Give the Gift of Discovery



Inspire growth through sustainable gifts that encourage active learning and creativity! Rather than gifting the hottest new gadget or plastic toy, look for gifts that will not only be fun, but will have a long-term effect on a child’s memory and growth!

In this gift guide, we’ve rounded up our top picks, sure to spark your child’s imagination and curiosity!





A garden, a fish tank and a huge learning opportunity, the Water Garden 2.0 is the ideal gift! Perfect to educate little ones about closed-loop ecosystems, this kit is easy to use and in as little as 10 days you can be enjoying microgreens and fresh herbs.

The set includes a coupon for a betta fish, a 3-gallon tank, 3 months worth of seeds and everything else needed to get started growing, caring and enjoying.

Easy to operate, the fish waste fertilizes the plants and the plants clean the water (meaning fewer water changes required).  It’s a great way to help explain how we’re all interconnected!

Ready to learn more? Download the free online curriculum to learn all about the science behind aquaponics.


Back to the Roots

Water Garden 2.0




We’ve all seen bird nests, but have you ever wanted to peek inside without disturbing the inhabitants? With this window nest box, that easily adheres right onto your window pane, you can get an inside look!

Your entire family will enjoy observing the natural habitats of your new avian pals. Get excited waiting for eggs to hatch, watch as the baby birds emerge and are fed before getting the strength to fly on their own.

The handmade, ethically sourced box provides a comfortable home for birds, and an exciting behind-the-scenes look into the fascinating life of these feathered friends.



Window Nest Box




Let your child explore engineering and planning while enjoying car and train sets with these beautiful hexagon-shaped building tracks. Since they are not linear, your children’s creativity is not limited by traditional boring tracks that only go in a circle. With these upclycled tracks, they can build outward in any direction they choose!

Customizable stickers allow them to transform the tracks into an entire landscape for hours of play and learning! Already have a traditional train track set? Not to fret, adapter pieces allow kids to connect these new pieces to old play tracks for even more fun options!

While they may look like plastic, these tracks are actually made from sustainable, upcycled injection molded wood, manufactured in Tennessee. The shape is designed for little hands to easily manipulate, making this the ideal toy for all the little learners on your list!

The Grommet

Tobo Toys Upcycled Play Tracks





Encourage your child to create their own toys! These beautiful animal puppets take on a life of their own, once put together.

Not only will this gift teach them how to sew, but it will be a fun bonding opportunity. Plus your kids will feel pride crafting something with their own two hands! Since all of the materials are ethically sourced, reclaimed wool, you can feel good knowing the hours of fun you’re providing aren’t harming the environment.

Choose from a cat, monkey or giraffe – or get all three and put on your own puppet show!


Recycled Wool Puppet Kit




Enjoy hours of fun building tall structures and watching the marbles fly through! Three dimensional thinking, problem solving, early engineering and physics properties will be learned while kids craft their own “marble-run metropolis.”

Each set consists of hand-crafted, carbonized tracks, sustainable wood powder super spirals and bamboo cylinders that can be arranged into an infinite number of marble run courses! This is one toy they’ll enjoy playing with over and over again.  Appropriate for children ages 4 and up.

Fat Brain Toys

Bamboo Builder Marble Run 





Invoke your child’s wonder with a Mushroom Farm kit and grow delicious oyster mushrooms perfect for topping pizzas, mixing into salads, sprinkling on tacos or giving soup a little more flavor! Right before their eyes, kids will experience the delight of watching the first mushroom “pin” and expand into a cluster of home-grown organic treats!

Just add water and in as little as ten days, you’ll have an entire crop of delicious mushrooms! Plus each box can produce up to two crops for twice the fun!

Picky eaters are always more excited to taste veggies they grew themselves, expanding their palates. Allow the pride of growing something lead to including mushrooms into your mealtime arsenal!


Back to the Roots

Organic Mushroom Farm






Excited to gift the joy of growing, but can’t choose? Try the Family Farmhouse Gift Set and you don’t have too!

With the Family Farmhouse Gift Set, which includes an Organic Tomato Self-Watering Planter, 4 Garden-in-a-can cans and an Organic Mushroom Farm, teaching children about farming is easy.

Let them get their hands dirty and watch how different plants grow. After all, understanding where food comes from is key to developing life long healthy habits.







Back to the Roots

The Family Farmhouse Gift Set

$99.99 $84.99



Are you giving your kids the gift of learning this year? We’d love to see their crops and creations! Feel free to tag us @backtotheroots!


