to start the “slow” process in creating a healthier environment for you and your family….
1. If you can start with just one thing, start with new pillows. The healthiest choices for you are organic cotton fill, pure grow wool fill, or a mixture of both. Also make sure that you use organic cotton covers. Another thing to think about is all of those nasty hair & face products that we deposit onto our pillows every single night. Make sure to wash your pillowcases every week at least. Pure grow wool is also dust mite free….;) To view click here: http://www.freshandgreen.com/catalogsearch/result/?order=relevance&dir=desc&q=pure+grow+pillow
2. Now, this tip is great because it is free! One of the best things that you can do for a “restful” sleep is to remove all of the electrical devices from your nightstand. Just this one simple step made my husband sleep better after one night. He had, like many do, a cell phone, an alarm clock and a lamp all next to his side of the bed. These products produce what is called, EMR (electro magnetic radiation). If you can position the head of your bed away from the majority of plugged in devices and an exterior wall that may have the electric panel, AC unit, hot water heater, etc., then you will decrease the EMR activity and improve your chances for a restful sleep.
3. Try and buy a mattress made from natural materials, such as certified organic cotton, natural latex, or pure grow wool ( this is wool that has been sheared from clean sheep who were undipped, untreated, free-range animals, or a combination of both). You don’t want a mattress with metal springs because this also conducts electricity and can interfere with EMR. Vacuum your mattress regularly to reduce dust mites. Also, try to either go without a bedskirt, or at least wash it regularly. This can also create yet another home for dust mites. Now, obviously mattresses are an expensive purchase so if this is not an option, then at least try to purchase an organic mattress cover that again is either certified organic cotton, or pure grow wool (dust mite-free).
4. Another free tip……. Open those windows! Fresh air is one of the most important things that you can do to clear out everyday pollutants that we generate in our homes that have no way to escape. When carbon dioxide levels rise, this is what can cause drowsiness, headaches and poor concentration. So, if you ever find yourself not being able to wake up in the morning, try this out and see if it helps a bit!
5. Here’s a big one. Most kids bedroom furniture are made from pressed wood products. Particleboard is one of the “worst” and let me say that again, “worst” products for offgassing large amounts of formaldehyde. Here is the definition of formaldehyde or HCHO: A colorless gas at room temperature with an extremely pungent suffocating aroma. It is a highly reactive gas, classified as a Volatile Organic Compound (VOC). The term volatile means that the compounds vaporize, i.e. become a gas at room temperature. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) states that acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) inhalation exposure to formaldehyde in humans can result in respiratory symptoms, and eye, nose, and throat irritation. Limited human studies have reported an association between formaldehyde exposure and lung and nasopharyngeal cancer. Animal inhalation studies have reported an increased incidence of nasal squamous cell cancer. EPA considers formaldehyde a probable human carcinogen. So, if you are buying furniture for a child’s room, make sure to stay away from particleboard and if you already have some you might want to think about replacing it with a natural wood product if at all possible. To read more about formaldehyde from the EPA go to this link: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/hlthef/formalde.html
Here are our tips……. Sweet Dreams!