Toys Go Green for Holidays

Renewable energy is the buzz as Chicago store helps kids while having fun

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    Alternative energy is a hot topic -- and toys are a great way for kids to learn about it.

    As part of our Green Is Universal "Green Your Routine" week, we went in search of options when it comes to holiday gifts - especially for the kids.

    One of the greenest options if you are going to get something new can be found at American Science and Surplus at 5316 Milwaukee. It's the place for everything and anything according to self-proclaimed science geek, Philip Cable.

    "You can find everything here! Whether you are an inventor in need of odd parts or someone just looking for a unique gift," Cable said.

    But it's not all weird science at American Surplus and Science.  They carry an array of alternative energy toys and some of the kits are turning into their top sellers.

    "Alternative energies, solar, and wind and hydrogen -- alternative energy is a great way to get kids interested in science, and there is a lot of fun kits out there to help with that," he said.

    Alternative Toy Shopping: Fun, Random and Sometimes Slightly Odd

    [CHI] Alternative Toy Shopping: Fun, Random and Sometimes Slightly Odd
    A Northwest Side store, tucked behind a bank and a Greek restaurant, offers some unique and fun toys not available elsewhere. To top it off, most of them are educational.

    There are kits on solar power, solar heat, photovoltaics, and even a solar-powered robot. Wind power, hydrogen-powered fuel cells, and even the old standby, the fruit-powered clock can be found amidst the crazy clutter on store shelves. 

    You'll find plenty to learn, plenty of fun and it may be training for a future career. 

    "No question about it. The alternative energy industry - whether you're manufacturing the products, installing the products, maintaining the products, or researching new products ... it's going to become a huge industry," Cable said.  "And as we move away from fossil fuels and to the alt energy sources, it's going to be even bigger."