How Do You Go Green With Older Children?

Our babies happily play with paper bags and wooden spoons without feeling the least bit deprived, but what happens when your child ages a bit?  Can you get by with just wooden blocks and fabric food?  What happens when they see the myriad of blinking toys out there that aren’t made from organic hemp?

I could say that I teach my child to resist temptation and make himself happy with sticks, but that isn’t the truth.  My parents tried to teach us not to want stuff by limiting our gifts, which made me think that being resourceful and thrifty was a huge downer.  With my son, I’ve purchased some really fun secondhand stuff so that we keep our budget in check, we recycle, and we show him that living the thrifty green lifestyle can be a grand adventure.  This started with all the garage sale loot for his second birthday.  Virtually all his clothes, toys, and furniture has been purchased used, which seems perfectly normal to him.

Garage Sale Gift Shopping

Last week you read about our adventures in green birthday party planning–but that’s only half the story. Our quest for quality gifts started long before the birthday festivities when I declared that we could buy all Roscoe’s birthday presents used.

My husband was a bit skeptical, especially because we had a very specific birthday list for our son.  It was short, but we knew he’d enjoy his presents and they wouldn’t crowd our small house:

  • A tricycle
  • A collapsible play tent
  • A wooden city bus (He’s obsessed with public transport)
  • A book

After weeks of searching online for a used trike, my husband started pricing new tricycles at around $50-$100 each.  My tightwad soul couldn’t bear spending that much on one gift.  So with a purse full of small bills, I hit the garage sale circuit to see if we could find everything we needed.