10 Reusable Gifts for Your Eco-Friendliest Friend

Disposable tea bags can't compete with this pla-tea-pus and his friends.
Disposable tea bags can't compete with this pla-tea-pus and his friends.
DecorChic/Amazon

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By this point, your eco-friendly pal probably has a reusable water bottle that accompanies them everywhere and some sturdy grocery totes that keep their plastic-bag count below par. Here are 10 other sustainable gift ideas that’ll help them in their conservation efforts.

1. Reusable Produce Bags; $13

No more staticky plastic bags.Naturally Sensible/Amazon

The complimentary plastic produce bags in grocery stores aren’t great, but neither is having all your spherical fruits and vegetables roll pell-mell down the checkout conveyor belt. Enter the perfect alternative: mesh bags that are nylon, lightweight, and even machine-washable.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Animal Tea Infusers; $16

Nothing like afternoon tea with your tiny animal friends.DecorChic/Amazon

Saying goodbye to disposable tea bags calls for a quality tea diffuser, and there’s really no reason why it shouldn’t be shaped like an adorable animal. This “ParTEA Pack” includes a hippo, platypus, otter, cat, and owl, which can all hang over the edge of a glass or mug. (In other words, you won’t have to fish them out with your fingers or dirty a spoon when your loose leaf is done steeping.)

Buy it: Amazon

3. Rocketbook Smart Notebook; $25

Typing your notes on a tablet or laptop might save trees, but it doesn’t quite capture the feeling of writing on paper with a regular pen. The Rocketbook, on the other hand, does. After you’re finished filling a page with sketches, musings, or whatever else, you scan it into the Rocketbook app with your smartphone, wipe it clean with the microfiber cloth, and start again. This one also comes with a compatible pen, but any PILOT FriXion pens will do.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Food Huggers; $13

"I'm a hugger!"Food Huggers/Amazon

It’s hard to compete with the convenience of plastic wrap or tin foil when it comes to covering the exposed end of a piece of produce or an open tin can—and keeping those leftovers in food storage containers can take up valuable space in the fridge. This set of five silicone Food Huggers stretch to fit over a wide range of circular goods, from a lidless jar to half a lemon.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Swiffer Mop Pads; $15

For floors that'll shine like the top of the Chrysler Building.Turbo Microfiber/Amazon

Swiffers may be much less unwieldy than regular mops, but the disposable pads present a problem to anyone who likes to keep their trash output to a minimum. These machine-washable pads fasten to the bottom of any Swiffer WetJet, and the thick microfiber will trap dirt and dust instead of pushing it into corners. Each pad lasts for at least 100 uses, so you’d be saving your eco-friendly friend quite a bit of money, too.

Buy it: Amazon

6. SodaStream for Sparkling Water; $69

A fondness for fizzy over flat water doesn’t have to mean buying it bottled. Not only does the SodaStream let you make seltzer at home, but it’s also small enough that it won’t take up too much precious counter space. SodaStream also sells flavor drops to give your home-brewed beverage even more flair—this pack from Amazon ($25) includes mango, orange, raspberry, lemon, and lime.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Washable Lint Roller; $13

Roller dirty.iLifeTech/Amazon

There’s a good chance that anyone with a pet (or just an intense dislike for lint) has lint-rolled their way through countless sticky sheets. iLifeTech’s reusable roller boasts “the power of glue,” which doesn’t wear off even after you’ve washed it. Each one also comes with a 3-inch travel-sized version, so you can stay fuzz-free on the go.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Countertop Compost Bin; $23

Like a tiny Tin Man for your table.Epica/Amazon

Even if you keep a compost pile in your own backyard, it doesn’t make sense to dash outside every time you need to dump a food scrap. A countertop compost bin can come in handy, especially if it kills odors and blends in with your decor. This 1.3-gallon pail does both. It’s made of stainless steel—which matches just about everything—and contains an activated-charcoal filter that prevents rancid peels and juices from stinking up your kitchen.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Fabric-Softening Dryer Balls; $17

Also great for learning how to juggle without breaking anything.Smart Sheep

Nobody likes starchy, scratchy clothes, but some people might like blowing through bottles of fabric softener and boxes of dryer sheets even less. Smart Sheep is here to offer a solution: wool dryer balls. Not only do they last for more than 1000 loads, they also dry your laundry faster. And since they don’t contain any chemicals, fragrances, or synthetic materials, they’re a doubly great option for people with allergies and/or sensitive skin.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Rechargeable Batteries; $40

Say goodbye to loose batteries in your junk drawer.eneloop/Amazon

While plenty of devices are rechargeable themselves, others still require batteries to buzz, whir, and change the TV channel—so it’s good to have some rechargeable batteries on hand. In addition to AA batteries, AAA batteries, and a charger, this case from Panasonic comes with tiny canisters that function as C and D batteries when you slip the smaller batteries into them.

Buy it: Amazon

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10 LEGO Sets For Every Type of LEGO Builder 

Amazon
Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

If you’re looking for a timeless gift to give this holiday season, look no further than a LEGO set. With kits that cater to a wide age range—from toddlers fine-tuning their motor skills to adults looking for a more engaged way to relax—there’s a LEGO set out there for everyone. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite sets on Amazon to help you find the LEGO box that will make your loved one smile this year. If you end up getting one for yourself too, don’t worry: we won’t tell.

