I think it’s insane to spend a lot of cash on green holiday gifts, mainly because you don’t have to. Also, it kind of takes away from the whole, buy less, spend time not money attitude I think families should embrace. With this in mind, I recently posted some gift guides with many very nice green gifts that are all $25 or less…
Now, although I think you should aim for less expensive, less gifts overall first, I have seen some pretty cool items this season, that would make great gifts, but that didn’t fit into my $25 or less plan. I think it’s okay to buy a child, or adult one nicer, and possibly more expensive green gift, but only if it’s something they’ll really adore or enjoy and hopefully use to death.
Oh, and by the way, my definition of expensive isn’t that expensive – it usually just means it cost more than $25 – but NOT hundreds more or anything. No matter how cool the item, you shouldn’t go bankrupt to afford it. If you’re looking for a very special green gift this holiday season, here are my more expensive picks. All of these, have green and safety value plus long-term use in my opinion, so they’re worth the cost. Oh, and if you want to see my number one pick for the best, more expensive green gift, go here.
FOR KIDS AND ADULTS:
$56.60 Thames and Kosmos Alternative Energy and Environmental Science Power House Green Essentials – we have this and my son has gotten a lot of use out of it. He’d get more, but we’re busy a lot. Still he’s always asking if we can do another experiment with it. Well, worth the price for all the time you and your child will spend with it. Learn more about the green power house.
You can get a general Keri Smith Boxed Set for $26.30, but I suggest creating your own set of Keri Smith books. These will please kids and adults alike. If you’re not familiar with Keri Smith, read my review of How to Be an Explorer of the World. The three Smith books I like best include the ones shown above (and linked below). Each is great as a stand alone, but all three together would make an excellent gift.
- $10.17 How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum
- $7.77 Wreck This Journal
- $13.57 The Guerilla Art Kit
FOR THE GREEN GUY IN YOUR LIFE: Okay, as a disclaimer, I’m surrounded by guys who are 100% happy to have skateboards, music, LUSH products and chocolate, so when it comes to guy gifts I get a little stuck. But, to round out this post, I did choose three guy gifts.
- $27.95 Christmas Tweets– via LUSH.
- $119 WeWOOD Watch – 100% wood, hypo-allergenic and completely free of toxic chemicals. Plus awesome. Many designs available.
- $34.99 Eco Soccer Ball – Eco-certified, active, certified Fair Trade and vegan.
FOR GIRLS WHO LIKE PRETTY GREEN THINGS: These picks were a snap, because they’re all items I’d actually want.
- $44 Rosehip Necklace – I’ve wanted this for years. One day I will break down and get it. Bamboo wood contrasted with dark brown cut out rose hips.
- $49-$55 Artecnica Starlightz – another item I want. This is more fun than useful, but I still really want some. I’d hang them in my bedroom – or maybe by my work desk. Each light is made with 100% wood-free & chlorine-free bleached paper which is then printed, punched, and glued by hand. These are available in many designs and colors, but I like the white shades best.
- $49 Aurora Glow String Lights – I know more lights!? I like shiny stuff. These would look perfect on my porch. The lights are solar powered and hand-blown.
FOR LITTLE GREEN TOTS: Green kid gifts are easy to find. What’s hard is choosing the best of the best. Below are some of my top picks.
$35.67 Boon Frog Pod Deluxe with Bath Toys. I like this gift idea because it’s got long-term play value. There’s also the equally adorable Boon Bug Pod in pink or red, but it doesn’t come with the toys. You can get those separately though and the total cost for the Boon Bath Goods + Bug Pod would be about $37. Boon bath time products are BPA and other icky chemical-free. Plus these don’t absorb water and are easy to clean, which reduces mold and mildew and increases their lifespan.
Non-plastic marble run – when Cedar was younger he really wanted a marble run. I didn’t even know there were real wooden, non-toxic marble runs. Cedar ended up with a plastic one. While he did enjoy it, I hated all the plastic. Thus, I’m happy to now see that there are some more sustainable versions.
