So, lately Cedar is all about Pandas. We don’t have cable TV at our house, but I’m guessing this panda obsession started at his dad’s because he says, “What I need is a Panda Pillow Pet!” Then he sings some insane pillow pet commercial to me. YES even kids brought up in a relatively non-commercial home find commercials and want this stuff! It’s nuts.
In any case, I answer Cedar’s request with this, “Um, would a more eco-friendly panda gift be acceptable?” To which he says, “Maybe.” So we talked about eco vs. non-eco for a while but the main point of this conversation is that I better be ready come the holidays, in case this panda obsession wears on. Cedar just wants a stuffed panda, but it got me thinking that maybe pandas are sweeping the nation. Could pandas be more popular than I know?
With this in mind, I decided to see what’s out there for green AND panda loving kids of all ages. The first thing I realized pretty quickly is that stuffed and sustainable pandas are extremely rare. In fact, there’s barely a market for organic stuffed animals. Or stuffed animals made with other sustainable materials. That’s annoying – especially since Cedar mostly wants a stuffed panda. Here’s what I found stuffed panda choice wise…
1. Eco-Friendly Plush Soy Large Panda Bear by Aurora – This is the closest I could find to what Cedar might like. It’s made with 100% soy fiber and 100% Kapok stuffing. The downside… No idea if the soy is organic or what. I doubt it, since you’d assume they’d say so. Still, this fits Cedar’s idea of cute, and it might be a good choice. Just wish it was more sustainable. Non-organic soy is not a great deal.
2. Xeko Pal Plush Soy Stuffed Animal Giant Panda – This panda is likely the most sustainable or the bunch. He’s made with certified organic cotton and soy stuffing. Honestly though, I don’t think this panda is too cute – his eyes look a little wacky. I doubt Cedar would like this one. Other kids might think that this panda is cute though, so I posted it.
3. Organic Knitted Baby Panda – This is a pretty adorable panda if knit is your style. Made with 100% organic cotton yarn but polyfill stuffing (blah). This little guy is also Fair Trade though, made in Peru by the Fair Trade artisan group El Mercurio.
4. Green Start Storybook & Plush Box Set Panda – This panda irks me a bit. Mainly because plastered across the box is “100% earth-friendly panda” YET the site offers ZERO info on what this guy is made with. Still, I was already familiar with the Green Start books, which are eco-friendly, so I emailed the company and they note, “Our green start plush are made with a 100% organic cotton shell and a 100% polyester fiber filling made from recycled water bottles.” Beyond the plush, the box and book are made with post-consumer recycled materials and printed with eco-friendly inks. The book is too young for Cedar, but I’m guessing he’d like this stuffed panda – he likes cute.
One other option is to adopt a panda through the National Wildlife Federation. They have many options for adopting a panda. For example you can adopt a cute mama and baby panda team or adopt a baby panda.
A baby panda adoption, for example, includes…
- Soft, cuddly 28” plush panda
- Certificate of Adoption
- Story card about the panda
- Stuck On Nature sticker book with over 50 animal stickers
The con – who knows how this stuffed bear is made. It could be sustainable, although I’m doubting it, since the site says nothing. Still, on the plus side, Cedar would think this panda is cute and animal adoptions through the NWF help support imperiled wildlife. Good and bad stuff – why can’t someone just make an all-good stuffed animal company?
Fun Eco-Panda Clothing Gifts for Baby
2. Barley & Birch panda one piece – I love Barley & Birch (see my review). This cute onesie is 100% certified organic cotton, printed with water-based, toxin-free inks and is made sweatshop-free in the U.S.A.
Wooden Eco-Friendly Panda Gifts for Kids
1. Panda by Anamalz – Panda by Anamalz is an Australian-designed wooden animal made with organic maple and non-toxic glue and finishes. This panda can look left and right and be posed to stand or run. Also, every Anamalz bears a code so kids can name their animal, register, and print out a personal certificate.
2. Panda 3D Puzzle – Cedar would LOVE this. He loves stuff you can take apart, he loves cute, and lately of course, he loves pandas. This is a beechwood 3D puzzle – all components are made from FSC materials. Also, 5% from the sale of these products go to support WWF’s global conservation efforts.
3. Panda Tumblin’ Tower – This is a stacking game designed by the World Wildlife Fund. The blocks are made from FSC wood and 5% of sales go to protecting endangered animals.
4. Bamboo Collection Balancing Game, Pandobo – I got this for my best friend’s daughter last Christmas and it’s sooooooo super cute. Made by Hape, the Pandabo Balancing Game is a fun balancing game for little kids. Pandabo is made of sustainable bamboo, colored with water-based paint and coated with natural beeswax. Certified child-safe and non-toxic.
Random Eco-Friendly Panda Gifts
1. Ecozoo Organic Backpack panda – Ecozoo Organic Backpacks are PVC-free and good for preschool-aged kids, made with soft and durable, organic cotton canvas and non-toxic dyes. The plastic components are all recycled and the wood accents are sustainable as well. This pack is washable and lightweight plus has padded shoulder straps for comfort. For older kids there’s also the equally sustainable EcoZoo Organic Cotton Kid’s Rolling Panda Backpack.
2. Earthy Beginnings Giant Panda Tee – I don’t know why, but I love this tee. It’s super cute and made with 100% certified organic cotton Jersey. Brief information on the panda is printed on the back of each tee. 2-4 year sizes.
3. Panda Pals 500 pc Puzzle – Cedar’s never been into flat puzzles, but I know some kids love them. This one is cute and made from recycled paper and printed with soy-based inks.
4. Pattern People Pandas – This is a cool art print, suitable for a child’s room. Each print is expertly mounted on eco-friendly bamboo plywood and comes ready to hang.
Eco-Friendly Panda Bear Stocking Stuffers
The 1. Bring a Snack Postcard and 2. Holding Hands for the First Time Postcard are both by the hyper talented artist Trish Grantham. I’m obsessed with Grantham’s work actually. We have a few of her postcards – and you honestly have to hold one in person to appreciate it. Grantham beautiful postcards are sturdy and feature a thick vellum-like texture and look. Each postcard is made locally in the Pacific Northwest and printed with soy-based inks on recycled paper. These are more than postcards – as in they’re sweet little works of art and can be displayed in frames in a child’s room.
3. EnviroKidz Organic Koala Crispy Rice Bars – for a healthier and panda-minded organic stocking stuffer treat.
The decision: Well, I’m a little frustrated with the lack of greener stuffed pandas, but I’m leaning toward the Soy Panda Bear by Aurora. I’ll also probably get Cedar the 3D puzzle, because it’s something I know he’d like. Both are better IMO than a Pillow Pet and hopefully will fit his panda obsession without increasing his little footprint too much.
Is your child into pandas? Yes? No? What is he or she into this year?