March 3, 2010 (10:22 am)

Eco-Friendly Gifts for Kids

topics: Green Home
by Kristen Suzanne

Ahhh… the thought of children squealing with delight while they open gifts (well, fun and cool gifts that is – no underwear or socks – lol)… well, it brings me such a smile as I witness their excitement. It doesn’t get much better than happy children, eh?

When I buy gifts I buy them with real intent. My goal is to make the child happy, of course, but it’s also imperative to make the earth happy with my selection. To do this: I pick out environmentally friendly presents not only because it’s better for the environment, but also because it’s healthier for the kids! Most conventional toys these days are hard on our environment because of the amount of petroleum used in their production, the toxic ingredients included (BPA, phthalates, etc that can be harmful for health reasons), and the way they’re filling up our landfills is ridiculous. Plus, over the years, it’s been scary to read about the various recalls for toys coming out of China due to lead content.

Fortunately, there are sooooo many green toy options these days and they’re getting increasingly easier to find (even walmart.com, target.com, and toysrus.com have growing selections). From BPA/phthalate-free plastic toys, to beautifully crafted wood toys, to organic cotton and bamboo toys, the choices are plenty. Basically, when you buy eco-friendly toys, you’re supporting toys made from materials that are bio-degradable, natural, recyclable, or recycled. This is literally voting with your dollars… you’re not only supporting eco-friendly manufacturing, you’re also voting against environmentally harmful products. As more and more people do this over time, more manufacturers will respond to the demand by shifting toward making their products more sustainably. And when you talk to your children about it, it’s a great opportunity to teach them about why we need to help the environmental. It’s never too early to start teaching this important lesson.

And of course, there is the idea of moderation. Reducing the overall number of things (including toys) that you buy has much more impact than merely buying green toys. If your child will get wide-eyed and squeal with delight over a new toy, then one toy is better than two or three.

Over the holidays, I gave family members the toys pictured above, and let me say… they were a HUGE hit! I was extremely impressed with not only the toys themselves, but also the packaging. Check them out!

The Sand Play set is available here. And, the frisbee is available here. Some of the cool particulars about these two products:

  • They are made from curbside collected milk containers
  • Safe and no phthalates or BPA
  • Recycled plastic saves energy and reduces greenhouses gasses

Now that I’m pregnant and getting ready to have my own children, I’m super excited to have a house that only has toys like these. I want to feel at peace if my child chews on a toy!  :)

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  • Malynda

    These are really neat K!! Thanks for sharing!!

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Aren't they fun?!

  • http://makinglifeahappytime.wordpress.com/ Brandie

    I love the GreenToys cars and trucks too! I want them for my lil man ;)

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Kristen Suzanne is a Raw food chef and author who blogs about all things green and mommy-related! More...

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