Green shopping guide: 7 shops for kids and housewares

Woodshanti's trundle bed is made from sustainably logged lumber by a worker's collective started in the Bayview neighborhood.

Children, don't let your parents grow up to throw away aluminum foil. Now that you're a big kid, with attendant home cleaning and offspring-maintaining concerns, there's little reason to stop paying attention to the environment -- in fact, what with the better-world-for-the-little-ones hope, you might find yourself doubling down on decorating motifs that will save the world.

Here's a passel of stores (locally-based online enterprises and brick-and-mortar both) in the Bay where you can shop with a clean conscious for housewares and kid's items. We're guiding around enviro shopping all this week -- check out yesteday's guide to garden stores.


This store bills itself as “natural beauty for natural homes,” and does indeed provide a wide selection of gorgeous homewares. Offering everything from Earth Weave bio-floor carpeting to Pacific Rim Woodworking furniture, Eco-Terric allows you to furnish your whole home tastefully and in good conscience. After you’re all done with the hard work of home decorating, lounge around in one of its organic cotton robes and have a spa day with the Coyuchi organic bath products you picked up.

1401 16th St., SF. (866) 933-1655,

Ambassador Toys

With an exciting stock of sustainably-produced toys, this progressive West Portal spot is a child’s dream come true: a shiny, colorful extravaganza of different ways to play. From science kits and board games to stuffed animals, there’s no shortage of great gifts to be found here. Best of all, it’s locally owned and operated, a nice relief for parents used to shopping in the horrific, fluorescent-lit warehouses of the chain stores.

186 W. Portal, SF. (415) 759-8697,

A Happy Planet

Everything sold here is organic, non-toxic, and beautiful in a simple, clean way. Untreated wood furniture, natural drapery, and hemp shower curtains are just a few of the things that an eco-shopper can find here. Happy Planet stocks three different types of organic mattresses: rubber core, inner spring, and woolen, as well as futons. Organic Egyptian cotton baby blankets make a great shower present for your latest crop of knocked-up friends in Noe Valley.

4501 Irving, SF. (415) 753-8300,

Cisco Home

This stylish Hayes Valley shop specifies its goal as “sustainable living,” using only natural and environmentally-friendly materials. Regardless of its lofty and admirable ideals, its stock is simply beautiful. The furniture is delicately crafted and striking, the lighting is hand blown by local artisans, and the beds are luxuriously upholstered. Anyone, no matter how much they may deny global warming, would shop here if they were in the market for stunning home décor.

580 Hayes, SF. (415) 436-0131,


This Cow Hollow boutique is specifically geared towards new parents, exclusively featuring products that are allergy-free, non-toxic, socially and environmentally conscious, and well-designed. Since they stock only the best, there might be some sticker-shock, but rest assured that for those price your baby will be growing up in a soft, organic cotton bubble of adorably patterned textiles and safely-made pacifiers.

2110 Chestnut, SF. (415) 440-9034,


A worker-owned furniture and cabinetry building cooperative, Woodshanti uses only responsibly harvested lumber materials and natural finishes. The results are unique, the sort of furniture Thoreau might have had in his shack in the woods. From the shop's economic utopianism, to its emphasis on creativity and quality craftsmanship, you might feel a happy little glow of saintliness while filling out your online order for a solid cherrywood kitchen island. Don’t worry, this is a normal reaction, it will fade as soon as you order another Starbucks.

909 Palou, SF. (415) 822-8100,

Bella Luna Toys

This Petaluma store specializes in the sort of toys that leave a little something to the child’s imagination, encouraging creative play. A spare wooden sword and shield set for jousting and make-believe quests; a set of simple, colorful wood building blocks, some featuring the rough natural bark of tree branches for constructing fantastic cities; a wooden horse and wagon on wheels for trips to a fictional market. The sort of toys Amish children might play with, classically crafted and pretty enough to decorate a well-appointed living room.

921 Transport Way, Petaluma. (707) 782-0727,