I am continuously inspired by Beth from MyPlasticFreeLife and Sarah from MadeinUSAChallenge. Therefore, this holiday season, we tried really hard to purchase American and Canadian made, and plastic-free gifts for little E. I am not going to lie, it was so much harder than I anticipated. And, all I could think while looking at gifts was “What would Beth do?” and “Would Sarah purchase this.”
Since we live in Canada, shipping is so darn expensive and, it certainly feels like it takes forever. You would think they were delivering by snowmobile. I realized that I need to be much more organized when it comes to eco-friendly gifts, seeing as, most of the time I need to have them shipped.
Little E really does not have that many toys. Most people would probably wonder if we even had a kid if they saw our place. We try to buy what we feels she needs and would enjoy, and not over do it. I am all about reduce, reuse, recycle, but when it comes to toys that she may put in her mouth, I usually opt for new because I want to make sure the toys are made with safe materials and finishes. The last thing I want is her sucking on some lead from a second hand store toy.
- The Holgate 62 Piece Wooden Block Set is made in the USA, uses FSC wood, and non-toxic finishes. By reading through their site it is quite apparent they care about the environment and the safety of the little ones that come in contact with their products. It seriously it took me hours to find these wooden blocks that I felt were safe, eco-friendly and passed J.P’s block test. I was simply going to purchase the Uncle Goose Blocks, which are also made in the USA, but according to J.P they were not big enough, and didn't have enough pieces to build with. Who am I to argue with the block master?
- Little E sure loves her bath toys and I realized lately she doesn't really have any to play with. I have been wanting to purchase a rubber ducky, but after reading that mold can build upside inside the duck because of the holes, I was kinda grossed out. I decided it was best to skip the rubber ducky, until I stumbled upon Hevea Natural Rubber Bath Toys made in the USA. The best part of course is there is no hole for mold to build up.
- This Made by Me Wooden Boat is just adorable and made in the USA. I really like it because little E can color and draw all over it to add her own personal touch to this toy.
- I was sent a package of Eco-Kids Eco-Crayons a few months ago from EkoBear.ca and have been happy with their product. Recently, little E has been doing some finger painting at daycare, but I have honestly been very apprehensive in purchasing her own paint set because I frankly do not want to clean up a paint mess. I did cave and bought the Eco-Finger Paint. The powder based exploratory finger paint is handmade with natural and organic fruit, plant and vegetable extracts from annatto seed, beets, carrots, curcumin, purple sweet potato, red cabbage and spinach, flour, cornstarch, wheat paste and earth clay. And Eco-Kids in an American company!
- Since her hair is growing like a weed, I wanted to buy her some cute little elastics. On Green Planet Parties I found these felt Ponytail Holders made in the USA, and they include no traces of metals. Perfect.
- Little E loves her music, and tends to breakout in song and dance without any warning, so when I received the Discoveroo Fruit Music Set from EkoBear.ca I knew it would be love at first site for her. I did let her try the set out to help write up my review, but have tucked it away as a gift. Discoveroo is Australian made, and 100% Plantation Woods is used and colored with vegetable-based non-toxic paints. Their eco-friendly toys are rigorously tested and certified compliant with all the relevant safety standards in each country where they are sold – Canada, USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
- Another great stocking stuffer is this Wooden Helicopter from Green Planet Parties. The helicopter has been handcrafted in the US and been left unfinished for the purpose of coloring or painting. This way little E can draw and paint however she likes.
- Little E has been singing her ABC's for months now. I figured it was time to get her a set of her very own. It was hard to find a good alphabet set made in the USA that wasn't magnetic. You can't stick anything on our fridge. I did find this great Chunky Alphabet Puzzle (this isn't the one I bought, but it is similar) made by Maxim Enterprises on EkoBear.ca, but unfortunately this toy was not made in the USA. I really tried though. The set is made with wood from renewable forests as well as recycle rubber-wood, and colored with water-based, non-toxic and kid-safe paints.
- Everyone loves chocolate during the holidays. Instead of buying some Santa shaped chocolate that is chock full of sugar and other stuff, I am going to make little E her very own organic homemade chocolate version.
All in all, I think we did a pretty good job at covering our bases- American made and safe items for our little one to play with. Next year, I will be more organized and give myself extra time to research products, so I can support more American and Canadian companies.
What do you think Beth and Sarah would say about my gifts for little E? I think they would be happy with my efforts!
How did you fare? Do you support American and Canadian made products? Are safe, eco-friendly products a priority for you?
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