Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Day 121 - Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad

Setting Rules for My Childrens' Presents

Yes, this is yet another post about how I plan on greening up the holiday season.

I'm almost finished planning my "Green Christmas". It is now time to set some ground rules for what I can or cannot purchase for my kids. I want their gifts to be fun and engaging, but they must also be relatively eco-friendly.

No, I won't be giving them biobags and recycled toilet paper, but I won't be getting them Transformers and TMX Elmos either. And, since I have already determined that I can give only twelve gifts to each child, I want to make sure that every present is a perfect fit.

Therefore, I have decided to set the following criteria for purchases and each gift must meet at least two out of these three standards. Because, as Meatloaf taught us, two out three ain't bad.

  1. The gift must be made out of a renewable resource. (NO PLASTICRAP)
  2. The gift must be made in the USA to avoid the whole shipping-pollution issue.
  3. The gift must foster or otherwise promote good stewardship or love of the outdoors.

Of course, if I feel that Daphne just CANNOT be denied a Baby Alive, I can get her one -- as long as I buy it second-hand. That is my 'get out of jail free card'.

I've already started compiling a list, based, not on what Toys R Us has told me is "hot this season", but on my childs' actual interests. So far, I have:

For Ethan (4 years old):

  • A Bicycle (#2 & #3)
  • Piggy Bank (#1 & #2)
  • Worm, Bug or Other Critter Habitat (#2 & #3)
  • Seeds, Dirt & Terra Cotta Planters (#1, #2 & #3) -- Believe it or not, he's ASKED for this!
  • Slippers (#2 & #3 -- I've reprogrammed the thermostat and it's really cold in the house!)
  • Tom & Jerry DVD (Used)
  • Memory Card Game (#1 & #2)

For Daphne (2 1/2 ):

  • A Dollhouse (#1 & #2)
  • Dollhouse Furniture (#1 & #2)
  • Piggy Bank (#1 & #2)
  • Slippers (#2 & #3 - BRRRRRR)
  • Hello Kitty DVD (Used)
  • Wooden Musical Instruments (#1 & #2) (yeah, I think I'll add "earplugs" to my wishlist)

So as you can see, it's really not that hard to pick environmentally friendly presents. I mean, really, plasticrap just entered the scene a generation or two ago and little children have been given toys for millenia! The trick is to make sure the presents you give won't last for a millenium in the landfill. Because the kids may want them, they may need them, but there ain't no way they're ever gonna compost them!


Mary Elizabeth said...

and as far as second hand goes - you can make a list of freecycle ISOs!

leslie said...

I made a whole ton (well, figuratively speaking) of blocks out of old two by four lumber and other scrap wood from a building site. Cut it up, sand it off, build stuff.
A big dowel rod made round 'columns'. I still have some of them. Hours of fun making pretend castles, and houses and towns.
Fits the criteria, too.

gregra&gar said...

12 gifts is what you call scrimping? I can't remember ever getting more than six at the most luxurious of times. I guess that was before kids got cars for making it to high school and the great american thingathon became the great american duty. "Go shopping," said the man on the hill, and shop they did, are and will, glory howtheyscrewya.

Burbanmom said...

Mr. G.

Yeah, I know. Even as I wrote it, I was thinking it was a lot. Sadly, it is still SIGNIFICANTLY less than what they got last year. Hell, they get three or four small toys in their stockings alone! If I had to guess (which is what I'm going to have to do) I would say they each got around 25 items to unwrap last year. I bet there's only a handful that they still play with.