1. The New 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth
This updated version for kids of the classic 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth is a handy reference for any child looking for small steps they can take to live a greener life. The layout is user friendly and appealing, and it is a great resource for the classroom and home. Not only does this book include tips, such as “plant a tree” but it includes “eco-experiments”, such as making your own recycled paper. As you would expect, this book is printed on “certified chain of custody” recycled paper with soy inks.
Would I buy this product? Probably not. My experience with these sort of books is they sit on shelves, good ideas or not, without much use. Besides, most of the information can be found on the 50 Simple Kids website for free.
2. Safe Sippy 2
The Safe Sippy 2 is a BPA-free stainless steel cup designed from children older than six months. It’s a versatile cup offering both a sippy cup and straw insert, and it costs about $13. It also comes with a plastic cover, so the part your child’s mouth touches can be kept clean when transported in a bag. Z Recommends reports in their 2009 BPA-Free Sippy Cup Showdown:
The Safe Sippy leaks very little – none at all when left on its side, and not much when shaken hard upside down – and the seal on the screw lid is very good. Flow is moderate, and encourages mouth formations that better support speech development than traditional sippys. The angle of the straw, however, requires the cup to be held with the straw angled away from the user, which is counter-intuitive, or be tipped waaaaay up. We like the insulation provided by the silicone sheath, but it is exceedingly difficult to put on the bottle, and this cup also requires a bottle brush to clean well…
Would I buy this product? Probably not. I’ve never been a fan of straw sippy cups, as I fear germs hide where I can’t really clean. My kids used the Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Sippy, and they are still around today as little water bottles once my children moved on from the sippy lids. I don’t think the Safe Sippy has that same versatility to grow with a child beyond the preschool years.
3. pao pao (baby) unbleached cotton nursing cover
The pao pao (baby) nursing cover is made from natural unbleached cotton. It has a d-ring and nurse strap to help keep it in place and to keep the cover from smothering the babe, and it has cute little pockets decorated with eco-fi felt made from recycled plastic bottles. There’s even a terry cloth washcloth on the inside corner for little dribbles that need wiping. It is handmade in California, and at $30 is a bargain.
Would I buy this product? No. In our society, there should be no need for nursing covers. We should be able to nurse openly without worrying about showing a tit. I never used a nursing cover or blanket, and I felt I could still nurse discreetly by just pulling up my shirt. If you feel the need to cover when nursing, you definitely should chose a handmade eco-friendly product like pao pao (baby).
4. Fair Trade, Organic Joobles Pip the Dog
Fair Indigo is a great company featuring Fair Trade products. The Joobles line is designed for children, and Pip the Dog is a cute, cuddly, handknit toy that is made from organic cotton and eco-friendly dyes by a Peruvian cooperative.
What makes it fair?
Started by a Peruvian family; mom, dad, and daughter; this company provides work and hope to hundreds of rural and urban Peruvians all over the country. Small groups of impoverished workers are trained to run their own small businesses making hand-knit clothing and accessories. In addition to providing much needed employment, they train workers throughout Peru in such valuable skills as quality control and production planning. The Fair Indigo Foundation also works with this company’s charitable arm by donating free breakfasts and school supplies to children of the workers.
Would I buy this product? Yes. I would so much rather support Fair Trade cooperatives than Chinese factory workers when purchasing toys. At 11 inches long and only $25, Pip the Dog is a bargain, and that helps provide educational programs and supplies to Peruvian children.
5. Oceana Adopt a Creature
Adopting an ocean animal as a gift is a great way to teach children about marine life. By making a minimum donation of $35 to Oceana, you’ll receive a cookie cutter and oven mitt or stuffed animal. From hammerheads to sharks, Oceana’s got you covered.
Oceana is an incredible organization:
Oceana, founded in 2001, is the largest international organization focused solely on ocean conservation. Our offices in North America, South America and Europe work together on a limited number of strategic, directed campaigns to achieve measurable outcomes that will help return our oceans to former levels of abundance. We believe in the importance of science in identifying problems and solutions. Our scientists work closely with our teams of economists, lawyers and advocates to achieve tangible results for the oceans.
Would I buy this product? Yes. I believe strongly in giving gifts that have far reaching positive outcomes both environmentally and socially.
Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.
David Kolin says
These are some great ideas for green gifts! There is a new ec0-friendly company called Poison Bottle Company (www.poisonbottleco.com) that makes bpa free, affordable and stylish stainless steel water bottles. They will be releasing smaller bottles and bottles with safe sippy cup tops in the next month. Definitely a “must see” because these are much more affordable than other bottles. Don’t be scared by the name – just a comical take on bottle safety issues of the past.
I breast fed my daughter for the first two years of her life, both in public and private. Because of the way she preferred to nurse, and the frequency of latching on and off, I was never comfortable nursing in public without a nursing cover (unless I was in a designated nursing area). This had nothing to do with other people’s comfort level, but my own. I applaud your efforts to increase the public’s comfort level with nursing, but appreciate more the helpful information regarding an organic nursing cover. Unless my next child loses the wiggle worm gene, I intend to continue using a nursing cover, and believe ALL women should be supported in their breastfeeding efforts (covered or not).
Jennifer Lance says
Katie, I wholeheartedly agree that all women should be supported breastfeeding, and I am sorry if I came across otherwise. I just think women should not be expected to cover up.
We bought a Klean Kanteen sippy cup for DS when he was still under 12mo, and I agree that it’s great for its versatility. You can order a sports cap (which I did) to replace the sippy cap when your child grows beyond “sippy.”
ITA that one should buy fair trade items whenever possible. I feel good knowing that my few extra dollars are being used to help someone in an otherwise impoverished situation to make a better living.
I believe strongly in giving gifts that have far reaching positive outcomes both environmentally and socially.