Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Eco Friendly Gifts

I have done a few posts on green toys. We have a lot of them around our house, our favorite companies are Plan, Sprig, Anamalz, and Green Toys. Some of these toys are made from natural renewable materials and others are made of recycled materials, both of which are wonderful for kids and the environment. Although the first thing we usually think of when we need a gift for someone is to go down to Target and buy something. When trying to be eco-friendly running down to Target to get a present does not usually work. Unfortuantly even thought there are a lot of wonderful eco fiendly toys out there not a lot of them make it into the big chain stores. There are alternatives to buying a toy when a gift is needed some of these alternatives can actually be less expensive and greener then buying any toy. Here I put together a list of the different kids of eco friendly gifts for friends and family.

1. Items made from natural materials
2. Items made from recycled materials
3. Items that the recipient needs and that you know will be used such as: books, clothes, shoes, new cookware, paper- I know it does not sound all that fancy or fun but for some people a usable item is a wonderful gift. When ever we read a book or put on the cool shoes someone bought the kids we think of the person who gave them and how special they are.
4. Items handmade by the giver especially for the recipient. If you have a talent then use it.
5. Special playdates or trips- some ideas could be an afternoon at the park with a special picnic lunch, a morning at the movies with popcorn of course, or a trip to the zoo..something special that both the recipient and the gift giver can enjoy together.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

More felt toys

I wanted a felt dragon for the kids to play with. I looked at felt dragons but nothing was what I wanted plus I did not want to spend $20-$30 on it. I already had a felting needle so I thought I would get some wool and try making one myself. For $1.99 in wool and 5 hours of work I made this little guy. I must say I was quite impressed with my work. He turned out incredibly cute and the kids love him. Exactly what I wanted!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Felted Toys

I only like to give natural gifts that are either meaningful or useful. I think that just buying something because you do not know what else to get is wasteful. I would rather get nothing then something I do not need or want. I guess that is just the environmentalist in me.

A year ago I purchased a needle felted Peter Rabbit for my grandmother. She likes Beatrix Potter and always gave us Beatrix Potter items when we were little. Needle felting is a process of taking natural wool and shaping it with a needle until it is dense and compact. The other day my son said that Grum (my grandmother) needed a Benjamin Bunny to go with her Peter Rabbit. Of course I was more then happy to oblige, teaching him the wonderful feeling of giving is something I strive to do. Kelley at Little Elfs Toy Shop does such wonderful work that I wanted to let others know about her. Check out her shop full of great natural toys. I just love Etsy!

Check out Little Elfs Toy Shop for more items like these.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lunch Box

I spent today looking for an eco-friendly lunch box for the kids. I am thinking with our new schedual it would be best for me to pack them a lunch on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday because we are usually out until lunch time. If I had something to easily pack a lunch for them in it would make my outings much easier. We already have a few things like our Klean Kanteens, some wrap-n-mats, and some other fabric sandwich wraps from Etsy. I love all of these things but I wanted a cohesive set that I can use to make lunches. I really like the Bento Box idea but I was not keen on plastic. From the reviews I read I do not think my kids could use it effectively, not to mention all the pieces I know that they would end up lost.

Today though I found this from Planetbox.

I am loving it and can not wait to get one for each of my kids.Basicaly it is a one piece Bento Box. The magnet are super cute as well (I just love the rainbow one).

I am hoping that they will last the kids a long time maybe even through elemtary school. They have a 5 year warranty on them which when you look at it it is only $12 a year if spread out over 5 years. Plus they are likely to last longer then that. It even has a carrying case that will fit our Kleen Kanteens. I just wish they had more colors to choose from in the carrying case.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Goals For 2010

Goals for 2009
1. Try the everlasting vanilla
2. Work on the garden to produce enough veggies that I do not have to buy them any more.
3. Give eco friendly gifts
4. Make reusable fabric gift wrap
5. Change the cats litter to something better for the environment
6. Buy only what I need and donate everything we do not use.
7. Give my kids eco friendly birthday parties.