We have a love-hate relationship with loot bags. Sure, we hate plastic waste and the throwaway nature of most of the cheap items. And yet… it’s actually not so easy to simply say “no loot bags”. Sometimes the kids want them, or their guests expect to receive them, and they can be a fun addition to the festivities. So here are some tips to make loot bags more eco-friendly by focusing on the materials used to make the items (trying to minimize plastic) and looking for goods that will be used for more than two seconds before being pitched.
These are a few of our favourites:
3-D Mini Wooden Checkered Cube Puzzle
Not only does this little wonder look good, it’s also great for promoting problem solving and fine motor skills. Perfect for passing a minute or an hour without a screen in sight, we love that it’s made from wood. Note – there are other puzzles available in a range of difficulty levels.
Mini Potted Succulents
If you can’t have a pet, you can have a succulent. Houseplants are great for kids to learn how to care and maintain a living thing, and they’re super cute, too. You can find a variety of succulents at most greenhouse and garden centres, even in the chillier weather. Place one into a sweet pot for a living loot bag item.
$22 for 6, does not include succulent, amazon.ca
Danesco Silicone Smoothie Straws
We know that plastic straws are an environmental evil, but smoothies need a straw! Thankfully these silicone ones come in kid-friendly hues and are easy to wash and reuse. Pop one into each kids’ loot bag for an item they’ll actually use.
$10 for 4, well.ca
They’re yummy. They’re iconic. And they come in a paper box – no plastic pollution from candy or chip wrappers here. Plus, peanut-free.
Finally, art supplies made from recycled plastic. We don’t want to curtail their artistic tendencies, but we don’t like all the plastic often used. Now they can colour their lives fantastic, minus the guilt.
$10 for a 12-pack, staples.ca
Vintage Hello Pin
Oh my gosh, buttons are back. In only we’d kept our stash of Cotton Ginny and Roots pins, our kids would be in heaven. However, Urban Outfitters and their Urban Renewal program offer the next best thing – vintage pins for purchase (saving them from the landfill). There are a variety of motifs, and the retro appeal is high.
Tin BB Puzzles
We remember these…sometimes simple really is best, as the player attempts to ease to tiny ball into the correct slot. Tin not plastic, skill not electronics. Fun!
Yoobi Stamp Set
This is a bigger ticket item that is good as a single or main item loot bag. These wood and rubber stamps are durable and made from more renewable resources, plus the “good vibes” theme and assorted items, from rainbows to avocados, will supply on-trend fun.
Hi-Bounce Rubber Ball
As far as resources go, rubber isn’t the worst: it comes from a tree, will biodegrade, and isn’t plastic. Plus, remember how many hours of play can be had with this one very bouncy, slightly squishy, and super fun ball?
Party Animal Paper Masks
We like that these animal masks are made from paper rather than plastic. Guests will have a hoot pretending to be monkeys, tigers, zebras and giraffes and is a great way to support an animal-themed party.
$13 for 8, lolliloot.com
Washi tape is a wonderful product, made from natural fibres and is easily compostable. It’s fun for crafts and design, and choosing the different patterns is a delight.
$4 for a 3-pack, walmart.ca
flip & tumble Produce Bags
Now for the bag itself. Bags made from cloth remnants are great, or paper bags made from 100% recycled content. But why not place the goodies in a produce bag that will (hopefully) be put to good use by the receiving household? Bye-bye, plastic veggie bags. Hello, reusables!
$14 for 5, well.ca