It's Earth Day tomorrow and I don't do nearly enough to help the environment (confession: there is probably a separate hole in the ozone layer just from my dry cleaning garbage) so I thought the least I could do was feature "green" items in my "Big Ticket, Little Ticket" feature— a feature I introduced months ago and never did again. Oops.
I'm going with ECO-FRIENDLY DOLLHOUSES because they sound like they can be used as an actual learning tool instead of say something like— reusable hemp diapers. Not to say anything bad about cloth diaper people. Just because I have no desire to reuse something that my daughter has shat on, doesn't mean that I don't admire this quality in other people.
Let's start with "The Big Ticket", a dollhouse that looks like it has more square footage than my apartment— Emerson House from Bianca Dada.
Emerson House will set you back $329 and that's without furniture. But no fear, you can buy a set for an additional $219. Either that or you can further enhance your green credentials by upcycling househould items into your dollhouse decor. For instance, an empty caviar tin would make an excellent coffee table and if you open up a Cartier watch box, you've got yourself a cushy little occasional chair.
It might all sound like a steep price to pay but if you've got a playdate with Shiloh and Zahara and you'd like them to run home and tell dad all about their environmentally and architecturally superior new friend, I suggest giving the kids something to brag about like Emerson House's sliding glass doors, solar panels, and recessed LED lights.
But if the Jolie-Pitt clan is not your thing, and you'd be more comfortable riding in the back of Toby Maguire's Prius with his daughter Ruby, then I'd suggest "The Middle Ticket", otherwise known as the Bamboo Sunshine Dollhouse by Hape Hape.
In addition to it's adorableness, the Sunshine Dollhouse has full-on eco-conscious credentials. It's made of natural and sustainable materials such as birch plywood and bamboo flooring plus it boasts a fully functional solar panel. I love it so much that I couldn't pass up the chance to showcase it, even though at $150, plus around $30 to fill each room with furniture, it's a pretty pricey alternative.
Which is why I'd also like to offer the Poor Man's Tobey Maguire Special, aka "The Little Ticket" in the form of Eco Home by Plan Toys.
This eco-friendly gem comes equipt with a wind turbine, solar panels, a water tank and an electric scooter all for the the low price of $56. Did I mention that it comes fully furnished? Architectural, environmental, and economical to boot. Perfect for C-list dads like Mario Lopez who want to do their part to save the planet too.
Ok. Now let's say you take environmental issues really seriously. And riding your hybrid car to board your private jet is just not going to cut it. You would prefer to hang out with people who advocate getting off the grid altogether like say— Woody Harrelson and his four-year-old daughter, Makani.
For you, I recommend "The Littlest Ticket"— a 100% Recycled Cardboard Doll House by Faber and Castell.
At just $20, you'll have to put the house together yourself but that's all part of the fun. Like composting! It comes with stickers, markers, and four sheets of cut-outs so your child can design the house of her dreams. Even "the packaging becomes part of the play experience". I'm not sure what that means. Maybe it means that Woody Harrelson can smoke it. Which is good, because I bet Woody would decorate a kickass dollhouse while he's stoned.
Editor's Note: I realized after I wrote this that all my kid references were girls. Of course, boys can play with dollhouses too. (Sissies!)