Eco Tip: Skip the Gift Packaging

I spoke with a friend earlier who complained about the fact that she has her second baby shower to attend in a month. First, let’s get this out of the way: Babies are great! Hoorah for babies! But baby showers? Uggh. She described the last one as being particularly painful, as her friend spent two hours opening gifts.

Here’s an idea for anyone planning a baby shower: ditch the wrapping and unwrapping. First of all, all that packaging is wasteful. Even if you argue that a little bit of yellow tissue paper isn’t going to take up too much room in a landfill, how about the fact that watching someone open gifts is boring? Finally, the mom-to-be would be much happier to spend quality time talking to her friends in the last weeks before the arrival of the all-consuming bundle of joy. Why not two hours of karaoke instead?

It’s easy: Ask guests to bring gifts unwrapped and place them on a table or area of a room that’s cleared to display them. You can supply index cards for the guests to write their names and place them on or next to their gifts (on the back of the card, ask for a description of the gift; this will also help the mom-to-be when she’s writing out thank-you notes). This way, guests can be free to check out the gifts and “ooh” and “ah” all they want about that adorable onesie or stuffed piglet. (Photo: my niece Lucy when she was a baby, simply because this post called for a photo of a cute baby.)

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