When someone at work said there was a month left until Christmas I nearly crapped my pants. It is coming up way to fast and I feel like I am behind the 8 ball. I am attempting to be as sustainable as I can possibly be when buying for 18 people. The past 2 days I have been looking for eco friendly toy ideas and frankly getting frustrated. There are not many affordable options out there. I mean I could spend $200 on a handmade organic doll but that is well over the budget for what we spend on our nieces and nephews.
So far I have bought a lot of wooden toys. I'm also trying to buy from a Canadian store and where possible items that are made in Canada. When looking around I have found the best selection of wooden toys with the best prices at Chapters. I have also found second hand toys on my local Mom 2 Mom page on Facebook. I am also trying to find presents for the older kids (okay they aren't that old...they are 4.5) that are more activity based
The gift I am the most excited to give is my doll cradle from when I am a little girl. It needs a little bit of TLC and a non $200 non toxic doll to go with it but I am seriously excited to hand this down to my niece.
Here are some tips that I have learned over the last several days:
* Buy practical and useful gifts rather than flash in the pan "top toys".
* Stick with eco friendly brand names that you can trust.
* Etsy is the holy grail for home made eco friendly gifts.
* If you have a child and they are younger put practical items in their stocking...they are too young to hate you for putting bamboo toothbrushes or biodegradable shampoo in there.
* Buy as close to you as possible to reduce emissions from transportation. Sure you could buy something from a big name store online but then your purchase is cris-crossing across the country or even internationally which negates any positive impact you had by purchasing an eco friendly toy.
* If you can buy second hand. There are loads of groups on Facebook but also check out Kijiji and Craigslist.
* Make presents! I am making a fort kit for my nephew and can't wait to see how it turns out.
How are you doing with your shopping list?
Tomorrow you won't see me on any social media. No blogging, twitter, BBM, personal email, facebook (I only have a personal one...not one for the blog...don't worry you aren't missing out on something). I will only be checking my work email. Tomorrow is the Vow of Silence which is an opportunity of people around the world to raise awareness and stand up against children who are silenced by poverty, disease and exploitation. They are denied the right to have a voice in their own lives so let us stand in solidarity with them and help Free the Children to raise awareness and funds to help these children.