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I don’t know about you, but I tend to scramble around at the last minute for stocking stuffers for my kids and usually end up buying a bunch of junk just to fill them up.  Sound familiar?

Well, this year let’s do it right!  Let’s get some fun, useful stuff in those stockings!!  That’s what they’re for, right?  Or is it just my family that uses stockings for the practical stuff kids don’t really want but really need?? 🙂

Here are a few ideas that I think will do the trick.  And, of course, they will get your stocking recipients going green!

Reusable Water Bottle

So maybe a water bottle isn’t an exciting gift but when it’s a S’well water bottle you’re in business!  You may be thinking that swell-stainless-steel-water-bottlea pricey S’well water bottle is a pretty substantial gift, especially for a kid!  I know it was a splurge when I got one for myself, but I have to admit they are GOOD!

They absolutely keep drinks cold and hot for even longer than you need them to! S’well bottles are really cute and really popular right now.  My daughter actually put one on her Christmas list!

And, of course, they make living greener easy in so many ways.  First, they are reusable which helps reduce waste.  In fact S’well’s mission is, “to rid the world of plastic bottles,” which I LOVE! Second, they are recyclable – should you ever need to get rid of one – although they are built to last.  Finally, they are made of non-leaching and non-toxic 18/8 stainless steel making them safe for you!

Toothbrush

I mentioned that in our house stockings stuffers are where you can get away with gifting practical things – even toothbrushes!!  Yes, I will wrap up a toothbrush and shove it into my kids (and maybe even my husband’s) stocking!preservetoothbrush

Of course I won’t gift just any toothbrush.  It’s got to be eco-friendly AND not adversely affect the user in any way.  What I mean is that the user (i.e. my kids and husband!) can’t have to make any changes to their regular routine and that their level of comfort will not diminish in any way while using the new, eco-friendly product!

The Preserve toothbrush fits the criteria of all of the above!  It looks and feels just like a regular toothbrush BUT it’s made from recycled yogurt cups AND it can be returned to Preserve for recycling when you are done with it!  Win/Win!!

Reusable Lunch & Snack Bags

You may be thinking that I’ve gone a little too practical with this suggestion for stocking stuffers but just give me a minute to explain!5000-157-1

Think about all of the things you use a Ziplock bag for but could instead grab a reusable lunch or snack bag!  How about your daughter’s earbuds and phone charger?  Or your son’s hexbug collection?  Or your beach sunscreen?  When you grab a reusable bag you are helping the environment and living greener with one simple swap!

My favorite reusable lunch and snack bags are from LunchSkins! For one, I love them because they are SO darn cute! The patterns are fun and playful without looking like they are for kids only.  They come in a variety of sizes with a velcro closure including snack, sandwich and the big bag (great for SO many things!).  LunchSkins also sells zippered bags in mini and medium sizes. BTW, I’m thinking their medium navy zip bag would be great to hold my makeup essentials then toss in my purse or gym bag!

I also love LunchSkins because not only are they, “on a mission to replace everyday plastic with smart, sustainable solutions that are easy to use and accessible to everyone,” but they also do amazing work with their give back program. Their give back program donates 10% of the proceeds from their specially designed cause bag to a non-profit dedicated to the global problem of plastic pollution.  This year their special cause bag an adorable Sea Turtle bag.  Wow!!

Stainless Steel Straws

stainlesssteelstrawsHere’s another practical gift that’s perfect for stocking stuffers!  Although, I did just ask my 13-year old daughter if she would be unhappy if she got these in her stocking and of course she said, “Uh, yeah!”.  Oh well, I’m going with them anyway!

I’m going with them because stainless steel straws are way more eco-friendly then any plastic straw. And if you do something creative like including a coupon for a milkshake with those straws I’ll bet their ranking as a gift gets a whole lot better!

By the way, here’s the scoop on plastic straws.  According to the National Park Service, Americans use 500 million drinking straws every day. That’s an average rate of 1.6 straws per person per day!  And, all of those straws are not recyclable and will sit in a landfill for a very, very long time.  Or, they may end up in waterways where they can harm the wildlife that live there.  So, how about gifting practical, eco-friendly stainless steel straws?!  I bet your teenager will love it!  -)

Get Stuffing

This list isn’t a mile long so hopefully I didn’t leave you feeling overwhelmed!  I do hope that at least I’ve got you thinking a little differently about the types of gifts you give as stocking stuffers and how easy it can be to go green with them.  And the best part is, the person you’re giving them to doesn’t even have to know how green they will be by using them – although if it were me I’d be sure to tell them!! 🙂  It’s your family only greener!!

 

 

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