- $46.22 Blocks & Marbles Super Set
- $109.95 Wooden Blocks and Marbles Maze Master Set
- $80.99 Haba Ball Track Construction Set
Or for the bling of all bling sets, the Haba Ball Track Master Building Set Marble Run Blocks is your best bet. At $215.95, it’s pricey, but way worth all the hours of fun.
$134.95 PlanToys Plan City Eco Town Building – for the price, this set includes an amazing array of rubberwood toys, including eco home, eco train station, eco charging station, eco street accessories and eco play mat. Plus it has added value as you can add other Plan Toy city pieces to it for other holidays and birthdays. I.e. add to the fun without buying a new set, just a piece or two.
$116.99 PlanToys Plan City Station Building – when my son was little he would have loved this. He had to make do with lame hot wheels, but now there’s this awesome rubberwood, non-toxic car play set for little drivers.
FOR PEOPLE WHO LIKE TO DRINK STUFF:
$25 Tea Forte KATI Tea Steeping System – I really like this gift idea. It’s a reusable, double-wall ceramic tumbler and integrated stainless steel infuser that make brewing loose tea by the cup simple. The innovative construction keeps tea hot, plus the set comes with 24 certified organic Single Steep teas (some are Fair Trade too). It’s a great deal for a tea lover. Personally, I’m more of a coffee kind of girl. If I got the $57 Coffee Sampler Basket from Equal Exchange I would flip, and so would other coffee lovers.
RANDOM GREEN GIFT IDEAS I LIKE:
- $59 Wool Felt Gingerbread House – This beautiful gift idea is handmade from 100% wool felt and will provide hours of pretend play fun. You get the felt house and over 60 felt decorations; enough to keep any crafty kid busy for a good long while.
- $99.99 Citrus Scooter – So flipping cool! Made with sustainable wood – a solid birch deck, sturdy pine box, hand-carved willow handle and solid skate board trucks. Really fun and unique.
- $45 Bowling Buddies Set (Organic Cotton) – my son had a little bowling set when he was a toddler and he used it non-stop. We used it at parties, for play dates and much more. Plus bowling sets allow for development of key skills like hand-eye coordination and social play. I think the play value with a good bowling set for tots is well worth it. This set is 100% certified organic and the pins have the added benefit of doubling as soft dolls your child can play with. It’s like two toys in one.
- $55 Tegu Discovery Set – Natural – Magnetic Wooden Building Blocks – honestly, I’m torn on if these are worth it or not. They’re really cool and my kid testers loved playing with them, but $55, no matter how you cut it, is steep for eco-minded blocks. I must say this though, I LOVE the new Tinted Building Blocks. These new colored blocks are $60 but the colors are amazing. Read my Tegu review.
- $149-$255 The Tree Fort Kit – This super magical kit is available with various components. The tree fort alone is fun galore and each is 100% unique as each fort is made with smaller salvage branches of hazelnut and alder wood trees. The Tree Fort Super Saver kit includes the Tree Fort Kit, a family of Woodland Friends, the complete Branch Furniture Collection and a set of Woodland Animals.
- $74.95 Grimm’s Spiel & Holz Alphabet Magnets – This amazingly lovely magnet set include 77 wood pieces – 6 different shapes in 26 highly-vibrant and rich colors. Beyond alphabet play the pieces can be taken apart and used over and over to create endless unique designs. Child-safe and non-toxic.
- $59-99-$64.21 Prince Lionheart Wheely Bug – Entirely non-toxic, handmade and contains no PVC. This is a great little ride-on toy for kids.
- Shark 2-in-1 Vac-then-Steam – I normally wouldn’t suggest a household item as a gift, well, not a cleaning one anyhow, because that’s kind of lame. BUT I’ve been using my Shark 2-in-1 a ton and it’s really been handy. If someone hates sweeping as much as I do, they’d love this.
- $39.99 Classic Wooden Tree Swing – This swing is handmade in the USA from local reclaimed Ash, Elm, or Maple. Once a seat is kiln dried and sanded a light coat of mineral oil is applied to bring out the natural beauty of the wood. Natural fiber rope is attached. I think swings are perfect year round and this one is classic, simple and lovely.