Stumped for stocking stuffers this year? Don’t default to plastic toys, candy and run of the mill personal care products! These traditional stocking stuffers bring all kinds of toxins into your home. (Plus, who needs another piece of candy or plastic piece of junk around the house?). In my new book, 52 Small Changes for the Family, we talk about cleaning up the toxins and plastics from your household products, personal care products and toys with some actionable tips on how to do the overhaul. But the first step is not buying more this holiday season.
Easier said than done, of course. There’s so much information out there about what products are safe. Don’t worry, we’ve done the work for you! Here’s our brainstorm for toxin-free, plastic-free stocking stuffers. (Pro tip: if you’re unsure about a personal care product you’re considering, you can check out the Environmental Working Group’s database for ratings!)
Kids’ Bath Products: Bath products are the perfect stocking stuffer – consumable and necessary for everyday life but still somehow fun for kids. Unfortunately many of the “fun” bubble baths and bath bombs can contain harmful chemicals, so it’s best to stick to EWG-approved products. A few of our favorites include:
- California Baby (relaxing scents made from pure essential oils; available at Target)
- Beautycounter (Super Duper Kids Body Wash is fun and gentle!)
- Everyone products (check out the cute gift set with three different kids’ soaps)
- Attitude (fun scents like Pear Nectar and Sweet Apple make for a good stocking stuffer alternative to traditional bubble bath)
Wooden Toys: Plastic is pervasive, but it’s not the healthiest thing for your kids to be playing with. When plastics break down over time from exposure to heat, cold and physical erosion, the chemicals can be absorbed into skin or released into the air to be inhaled. BPA, a chemical used to harden plastics, is linked to infertility, behavioral changes and a whole host of other medical issues. Phthalates, commonly used to make plastic flexible, are linked to early puberty in girls and problems with the male reproductive system.
Luckily, there are a lot of companies out there with great, plastic-free toy lines. Some small wooden toys make a perfect stocking stuffer. Our favorites include:
Fabric Toys: Look for organic cotton items. There are lots of fabric toys that are small and make a perfect stocking stuffer! Here are a few we like:
- Play Silks
- Under the Nile Soft Toys (dolls, teddies and more)
- Nova Naturals Rattles & Teething Toys
- Bella Luna Toys (let your older children make toys and stuffed animals with their organic wool knitting kits!)
Gardening Items: Aside from the improved nutrition and opportunity for kids to see where their food comes from, gardening projects give children the opportunity to develop patience and nurturing tendencies, as well as a sense of responsibility. Get the garden growing with these stocking stuffers from GrowOrganic.com.
- Packs of seeds for organic fruit and veggies. (You can also find them at any hardware store or garden center.)
- Gardening Gloves
- Metal Watering Can
- The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids (a great way to get inspired til the weather warms up)
- Potted Plants: Bring the outside in during the cold winter months with some cute potted plants–perfect for any age! For the adults, try potted herbs and for the kids, consider something they can take care of like a cactus or potted flower.
Do you have any favorite toxic-free gifts you like to give?