Monopoly offers green houses, but that’s about the only thing green in the classic board game we adored as kids (but never could finish). No one was better at it than my dad, a real estate developer versed in the game of buying what you land on before some other shnook gets it and makes a fat profit every time you visit his hotel development. What were the lessons? Buy more than you sell, build it up as quickly and as cheaply as possible, and the one who bankrupts his neighbors emerges the victor.
Are there better lessons for our kids to learn while playing board games? I spotted a few eco options while checking out holiday gifts for my girls. Tired of material world tokens like cars, top hats and shoes? Check out the evergreen alternatives I landed on:
A natural alternative to the original, in this challenge your property value increases by collecting carbon credits and trading them in for clean air. You might miss taking a ride on the Reading but passing an emissions test is more rewarding than passing Go any day. I love how the pieces and board are made of eco friendly, recycled materials, giving even more integrity to this creative concept. I found it at Eco Wise (shown above).
It’s a Green Life
Designed by a mom named Patty Allen of Oh Happy Days Games, it contains 52 spaces representing the 52 weeks of the year we can all make a difference. You grow, Patty!
Let’s Save Our Planet
From Earth-Angel Enterprises, perhaps the new Parker Brothers of our generation, it is billed as more educational than competitive as it involves two players (Eco-angels and Schmutzies) in a question-answer game in which trees are awarded for answering correctly.
A game packed with lessons about science, nature and the environment, Bioviva comes in different editions and may be the most heady of all of these recreational diversions and considered one of the new classics in connecting us with Mother Earth.
Bird Watching Trivia and Explore the Great Outdoors
Two games from Uncommon Goods, they cater to our camper spirit, the joy of hiking Half Dome, the thrill of hearing a birdie sing as you pulse your smoothie in that solar blender by the tent.