Our Zero Waste Baby Shower
With just five weeks until we welcome our little one, we held a co-ed baby shower to celebrate and spend time with our dearest friends and family. Being in my third trimester, it was somewhat tiring to put the shower together, but I knew I wanted to plan it myself to make sure it was as low waste as possible. We did create some landfill waste, but it was very minimal (less than half a grocery bag’s worth of trash) and overall I’m very happy with how everything turned out. Most of all, it truly warmed my heart to feel surrounded by so much love, warmth, and positivity.
After a quick google search, I learned that baby shower budgets can greatly vary from as little as $50 to as much as $5000+! Obviously, much of it depends on the amount of guests, venue, and the food you’re serving. I wanted to be upfront about the costs to show how a low waste event doesn’t have to be super expensive. My goal budget was $600 for 40 guests, but we ended up spending about $635. Below is a breakdown of our budget and how we reduced waste.
Invitations - $0
We used Paperless Post to send email invitations. This made it very convenient to add a registry link and check in on RSVPs on my phone. They have a ton of different beautiful designs in a variety of price points, but we opted for a free design.
Venue - $0
My mom hosted the shower at her home with seating in the yard and food served buffet style inside.
Tables and Seating - $200
We rented tables, chairs, and tablecloths from Big Blue Sky. I primarily went with them because they had great reviews as well as being able to see prices and order everything online. It was super easy, they delivered and picked up in the time frame I requested, and everything was in great condition.
Tableware - $100
Instead of disposables or compostables, we rented real dinnerware from Sustain LA. Leslie was wonderful to work with and I really appreciated her flexibility when the guest count kept growing! I know that using real plates and utensils can add up, but I felt their prices were very reasonable and made our backyard party feel more elevated and special.
We rented 16 oz jars for to use for cups, entree and dessert plates, forks, and cloth napkins.
Food and Drink - $250
My mom, Gary, and I made the food ourselves. To keep things simple and casual, we provided finger foods such as a charcuterie/cheese/veggie board, mini crustless quiches, and two types of sandwiches, ham and brie, and a vegan option with roasted zucchini, arugula, and pesto. Olives and charcuterie were purchased from a local Italian market, Roma Market. I brought my own containers and they were more than happy to fill them. Fruit and vegetables were purchased from the farmers market using my own cloth produce bags. Sourdough baguettes (for the sandwiches) were from Seed Bakery and placed in a large paper bag (I ordered them in advance). My mom made two types of hummus from chickpeas purchased in bulk. The only packaged foods we served were the cheeses and crackers from Trader Joe’s . This is where all of our landfill waste came from!
For drinks, we set up a table with some homemade iced tea and sparking lemonade, a few bottles of Italian sodas, and water.
Cake - $0, cost of ingredients included above
Our cake cutting also doubled as a gender revealing as we kept it secret from everyone until now! I made a two tiered, 6” + 8” vanilla cake with raspberry lemon curd filling. There was not a single slice left and I feel like I should have made a bigger cake.
Decorations - $0/none
Well, we didn’t really have any! I clipped some eucalyptus leaves from nearby trees (only trimming off shoots from the bottom of the tree) and placed them on the tables as a garland.
Outfit - $5
I was very tempted to buy a dress for the occasion but honestly couldn’t find anything that felt right. In the end I wore my much loved Heinui jumpsuit from Myrtle along with my Maryam Nassir Zadeh sandals that I originally wore for our elopement. To make things a little more special I made a simple flower crown with foraged eucalyptus leaves, dried flowers from my friend’s wedding, and flowers that I bought from the farmers market for decorating the cake. Best of all, I finally found a use for those pesky produce wire ties! I stripped the paper off a few and used the wire bind everything together, then tied it together with a ribbon my friend used for her gift to us.
Party Favors - $80
In addition to what I already had in my pantry, I bought a variety of herbs in bulk from Wild Terra and put together a DIY tea blend station. Danielle was so helpful in offering suggestions that would be affordable as well as enjoyable to drink and blend with other herbs and spices. Not only that, but she encourages customers to bring their own containers and offers 10% off if you do!
I set up little bowls of each with a spoon and let people have at it! We purchased small 2 oz tins on Amazon and placed little labels on top, inspired by this DIY from Something Turquoise. This is a spot we could have saved some money on as I ended up buying way too much tea, but at least we can enjoy it for the months to come, or use them to make holiday gifts.
Games and Activities - $0
I’m not one for baby shower games, so we only had a couple activities planned that didn’t require everyone’s participation at once. I printed out “Wishes For Baby” cards from Botanical Paperworks for guests to fill out as well as the aforementioned tea station that doubled as favors. The wishes cards were placed in the same glass container I used for envelopes at our wedding, and they were such a joy to read after our shower was over.
I hope there were some useful tips to take away for planning any low waste party! This was definitely a lot less stressful than our zero waste wedding. The only thing I would have changed is hiring a photographer or designating a friend or family member to take photos! If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment below!