1. Classic Large Creative Gift Box; $44

Amazon

You can never go wrong with a classic. This 790-piece box contains dozens of types of colored bricks so builders of any age can let their inner architect shine. With toy windows, doors, tires, and tire rims included in addition to traditional bricks, the building possibilities are truly endless. The bricks are compatible with all LEGO construction sets, so builders have the option of creating their own world or building a new addition onto an existing set.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Harry Potter Hogwarts Express; $64

Amazon

Experience the magic of Hogwarts with this buildable Hogwarts Express box. The Prisoner Of Azkaban-inspired kit not only features Hogwarts's signature mode of transportation, but also Platform 9 ¾, a railway bridge, and some of your favorite Harry Potter characters. Once the train is built, the sides and roof can be removed for play within the cars. There is a Dementor on board … but after a few spells cast by Harry and Lupin, the only ride he’ll take is a trip to the naughty list.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Star Wars Battle of Hoth; $160

Amazon

Star Wars fans can go into battle—and rewrite the course of history—by recreating a terrifying AT-AT Walker from the Battle of Hoth. Complete with 1267 pieces to make this a fun challenge for ages 10 and up, the Walker has elements like spring-loaded shooters, a cockpit, and foldout panels to reveal its deadly inner workings. But never fear: Even though the situation might look dire, Luke Skywalker and his thermal detonator are ready to save the day.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Super Mario Adventures Starter Course; $60

Amazon

Kids can play Super Mario in 3D with LEGO’s interactive set. After constructing one of the courses, young designers can turn on the electronic Mario figurine to get started. Mario’s built-in color sensors and LCD screens allow him to express more than 100 different reactions as he travels through the course. He’ll encounter obstacles, collect coins, and avoid Goomba and Bowser to the sound of the Mario soundtrack (played via an included speaker). This is a great gift for encouraging problem-solving and creativity in addition to gaming smarts.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Gingerbread House; $212

Amazon

Gingerbread houses are a great way to enjoy the holidays … but this expert-level kit takes cookie construction to a whole new level. The outside of the LEGO house rotates around to show the interior of a sweet gingerbread family’s home. Although the living room is the standout with its brick light fireplace, the house also has a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and outdoor furniture. A LEGO Christmas tree and presents can be laid out as the holidays draw closer, making this a seasonal treat you can enjoy with your family every year.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Elsa and Olaf’s Tea Party; $18

Amazon

LEGO isn’t just for big kids. Toddlers and preschoolers can start their LEGO journey early by constructing an adorable tea party with their favorite Frozen characters. As they set up Elsa and Olaf’s ice seats, house, and tea fixings, they’ll work on fine-motor, visual-spatial, and emotional skills. Building the set from scratch will enable them to put their own creative spin on a favorite movie, and will prepare them for building more complicated sets as they get older.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Collectible Art Set Building Kits; $120

Amazon

Why buy art when you can build it yourself? LEGO’s Beatles and Warhol Marilyn Monroe sets contain four options for LEGO art that can be built and displayed inside your home. Each kit comes with a downloadable soundtrack you can listen to while you build, turning your art experience into a relaxing one. Once you’re finished building your creation it can be exhibited within a LEGO brick frame, with the option to hang it or dismantle it to start on a new piece. If the 1960s aren’t your thing, check out these Sith and Iron Man options.

Buy it: Amazon

8. NASA Apollo Saturn V; $120

Amazon

The sky (or just the contents of your LEGO box) is the limit with LEGO’s Saturn V expert-level kit. Designed for ages 14 and up, this to-scale rocket includes three removable rocket stages, along with a command and service module, Lunar Lander, and more. Once the rocket is complete, two small astronaut figurines can plant a tiny American flag to mark a successful launch. The rocket comes with three stands so it can be displayed after completion, as well as a booklet for learning more about the Apollo moon missions.

Buy it: Amazon

9. The White House; $100

Amazon

Reconstruct the First Family’s home (and one of America’s most famous landmarks) by erecting this display model of the White House. The model, which can be split into three distinct sections, features the Executive Residence, the West Wing, and the East Wing of the complex. Plant lovers can keep an eye out for the colorful rose garden and Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, which flank the Executive Residence. If you’re unable to visit the White House anytime soon, this model is the next best thing.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Volkswagen Camper Van; $120

Amazon

Road trip lovers and camping fanatics alike will love this vintage-inspired camper. Based on the iconic 1962 VW vehicle, LEGO’s camper gets every detail right, from the trademark safari windshield on the outside to the foldable furniture inside. Small details, like a “Make LEGO Models, Not War” LEGO T-shirt and a detailed engine add an authentic touch to the piece. Whether you’re into old car mechanics or simply want to take a trip back in time, this LEGO car will take you on a journey you won’t soon forget.

