Little Ones (and Parents!) Get Wiser as They Get Older

Amy Rees
April 23, 2008

How about using a birthday as the occasion to put into practice all that we resolved to do (and to be) on Earth Day? Preschoolers are obsessed with birthdays, and family social calendars are inundated with them.

Plus, we love the rhyme. Earth Day. Birthday. We can't stop saying it.

Join us as we strive to mark these big occasions with a little soul. Gifts that give back. Party supplies that don't deplete parts of our world that can't take it. Giving stuff with love and meaning, not just stuff for stuff's sake. Getting older and a bit wiser.

Here are some of our favorite ways to start:

For grown-ups: A gift basket from Rio Grande Return -- all baskets are created by artisans/farmers living along the Rio Grande river (one of the most endangered rivers in the world) -- and in addition to the basket, a gift certificate for a minimum of $15 in the name of the recipient is given to a non-profit organized to help save the Rio Grande. It would be especially lovely to have the gift sent to a mama and the gift certificate given in a kiddo's name.

For everybody: The very antidote to the mass-produced. For one-offs that you wish so much you could do yourself (or find a neighbor/aunt/inlaw/grannie who could), almost anything from the amazing Etsy is sure to delight.

For kiddos: Smencils from See Jane Work. For anyone else with a meaningful relationship with paper products: Almost anything else from the site's Eco-Friendly Office section.

For everybody: A few colorful balloons, for joy, and a Heifer card, for joy everlasting. We think the honeybees are an especially sweet gift that fills one family's bellies and one family's hearts.

For kiddos: cute togs from Hanna's Dream. Adorable things for that adorable little mouse of yours.

For kiddos (and anyone else spooked by the dark): Bogo flashlights. What kid doesn't love a flashlight? And this brings real enlightenment, all the way across the world.

For lunchbox-toters of all ages: Laptop Lunches. Bento is the way to our heart; lead-free is the way to our (now clearer) minds; and making sure the various food groups keep their distance, per preschooler's clubhouse rules, is the way to lunchtime sanity.

Any your best ideas? Do share.

From the Parents

  • Parent # 1

    Small voices add up to big things. I just love how naturally these concepts and ideas of reuse and not creating waste come to children, as if it is just a part of their home environment. The importance of the planet and the power of the little things, like REUSING, add up to big things. Kids Konserve; packing green lunches/snacks with style and eco-cool reusable products for a clean conscience. Kids Konserve products are Non-Toxic, Non-Leaching, BPA,PVC, Phthalate, and Lead-free!

    over a year ago

  • Parent # 2

    Those flashlights are just great - and supporting a school in Nigeria in the process? It may only be May, but I think I'll plan on it being a stocking stuffer.

    over a year ago


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