and actually put this into action...I am not sure. But, I like the idea and have been thinking about since I received the email.
Even if you use cloth diapers (or no diapers), and buy only secondhand baby clothes and toys, your best efforts at environmentally-sustainable parenting may be sabotaged by well-intentioned family and friends. As the shower gifts roll in, followed by birthday and holiday presents, the piles begin to grow, and it becomes apparent that something must be done to curb the consumerism--but what?
Just speak up! Write a letter, briefly outlining your point of view, providing lots of eco-friendly gift alternatives, and send it to potential gift-givers. Here are some guidelines to follow:
Express your gratitude for their generosity, keeping in mind that gifts are being given with the best intentions.
Provide a plethora of alternative gift ideas. Here are some examples:
A coupon for a trip to the museum, fire station, or swimming pool
Music or art lessons
A homemade gift, like a sack of small bean bags
A useful gift, such as a flashlight, stepstool, or kid-sized rake
A poem, a song, or a puppet show.
Don't send the letter right after receiving a gift--this may be perceived as ungrateful.
Send it well before the holiday season or birthday party, to allow for plenty of time for planning.