OURF Holiday Blog

OURF Holiday Eco-gift Ideas, by Jack Dalton, Kid Conservationist and OURF Youth Ambassador.

As Halloween comes to a close, the festivities of the winter season begin. This year, and moving forward, let’s make gift-giving eco-friendly! From stocking stuffers to under the tree gifts, there are so many options that provide fun to your loved ones, that do not hurt the environment. The following are some creative ideas for presents, stockings, and even inspiration on how to compile your OWN homemade gift.

Stocking Stuffers/Small Gifts

          Whether you need a stocking stuffer or a small holiday gift, there are plenty of eco-goodies out there to choose from. Kids will love these gifts that are simple ways to help the environment and all of its inhabitants.

Stocking Stuffers

  • Reusable Straws. Straws are a big issue in the environment, so why not get a straw that looks cool and helps stop pollution!
  • Dental Products. In my family, it has been a tradition for decades to put dental products into stockings. But, did you know that over 1 billion plastic toothbrushes are wasted each year in just the United States alone? Switching to eco-friendly, fun, oral care products from a reliable source like Grin Natural can make a huge difference.
  • Candy This is probably not the first year you've put candy in a stocking, so this year let’s make sure all that sugar (or chocolate) is from a good company and contains no palm oil. Some of my favorite brands include Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Jolly Ranchers, and York Peppermint Patties.



Now that we know some good items to make those stockings full, let’s focus on some fun, bigger gifts that will be a big hit for your little ones, and for the environment.

Kawan the Orangutan

  • Books There are so many fun books out there that help to educate kids and directly help the environment. One of my favorites is Kawan The Orangutan, Lost In The Rainforest which I wrote myself. For every book bought, a tree is planted in the rainforest. Another inspirational story for young ones is The Wild World Handbook: Habitats, and its sequel, The Wild World Handbook: Creatures. These books both educate and inspire kids of all ages to be good to the environment, and all the incredible creatures.
  • Board Games Fun, compact, and classic. There are several games you can purchase that don’t harm the environment and are a lot of fun! One of my favorites is Monopoly: Go Green, made from recycled paper, and it gives easy tips to inspire us all to be more green in our everyday choices. Also, Photosynthesis is another great choice!
  • Experiences Giving an experience as a gift will help to create memories that last a lifetime. Some of my favorite gifts over the years have been trips and experiences, and they can be so much better than a toy that kids will use once, then let it get dusty on a shelf. How about movie passes, AZA Zoo memberships, or donating to a great cause like the OURF Scholarship Fund?



Feeling inspired yet?  It might be time to start getting even more creative with your presents.

  • Second-hand stores One of my favorite things I own is my Hess truck from 1999 which I got as a gift from a second-hand store. Used items are great, whether from a consignment shop or your own home, and there are lots of hidden gems out there to discover.
  • Wrapping paper While there are plenty of wrapping papers out there, making your own might just be the best eco-solution. This could be a great activity to do with your kids for them to make a gift unique, and you can let your personality shine through.
  • Homemade cards No need to buy a card from the store, just make your own! You can get very creative with this by making different designs, writing a message on the inside, or drawing something related to the holiday. This is a no-brainer because it saves money too!


I hope this article inspires you to see that there are many items out there that are good for both the environment and for your child. As an eleven-year-old, I can say that my favorite gifts I have received are the ones that are thoughtful, unique, and fun. With a little bit of thought, we can find these gifts and help to protect our environment. Let me know if you use any of these ideas or tips to give that perfect gift. Happy Holidays!