Eco-Friendly Gift Guide for Kids –


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The holiday season is one of the most exciting times of the year, but it is easily also the most destructive time when it comes to environmental impact.  Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to enjoy all the fun of the holidays, while also being more sensitive to environment.  

One of the simplest ways to do this to seek out more eco-friendly companies for gift giving.  For adults, check out Rothy’s (shoes and bags for women and kids), Paravel (bags, totes), Rareform (wallets, workout bags), Patagonia (mens and women clothing, jackets) and Sailbags (waterproof wallets, bags) for gorgeous gifts made from recycled materials.  Reebok and Nothing New both make shoes from recycled plastic also.

Some of the most eco-conscious toy brands include Green Toys (made from recycled milk jugs in the USA), Plan Toys (sustainable wood toys), Petit Collage and Mudpuppy (both have recycled paper puzzles and toys).  Etsy is also a great website for finding USA-made wooden toys, which won’t create long-term pollution like typical plastic toys do.  Here are some of my favorites:

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1.  Petit Collage Outer Space Pop-out Play Set ($10):  One of the many different pop-out play sets made from recycled paper:  dinosaurs, animals, castles, etc.
2.  Plan Toys Beehives sorting game ($25):  We have this and love it.  Plan Toys is a very sustainable brand that makes all types of beautiful wooden toys for babies, up to age 5.  
3.  Green Toys Flower Game ($20):  This is a fun game that kids of many ages can enjoy! Green Toys has a huge collection of all types of toys, including simple blocks, doll houses, and even nontoxic dough sets.  While many plastic toys can be toxic, the plastic in Green Toys is pretty safe.
4.  Mudpuppy Pair Puzzle ($13):  This is a great first puzzle for 18 mos+, made from recycled paper.
5.  Mudpuppy Tangram game ($14):  A fun game to use shapes to create larger designs!  Like this, Mudpuppy uses recycled paper to make a lot of games and puzzles, including 500 piece puzzles.
6.  Dinosaur play set:  Etsy is a great site to find wooden toys made by hand in the USA.  This adorable play set is $33 and made by ArksAndAnimals.  You can also message and request upcycled packaging and no plastic packaging if possible.
7.  Green Toys Doctor Kit ($20):  Great for age 18 mos+.
8.  Green Toys Recycling Truck ($30): Made of recycled plastic, this toy has so many ways to play, between sorting, dumping, and driving.
9.  Petit Collage Catventures Game ($25) or What I am ($18):  Petite Collage makes some fun paper-based games for ages 4+, like these two.  
10.  Plan Toys Stacking Rocket ($25):  Stacking toys are always fun for little ones, but this one is also a simple puzzle.  Multi-functional toys allow you to buy less, but still encourage different types of play.

For more eco-friendly living suggestions, follow Going Zero Waste or Zero Waste in Montville on Facebook or Instagram.

Bansari Shah is a member of the Montville Environmental Commission and content creator for the Zero Waste in Montville Facebook page and Instagram page.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer’s alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

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