Sustainable gifting this holiday season!
While we deck the halls and prepare for the holiday season of gratitude and giving, let's think about gifting more sustainably. This time of the year, with the focus on shopping, can be made a little kinder to the planet. We know you value decluttering and buying products made with sustainable materials instead of single-use plastic, products that are free of toxic chemicals, are durable and preferably multi-use, making them relevant for longer.
So, we broke down a greener, thoughtful and more conscious approach to choosing gifts into a few simple ideas. Let’s start gifting smarter in a way that’s great for kids and better for the planet!
Go back to wooden toys
Move over cheap plastic because wooden toys are making a comeback! When sourced sustainably from renewable forests, wood is a material that’s also inherently safe for little kids that put toys straight in their mouth. Our super popular VertiPlay range of wooden wall toys is one great example but the variety of wooden toys these days is incredible. You can find plenty of other wooden toy options at your favorite retailers.
Buy gifts that last longer than a week
No one wants to end up with fancy toy cars in their garage, because their child outgrew it and lost interest in it way too quickly. Toys that are sturdy and grow with the child stay out of the trash and don’t need endless replacements. Our PortaPlay range goes from activity centre to play table, and in the case of Monsterland Adventures, comes with stage-based toys that keep your child engaged for up to a year. The Marble Run can also be extended and made more challenging as the child grows, which basically means it’s many games all rolled into one! For older children, gifts like board games and jigsaw puzzles can be played many times for many years.
Toys that honk and squeak and run and jump inevitably come with batteries which contain toxic chemicals that make disposal environmentally unsafe. Either make sure you’re looking for toys with rechargeable batteries or better yet, do away with them all together. Mechanical toys make more thoughtful gifts, craft kits keep children busy for hours and toys that encourage pretend play like our House of Fun are all great alternatives.
Think about the packaging
In the US, 80 million tons of packaging waste ended up in landfills in one year alone. What’s inside may be environment-friendly, but the plastic and paper that’s thrown away certainly isn’t. When we launched our green packaging for Cocoon and PortaPlay, we did away with lamination entirely and made sure our cardboard boxes were sturdy enough that they can be reused in different ways. Even while you’re wrapping gifts, consider swapping mass-produced wrapping paper for natural fabrics and recycled paper.
Gift experiences instead of things
Gifting an experience often creates memories that last longer than ones created by physical gifts. Think about surprising the little one with a camping trip, classes for a sport he or she hasn’t played before or an activity like pottery, tickets to a museum or planetarium, or even something simple like a surprise dinner at a favourite restaurant. This reduces the focus on buying new things and creates anticipation for what fun experience is coming this year!
Make hand-me-downs a tradition
The sentiment of passing down the toys from your childhood to your kids is unmatched. This year, dust them off and see what happens when you tell your kids the story about the toy you grew up with. Making this a tradition is a great way to sustainably and creatively add to the toy basket and make new memories for new generations.
Try handmade gifting
From DIY crafts like this cardboard castle to the personalised gift of baking holiday cookies or building a bookshelf, making something yourself is definitely better for the planet and is often more exciting for a child too. Handmade gifts can be inexpensive, the materials are up to you, and they can be customised to the child’s likes and interests.
While it may not seem like much right now, putting in this extra effort while choosing gifts goes a long way in also teaching children the benefits of living a more sustainable life.
How do you go about sustainable gifting? If there’s something special your family does, we’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below!