In my last gift guide, Green Gifts for Lovers , I introduced you to gifts for couples. Today I am excited to share these environmentally friendly gifts for children. With the awesome H-car fueled by hydrogen to the education bamboo-made game that takes speed and coordination to win, your kids can to have fun and you can sleep well at night knowing that while you protect your kids from harmful chemicals and toxins you are also helping the environment.
1. H-Racer - Fuel Cell Car
Top on my list is the H-racer- the smallest fuel cell car in the world. Shanghai's Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies has created this small car with a big agenda. The H-racer is a unique, patented tiny fuel cell car featuring an on-board hydrogen fuel cell system which is fueled up at a tiny hydrogen refueling station that comes with it. Using the same technology that international automobile companies are implementing to develop zero- emission vehicles, this car is fueled entirely by hydrogen.
The idea is to start small, 16cm X 7cm, as matter a fact, and allow people to adapt to this new technology, have fun with it and also learn more about it. Prototype hydrogen cars do already exist, but they are not currently affordable and practical. The big idea is to make it both affordable and practical.
How does the H-Racer work: an external fueling station uses electrolysis to extract hydrogen gas from distilled water and sends the gas to a small balloon inside the car that acts as the hydrogen storage tank. The hydrogen is slowly released from the balloon into the on-board fuel cell where it reacts with oxygen to generate electricity to propel the car's motor. To sum it up, the car runs on water and solar power.
Refueling takes 10 minutes and the car can run in a straight line for three-four minutes. It can travel up to 100 meters on a full tank. The fueling station is powered by a solar panel or two AA batteries.
The H-racer has been nominated for the Intel Environment award in Silicon Valley's Tech Museum, and is the winner of Time Magazine's Best Inventions 2006 award. See Green Car Here
2 Tofu Bear - Made with Soy Silk
Some eco-toys are not as high tech as the H-racer but rather cute and cuddly instead, like the teddy bears at TofuBear. TofuBear's bears are delightful and come in a variety of sizes, and they are meant to be hugged not eaten. The good news is that if your toddler decided she wanted to try it wouldn't be so bad because TofuBear's toys are made from 100% Soysilk® brand fiber, which contain no petroleum, are biodegradable and the fiber that they are made with, is made from the waste produced during the manufacture of tofu. What is Soysilk? Soysilk was first introduced in 2001 by South West Trading Company, the nation's leading provider of SOYSILK® brand environmentally friendly yarns. In addition to the bears' soft texture, the bears can resists bacteria and germs which make these soft cuddly bears environmentally friendly and safe for kids. TofuBear also has tofu bunnies and goats to choose from. See Green Bear Here
3 Miyim - Made with All Natural Cotton
Another bunch of charming stuffed toys comes from Miyim. Miyim uses a process that they call PureWaterWash in which they allow cotton to retain its natural form. The cotton is organic - no chemicals, pesticides or herbicides are ever used in the cultivation process. They do not bleach or treat the cotton when they weave it. For color they only use dye from nature's plants and minerals. Even the gift packaging, a display box and natural organic ribbon are environmentally friendly. It's the kind of toy your child will cherish and that will bring you peace of mind. See Green Toy
4 Soy Crayons - Non-Toxic
Not everything environmental for kids is a stuffed toy or a high tech pricey toy on wheels; crayons can be eco friendlier too. If you haven't heard of this yet, these are crayons made of soybean oil. In addition to the fact that these crayons are non-toxic, they are also brighter, smoother, and biodegradable. They also flake less than wax crayons which are usually made from petroleum. So, when your kid decides to be curious and eat the crayons or stick them up his nose or ears (trust me, they will) it wont be as bad because the crayons aren't toxic like the wax ones. Just be careful not let him plug up all his holes at once. Don't forget to buy a coloring book made from recycled paper too so that your kid can get a good start on his journey to a greener world. See Green Crayon