Baby showers are an almost inevitable part of pregnancy, and for good reason! It is fun to get together with friends and family and celebrate the upcoming birth of your child. Also, let’s get real, babies are expensive. Showers are a nice way help offset some of the costs of bringing home a baby. There are a million ways to do a baby shower, but I knew we’d have to get creative with mine for two big reasons. First, Cody and I try not to accumulate too much stuff. We’ve accepted a lot of hand-me-downs and already have a decent store of baby stuff, but we also didn’t want to go overboard and just have a ton of (for lack of a better word) junk sitting around. Second, I live over 3,000 miles away from all of my family and most of my friends. This led us to to decide to do a virtual baby shower.
You might be wondering what in the world a virtual baby shower actually is? Well, I’m sure it can be many things to different people. For us, it involved making a private Facebook group and then inviting friends and family to attend a week long “party.” Every day my sister would post different fun games and chat threads, which people would then participate in. Then, on the last day of the shower I went Live on Facebook to announce the winners of the games and thank everyone for participating. All of our gifts for the winners were practical too – things like gift cards, or cruelty-free home products (everything is consumable). It ended up being a lot of fun and extremely low maintenance.
A few main things made hosting a baby shower this way very low waste. First, because of crazy shipping restrictions in Alaska, we asked for gift cards only. This limited the waste of wrapping paper and cards. It also allowed us to decide what we actually needed to purchase. Cody’s sister recently had a little girl and she’s been sending us tons of cute stuff when her daughter outgrows it, so we are 100% set on clothing. But, there were a lot of things that we just couldn’t buy ahead of time with being out in Pilot Point (the cost of shipping anything out there and then shipping it back out to Anchorage with us would have been insane) and having the gift cards allowed us to buy things like a crib, a diaper bag, a carseat, and a few other things we’d been waiting to purchase.
Another big way that the virtual shower was more low waste and low maintenance was that we weren’t dealing with food waste. Cody got me a small cake for the two of us to eat, but other than that we weren’t supplying any food items that would end up getting thrown out or left unused. I really appreciated this aspect of it because I am a big fan of eliminating food waste in any way possible.
I’m sure there are many aspects of having a traditional baby shower that I would have loved and, if we went that direction, I absolutely could have made a traditional shower more low waste in a ton of different ways. I felt like the simplicity of the virtual shower was more my style though and I appreciated it so very much. It was a blast to connect with my family and friends in such a unique way and I loved incorporating a more minimalist approach to the shower.