Last Updated on November 7, 2023
Gifts are always tricky when it comes with wanting to live more sustainably and plastic-free or trying to reduce your environmental impact. But whether you are the gift-giver or parent trying to request more sustainable kids gifts, here are our tried and tested eco friendly gift ideas kids will love.
Including plastic-free, minimalist and sustainable gifts for kids and teenagers.
(please note: some affiliate links are used in this post which means we may get a small commission)
Bath Bombs & Bubble Bars
Swirling fizzy colours, fluffy bubbles, fruity or floral scents, and sustainably shimmery water – so much fun!
Lush makes colorful bath products that are fun for children and teens and one of our go-to “consumable” and waste-free gifts. They have tons of unique designs and scents and I appreciate their attention to sustainable packaging as well as cruelty-free and ethically-sourced ingredients (they’re one of the few brands that proudly uses child labour free mica).
Great for teens and kids of all ages.
Once-Kids makes “Eco Bricks” – wooden and bamboo building blocks with are plastic-free and still compatible with Lego. They’re made from FSC certified wood and are customizeable with colored pencils so kids can make whatever colors and design they wish!
They also have fun wooden action figures.
Great for ages 3+
A great digital, zero waste gift that can offer adventure, discovery, education, and screen-free entertainment.
Libro.fm is our favourite place to get audiobooks from, they have a fantastic variety of books and a wonderful mission to support local bookstores. You can gift individual books or a 3, 6, or 12 month subscription.
They have a huge YA fiction catalogue making this an excellent gift for teens, as well as a curated assortment of kids audiobooks for different interests.
Tickets or Memberships
This is an easy, exciting, and waste-free gift, that allows the celebration to extend beyond just the special day! There are tons of options for experience gifts depending what the child is interested in, but here are a few great ideas for places you can gift tickets or memberships:
- movie theatre
- indoor playground
- science centre
- sports event
- amusement park
Eco Friendly Art Supplies
For kids interested in drawing, painting, and crafting, new supplies make a thoughtful gift – look for options with plastic-free or no packing and eco-friendly ingredients.
Beam Paints makes consciously sourced and sustainably packaged watercolour paints and their Tisgeh’dah Children’s Palette is full of beautiful, high-quality paints which have been safety tested for little artists. Or for teens check out their other wooden palettes. (We have some of their regular palettes and well as the children’s one and the colours are gorgeous and very high quality!)
Earth Hero also has a great selection of sustainable art supplies for kids including beeswax crayons, natural playdough, plant based glue sticks, and more!
Wooden Food Toys
Wood food are a classic heirloom, imaginative toy that can be enjoyed by both young and older children.
There are so many options to choose from so you can pick the child’s favorite things to eat and cook. They’re also fun options that can be sliced.
In Canada I order our wooden food and toys from Wood Wood Toys who carries all the Erzi food (use code MYGREENCLOSET for 10% off).
New Clothes or Anything Needed
Practical and useful gifts don’t have to be boring – does the child need new pjs, a backpack, winter coat, or shoes? Look for a fun option or something that fits their style and interests for a gift that will be sure to get a lot of use.
Check out our list of high-quality and sustainable children’s brands for some great consciously-made clothing and accessories!
Organic Dolls & Stuffed Animals
Unfortunately most of those cute cuddly plushies are made of plastic and shed microfibres. Here are some of our favorite organic and natural-fiber stuffed toys:
Apple Park – lovely animals and baby doll toys from 100% organic cotton and stuffed with a corn fiber stuffing. We love the Apple Park organic dolls as an alternative to plastic dolls
Tikiri Toys – makes animals and dolls from organic cotton and regular cotton.
This is a classic experience gift and can be a fun way to make memories. Give coupons they can redeem for things they’ll enjoy. Here’s some fun coupon ideas:
- movie night
- trip for ice cream
- staying up late
- choice of dinner
- extra screen time
- treat of choice
Green & Cruelty-free Makeup
A great gift for teens who love experimenting with makeup. Check out our favorite cruelty-free, sustainable, and ethically-sourced beauty brands here.
One “Big Ticket” Gift
This is what we do with my daughter and it’s been amazing! Instead of everyone giving individual gifts we ask friends and family who want to give a gift to instead contribute towards one “big ticket” gift which we know she’ll love and get a lot of use from! This has been a fantastic way for her to get something special with no waste, clutter, or stuff that won’t get used.
Trying to do this for a birthday party? Look into throwing a Fiver Party!
If you are the gift giver and want to go this route, ask the parent if there is something the child is saving up for and if you can get a gift card and contribute towards that, or if there is a special item you and some other people could buy together.
Looking for more sustainable gift ideas? Check out our green gift guide!