This holiday season set a sustainable example for the little ones in our lives with gifts that consider our impact on the planet. Choose from the growing number of sustainably made, durable, easily recyclable, and entertaining gift ideas that can delight children and demonstrate your family’s commitment to our environment.
It’s the most consumption-oriented time of the year. In addition to choosing fun, sustainable gifts set an Earth-conscious example by using waste-free and low-waste gift wrapping ideas, shopping locally and planning meals to avoid piles of leftover food after family dinners, and help the kiddos understand how and where to recycle cards and gift wrap. You’ll help your descendants set lifelong habits with the efforts you make today.
Join us in making this holiday season green, merry, and bright for our kids and planet. We searched for ideas from companies that offer recycling programs for their products, use sustainable materials, or deliver environmental fun.
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Bricklettes, the building block set for sustainable fun, gets kids thinking and building.
These oversized cardboard bricks have a non-slip texture and are easy to handle for the littlest future architect, but can stand up to 150 lbs. of weight. They’re also quiet and light, so when it comes time to knock down today’s castle, Mom’s nap won’t be disturbed by noise or bruises in need of care. Bricklettes are made with food-safe cardboard and water-based inks.
Honeysticks beeswax crayons for many hours of fun.
Made from beeswax and food-grade pigments, Honeysticks’ oversized crayons are a sweet-smelling way for kids to start their relationship with arts and crafts. The jumbo-size crayons are easy to hold and designed to help kids develop their pencil grip. They are made with naturally sourced wax from honey production and sustainably sourced U.S. soywax. And Honeysticks packaging is made with recycled and recyclable materials.
Wild Planet Ecokins are fun, huggable stuffies for a lifetime of ecological awareness.
Wild Planet offers a menagerie of EcoKins sustainable plush toys, including elephants, alligators, bears, sharks, penguins, and more. You’ll be doing the planet a favor by choosing these stuffed animals made entirely from recycled materials. About 16 PET bottles are recycled to make the large animals’ fabric and stuffing, while the hang tags are produced from post-consumer paper and attached with a cotton, not plastic, string.
Home and School Gear
The NKTDWO 300-piece Elephant Wooden Puzzle is a beautiful challenge for a rainy afternoon.
Here’s something kids and their parents can enjoy once, ten times, or become an enduring work of art. The laser-cut pieces are easy to assemble and stay connected, and they can become a permanent artistic addition to your walls with a touch of glue. Although it is designed to develop kids’ problem-solving skills, the puzzle is also a visual challenge for adults. And, years from now, when your kids have their own family, this product will still be in good condition, ready to be passed down, along with stories about the first time they built the puzzle with their parents.Customize the lunchtime experience with Lunchbots Build-a-Bento.
It may be time for a practical holiday gift. If you want to give a gift that reminds your kids of the holidays every day, the Lunchbots Build-a-Bento lunch box is a colorful and durable choice. Your kids can customize the interior, allowing them to choose the number of spaces they want. Made of BPA-free food-grade silicone, this bento is dishwasher and microwave-safe, ready for the toughest lunchroom use. When it’s time to retire this bento box, you may not have a local silicone recycling option, but the company also offers stainless steel options.
Dress for a stroll with the Forest Walk Crew.
If you’re sending juniors off to school, consider sending them with a Forest Walk Crew of their own. Tentree’s organic cotton, TENCEL™ Lyocell, and recycled polyester ribbed collar sweatshirt features three animal companions to accompany your child during the day. We’ve always loved our tentree Sasquatch Hoodies, and the embroidered bear, fox, and rabbit on this super-soft sweatshirt will bring smiles to everyone who meets this crew.
Tentree also provides end-of-use recycling services with store credit, so this shirt will not end its life in a landfill.
Kids always need to have a book close at hand. It keeps them thinking and busy and helps build their ability to focus. Here are a few of our favorite books recognized for their environmental messages.
Help your kids become an Eyewitness Climate Change.
Give your kiddos a solid foundation for understanding the complicated issue of climate change. As Earth911 contributor Sarah Lozanova wrote, “This book presents a solid overview of the climate, both past and present, and the impacts of climate change. The book concludes with positive actions on how to cut carbon emissions through green transportation, energy efficiency, nuclear power, and renewable energy.”
Encouraging a multi-generational dialogue is important to making changes as a family. This children’s adaptation of an adult book by the same name provides a bridge for talking with younger readers about the history of climate change, how it will unfold over the next century, and what can be done to prevent a cataclysmic future. We Are the Weather Makers: The History of Climate Change, by Tim Flannery and adapted by Sally M. Walker, can be the basis for a long holiday dinner conversation or year-round projects to lower your family’s impact.Get activated with To Change a Planet.
Selected as the 2023 Green Earth Book Awards-winning picture book, this beautiful, color-saturated story by Christina Soontornvat and illustrated by Rahele Jomeour Bellfollows follows diverse characters through their daily lives until their stories converge at a climate march in Washington, D.C. The well-researched environmental messages are presented in calm, simple language that even the youngest children can understand.