No matter who I’m buying for at Christmas, whether it’s our local charity Christmas Gift Appeal or for the children in my family, I always like to find sustainable versions of the gifts I’m hoping to buy. I’ve done some research throughout the year and here are some of the best eco-friendly present ideas I’ve found…
Starting with gifts for the littlest ones, you’ll want something sturdy yet still sustainable. I’ve mentioned bioplastic a few times on my blog before, especially the reusable travel cups that I’ve bought over the years. But it is now possible to get toys made from child-safe Bioplastic from Dantoy. The Bioplastic is made from renewable plant-based materials such as sugarcane, making it 100% recyclable if the toy is ever discarded in the future. Plus, kits like this tea set encourage children to engage in imaginative role play.
It may seem obvious but cardboard is often a great choice for construction toys, especially if your youngster is likely to out-grow it, as it can always be recycled in the future. I’ve seen many kits that are made from cardboard like radios, bowling alley and flick golf courses, and ones like this Build-Your-Own Pinball Machine not only provides a fun building process but actually results in a playable game at the end. The kit contains 11 sheets of printed cardboard with pop-out parts, assembly fixings and even a marble to play pinball with.
Select sustainable stuffed toys
I think my new favourite sustainable discovery this year is Living Nature plush toys. I’ve actually got a couple of Living Nature toys for my nieces so I simply had to include the brand in my sustainable gift guide. Their toys with the Naturli leaf tag are filled with recycled plastic – it’s post-consumer PET plastic from drinks bottles and food containers that has been turned into a child-safe stuffing. The ethically produced packaging is fully recyclable too – each super-soft, life-like toy comes in a cute cardboard animal carrier that makes it really feel like you’re becoming the owner of a new pet.
Check the packaging
Often board games come with masses of formed plastic packaging inside the box. This is usually to hold the question cards in place but it really has little other purpose than making the game look bigger in the box! That’s why it was so refreshing when I discovered the fun and frantic drawing game of Six Second Scribbles.
I thought it would be a classic big-box game but, when it arrived, it turned out to be a compact cardboard box with no plastic inner at all. Even the game cards are wrapped with a paper ribbon rather than a plastic sheath, so all packaging inside the game is fully recyclable. Plus, it’s so much easier to store a compact game than a huge box that’s full of plastic and air! This would be a great gift for kids, teens and adults alike.
Opt for paper
How often can you get a fully recyclable gift? Paper building kits are just that! The outer packaging is card, which can be recycled, and the construction kit inside is made from paper. Kids will enjoy getting creating and putting together the kits, while you can enjoy a bit of quiet time while they craft! With designs sign as tigers, unicorns, dinosaurs, parrots and mega-robots, there’s a paper crafting kit to suit every interest. Youngsters will need a certain amount of dexterity to carefully build their creations so these kits are ideal for children aged 7, right through to crafty adults.
Research recycled plastic
It is now possible to buy toys with recycled plastic components, which means that less new plastic is being produced and existing plastic waste is being saved from landfill. Geomag is a brand that is particularly good at using recycled plastic in their magnetic building kits. The Supercolour Panels construction kits that are aimed at the youngest age group of 5+ years are crafted with 100% recycled plastic. Even the more advanced Mechanics Gravity run (that’s full of educational STEM elements) contains 74% recycled plastics, despite the intricate forms and designs involved.
What else do you look out for when shopping for Christmas gifts for children? Let me know if you come across any eco-friendly toys or have any more ideas for keeping your festive shopping sustainable – please pop the details in the comments below 🙂
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Some items in this blog post have been gifted to me and the pink links indicate a gifted product, affiliate link or information source. All thoughts and opinions in this post are based on my own experience and I am not responsible for your experience 🙂