– Jan S.




Images Referenced from:

Eartheasy| The Grommet| Fat Brain Toys 

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Large Presents, Small Presence




Small living spaces present large challenges, but there’s no need to skimp on the best things in life due to a tiny apartment. When looking for the perfect gift for your friend (or yourself) with a low environmental footprint, focus on gifts with a useful nature.


So, how does one find a present that does not impose nor is unnecessary? The key is finding products that are multi-use, giving you the most impact, without taking up too much precious real estate in your home.


We’ve searched high and low for our favorite environmentally friendly holiday gifts for those living in smaller situations- these presents are useful, personal, sustainable and of course fun!



Turn your windowsill or fire escape into a vegetable garden and you’ll be eating healthy all year long!

A small space doesn’t necessarily mean a small possibility for culinary delight. With Back to the Roots Growing Kits, any apartment dweller can nurture their green thumb with a USA certified organic cherry tomato growing system.  


The best part? It’s extremely low maintenance. You only have to water this plant once a week!





Back to the Roots
Organic Cherry Tomato Self-Watering Planter 






Eco-friendly functional gifts with a personal flair are ideal for a professional chef or friend just beginning to curate their personal kitchen collection. Each cutting board is handmade from sustainably sourced maple wood and is fully customizable.


When not in use, let these boards adorn your kitchen as functional art.  Now that’s a kitchen tool we can all get behind!


Words with Boards

Personalized Cutting Board






Made from 100% eco-friendly bamboo, Oceanstar’s wine rack is key for creating an elegant display of wines, perfect for entertaining in a tight space.

Stacking wines vertically keeps bottles organized while saving precious room on your countertop or bar cart.


With so many people giving the old-bottle-of-wine-standby, your friends will be thankful for your original gift, which will be useful long after the drinks have been poured!



Natural Bamboo Wine Rack








The kitchen is the heart of the home and well-designed, sustainable kitchenware is a must for anyone keen on incorporating a healthy lifestyle. Store-bought food often sneaks in excess sugars and preservatives, while disposable containers increase our carbon footprint.


Canning at home let’s you skip the preservatives and lock in the natural flavors. Properly canned fruits, vegetables, jams and sauces can be stored without refrigeration, allowing you to be assured you have a plethora of healthful options on hand all year long!


This canning kit comes with all the necessary information and tools, including a canning cookbook to easily get started creating nutritious dishes right at home!




Fagor Home Canning Kit





Bring a little bit of the outdoors in with our Water Garden to elevate your mood, while providing fresh herbs and greens for nutritious meals and snacks. The Water Garden aquaponics’ system, easily interjects life into a loved one’s space with a self-cleaning fish tank that grows organic herbs and microgreens on top. The fish waste helps fertilize the plants and the plants clean the water, making it simpler than ever to grow organic food indoors.


For those interested in alternative gardening techniques and water conservation, this gift is a perfect introduction into aquaponics technology and closed loop ecosystems. Plus you can’t beat the enjoyment of watching each new sprout appear!

Back to the Roots

Water Garden 2.0

$99.99 $79.99






Half of the fun of having a space to call your own is decorating it. Unique objects with a special meaning make a space feel cozy and homey. These handwoven throws from a fair-trade cooperative are not only beautiful, but something they’ll feel good about displaying in their home.


They’re versatile, gorgeous, naturally dyed and available through Maven. Use it as a shawl, a throw, a picnic blanket… the possibilities are endless!


Half Moon Throw


Made from harvested lutindzi grass, picked off the savannah in a manner to keep the roots intact for quick regeneration, these baskets support the local artisans of Swaziland. Their beautiful handwoven baskets generate income for these women with Gone Rural to provide basic needs for their families, such as clean water, healthcare and education.


This 10” basket is ideal for sorting mail, storing cosmetics or keeping fruits and veggies organized on the counter. A conversation piece that your friends will enjoy for years to come.


Global Goods Partners

Handwoven Swazi Basket






Have a suggestion to make a small space feel larger? We’d love to know what gifts you’re giving this year! Leave us a comment or send us a tweet @BacktotheRoots to share all the gifts you’re wrapping up this season.


-Jan S.





Images Referenced from:

Global Goods Partners| Maven (captured by Emily Poole) | Amazon |Eartheasy| Fagor|Words With Boards

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