Buy it: Amazon

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11 Fun Pop Culture Christmas Ornaments

Christmas ornaments for every pop culture passion.
Christmas ornaments for every pop culture passion.
Hallmark, Kurt Adler, Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

If there’s one place you can find Bob Ross, Jack Skellington, and Baby Yoda (besides the nearest Spirit Halloween store in October), it’s probably on a Christmas tree. The festive indoor evergreens offer the perfect opportunity for us to show off our varied pop culture passions. Help your friends and family fill every branch this holiday season with these 11 eye-catching ornaments from all their favorite fandoms.

1. Baby Yoda Ornament; $43

The Christmas spirit is strong with this one.Hallmark/Amazon

Every fan of The Mandalorian deserves to have Baby Yoda rocking sweetly in a pram on a branch of their Christmas tree. This one measures about 3 inches by 3 inches, and according to one reviewer, there’s enough space between the Child and the top of the pram to “perch a gift card for an extra special present.”

Buy it: Amazon

2. The Office “World’s Best Boss” Mug Ornament; $9

A not-so-corporate Christmas.Hallmark/Amazon

Whether or not Michael Scott lived up to the statement on his mug is debatable, but he’s definitely one of the most memorable bosses of all time. The serial The Office binge-watcher on your gift list will surely get the joke, and everyone else will just think that person happens to be a really great manager.

Buy it: Amazon

3. A Christmas Story Leg Lamp Ornament; $19

It's glorious!Hallmark/Amazon

A full-sized model of the infamous leg lamp from A Christmas Story might not jive with every decorating scheme, but this pint-sized one is perfect for any Christmas tree—especially if that tree belongs to someone who considers watching the film an important holiday tradition. The ornament even lights up when you pull the cord.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Bob Ross “Happy Accidents” Ornament; $13

Makes a nice trinket for an art studio during the off-season.Kurt Adler/Amazon

Anyone who learned to paint with Bob Ross might appreciate making him part of their Christmas celebration (even if the evergreens in their paintings don’t quite look like the one in their living room). This smiling figurine holds a palette with one of Ross’s most important lessons: “There are no mistakes, just happy accidents.”

Buy it: Amazon

5. Hermione Granger Ornament; $27

"It's 'Levi-OH-sa.'"Hallmark/Amazon

Fictional though she may be, Hermione Granger has truly been a role model for clever kids (and adults) who know books hold the answers to just about everything. You’re probably already buying them a book for Christmas—here’s the ideal ornament to gift with it. It’s part of Hallmark’s “Storyteller” series, which plays scenes from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when all the ornaments are connected with the special power cord (available from Amazon for $29). Other pieces in the series include Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hagrid, Dumbledore, and Hogwarts.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Jack Skellington Ornament; $9

Nothing like doffing your head to wish someone a merry Christmas.Hallmark/Amazon

Strong opinions abound when it comes to deciding whether 1993’s A Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie. If you know someone who’s particularly outspoken about calling it a Christmas flick, you can help them prove their point by adding a Jack Skellington ornament to their Christmas tree.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Stranger Things’ Dustin and Demogorgon Ornament; $13

Ready to turn the holidays upside down.Kurt Adler/Amazon

There’s a good chance the ’80s nostalgist in your life thinks a baby Demogorgon is a necessary Christmas tree fixture. If it happens to be held by a grinning Dustin Henderson? Even better. If your budget is higher, you can spring for the whole Stranger Things crew—Dustin, Lucas, Mike, Will, and an Eggo-wielding Eleven are $100 altogether.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Buddy the Elf and Narwhal Ornament; $20

There's room for everyone on the nice list.Hallmark/Amazon

Though the narwhal only made a brief appearance in 2003’s Elf, his line “Bye Buddy, hope you find your dad!” was iconic enough to earn him a spot on this charming ornament (which actually plays that scene aloud). Everyone knows at least one Will Ferrell fanatic who has the whole movie memorized; this gift symbolizes your permission to let them recite the entire thing on Christmas morning.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Schitt’s Creek Rose Apothecary Ornament; $25

David would approve.Living the Dream/Amazon

Schitt's Creek's David Rose would probably look upon most kitschy pop culture ornaments with derision, so it’s only fitting for his fans to adorn their trees with something classy—like this handmade porcelain and leather ornament from Living the Dream. It’s not actually a product from Rose Apothecary, but it sure seems like it could be.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Doctor Who TARDIS Ornament; $10

The TARDIS looks lovely in snow.Kurt Adler/Amazon

With multiple Christmas specials in the history of Doctor Who, it’s no surprise that most avid viewers consider the holiday an integral part of the show as a whole. Help them celebrate with this 4.5-inch replica of the TARDIS, complete with flashing lights that one Amazon reviewer called “freakin’ EPIC.”

Buy it: Amazon

11. The Year Without a Santa Claus Heat Miser Ornament; $19

He's Mr. One Hundred and One.Hallmark/Amazon

For many, it doesn’t start to seem like Christmas until they’ve watched at least a few Rankin/Bass holiday specials. And while classic characters like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman are common Christmas tree occupants, the same can’t be said for Heat Miser, one half of the polarizing fraternal duo from 1974’s The Year Without a Santa Claus. This hilarious ornament will add some pizzazz to any empty branch.

Buy it: Amazon

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