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Eco-Friendly Kids Building Blocks

In my opinion Christmas gift giving has become insane! For the most part people overspend money they don’t have to buy things that people don’t really need. Don’t get me wrong, I think giving a gift or two is fun and exciting, especially if you’ve made it yourself. But it has just gone too far commercially and there is too much pressure to spend, spend, spend. Even if you aren’t crafty enough to make your own gifts, you don’t need to spend a bunch of money to give a wonderful gift.

First we need to rethink our gift giving and look for gifts that:
• Are non-material objects
• Use natural resources in a sustainable fashion
• Have an extended shelf life

Here are some common gifts from some common gift categories that I consider to be eco-friendly:

Clothing

Basically anything made from organic cotton, bamboo, hemp or recycled fleece would do. T-shirts, PJs, sweaters, long-johns, hats all come in these eco-friendly materials, you just have to source them.

Candles

Recycle all your old wax and make some cool custom candles for your friends and family for gifts. Or if you don’t have any spare wax lying around to recycle then you can purchase some beeswax candles with all cotton wicks or rustic pebble candles. Just be sure to avoid conventional fossil fuel based candles.

Kids toys

Avoid the plastics, which I know really narrows down your choices, but there are still the staples, the toys we grew up on as kids before all the G.I. Joe’s and a million different Barbie dolls. I’m talking about hardwood blocks and building sets. If you are handy enough you can make these yourself from scrap wood around the house, otherwise you can get FSC-certified blocks. Or art supply sets, books, a membership to the museum or local aquarium. Basically anything that doesn’t require batteries to run it.

Sweets and Wine

This one is an easy one, to make the switch to a more eco-friendly stocking just be sure to buy organic or fair-trade when it comes to your treats like chocolate or coffee beans. You can source out organic vineyards for your wine choices as well. If you have the time be sure to do a little deeper analysis of the companies you are choosing to buy from; just because it says “organic” on the package doesn’t always mean they are using all the best green practices rather just trying to jump on the organic band wagon.

eco friendly wine stem markers

I was at a party this weekend and I really could have used one of these wine stem markers. Incredibly simple and innovative, these food-safe translucent silicone stem markers help keep track of your glass while you imbibe. Each pack of six comes in retro or solid colors. Forgot your color? No worries. Use a ballpoint pen to scribble your name, initials or the type of wine you’re drinking. Wipe with a damp cloth and reuse. The storage box fits cleverly on the neck of a wine bottle making it a perfect gift to be remembered even after the wine is gone.

Modern-twist products share a common goal in respecting the environment, workers and consumers. With a steadfast commitment to making goods for a more sustainable world, Modern-twist donates a percentage of the proceeds of all products to environmentally & socially conscious organizations.

bamboo cheeseboard with accessories

Some words that come to mind when surveying the Bamboo Cheeseboard are refined, elegant and luxurious. A cheeseboard crafted of the finest quality bamboo and stainless steel sculpted tools make this set in a class of its own. Comes complete with a lucite case for easy storage. An excellent eco-friendly gift idea!

recycled plastic adirondack chair

This chair is made for people who love the outdoors. Strong and durable, this weather-loving chair can be used around the pool or patio. This Recycled Plastic Adirondack Chair is crafted from an innovative all-season resin that gives incredible fade-proof and weather-loving performance. An amazing chair for the warmer months, it even folds flat for storage in the colder months. It will never need sanding, staining or painting. If that’s not enough, it’s also made of recycled materials, and it’s 100% recyclable. A great eco- gift for mom and dad!

Handwoven Basket from Sudan

handwoven baskets from sudan

These incredible baskets are made using palm grass and colored with natural dyes. They are handwoven using ancient techniques and depict traditional indigenous designs. Traditionally, these baskets are used to carry food and water, yet their bright colors and intricate patterns make them an absolutely beautiful decorative piece.

bio-degradable-soy-wax-candle

These six ounce soy candles are made from bio-degradable natural soy wax. They produce less soot than ordinary candles and burn 50% longer. These candles are an eco-friendly way to brighten any event and they make a great, green gift idea for the environmentally conscious person in your life. Plus you can have them personalized, so they would make a great wedding favor, or housewarming gift!

recycled chopsticks folding basket

After living in China for a number of years and seeing the incredibly waste of disposable chopsticks, artist Bryan Parks decided he had to do something about it. So, he designed functional, sculptural folding pieces handmade from recycled, sanitized bamboo chopsticks.
Symmetrical and simple, this large folding basket holds everything from fruits to decorative items, and it can be folded up to the size of a fan for easy storage and transportation. Such a cool eco-friendly use for used chopstick recycling!

wood salt pepper shakers

Simply designed and eco-friendly, this salt and pepper shaker set is designed to complement any decor. The salt shaker is made from reclaimed poplar wood, and is treated with a low-VOC milk paint. The pepper shaker is made from reclaimed walnut wood and both feature a natural cork stopper.
These spice shakers would make a great gift for the foodie in your life.

Keyboard Cufflinks

keyboard cufflinks

These super cool and super geeky page up page down cufflinks are hand made from recycled old keyboards. This perfect pair of keys cufflinks comes gift boxed and tied with a ribbon, making great gifts for your geeky boyfriend!

floppy disk address book

Made from ssed Floppy Disks, these innovative address books incorporate a bit of technology history. This address book cover is made from a used, vintage 5.25″ floppy disk from the late 1970’s or early 1980’s, contains 90 pages of recycled, acid free, 20lb ivory colored stationary that contains a minimum of 30% post consumer waste. Truly the perfect gift for a computer geek! I never thought I would see a floppy disk again!