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Exploring the Many Varieties of Eco-Friendly Toys

Date

  Fri 16 Oct 2020

Tags

  ecotoys, eco, toys, green, renewable, environment, eco-friendly

Abstract

If you are keen on keeping children in your family, friend group, or community happy, there are many ways to do so without harming the Planet. From eco-friendly stuffed toys right through to toxin-free art supplies, items abound for those who are willing to do a little research before buying. One good way to start is to look for toys and games that are recognized by standards such as the Global Organic Textile or the Global Recycled Standard. Read on.

Content

Exploring the Many Varieties of Eco-Friendly Toys
by Jennifer Lister

Around 77% of Americans wish to live sustainably, says a cross-generational study led by Southern Cross University, and that includes making wise choices when it comes to everything from the food we eat to the toys we buy. Up until a few decades ago, a large percentage of toys were made from plastic and other materials that are overstressing landfills and causing the doom of many beautiful creatures from the ocean. If you would like to make the shift to sustainable toys for a little loved one, know that there is a wide range of cute, practical, and sturdy items to choose from. These are just a few.

Eco-Friendly Stuffed Toys

Imagine a 100% organic teddy that is cute and cuddly as can be. If you are after this or a similar stuffed toy, look for those that adhere to Global Organic Textile Standard, the Global Recycled Standard, and the World Fair Trade Organization standards. These standards impose set requirements covering the amount of recycled content; social and environmental practices; bans on the use of child labor, heavy metals, and hazardous chemicals, and more. Once you have made a purchase, ensure you wash your little one’s toys gently, using natural, organic cleansers. Avoid bleach no matter how tempting it may be, since it is highly toxic. To ensure it is bug- and mite-free, stick it in an airtight bag and place it in the freezer for a few hours.

Organic and Fair Wooden Toys

Wooden toys are classic purchases for tiny tots; who hasn’t had a wooden choo-choo train, pull-along dog, or puzzle game when they were babies or toddlers? Sustainable wooden blocks and toys are made from non-toxic materials that are free from harmful substances. Their main material is organic wood - i.e. wood that has been grown without any pesticides or other pollutants. Paints and varnishes are usually made from water or soy-based paints and meet official standards. To lend them a gorgeous shine, natural oils and glazes are used.

Environmentally Friendly Art Supplies

Children can spend hours drawing and painting so if your toddler or child is a Picasso in the making, ensure they have all the sustainable tools they need to create their masterpieces. Start out with watercolor paints, choosing those made with plant extracts and natural food coloring. You can also opt for eco-friendly paint brushes made with bamboo handles.

Additional features to watch out for include vegan bristles (made of corn fiber or similar plant-based materials) and recycled aluminum ferrules. Buy them recycled paper to paint on and if you have old unwanted canvasses lying around the house, paint over them with white paint so your child can create their own work from scratch. Finally, encourage them to upcycle, using existing items like old beads, toys, and scrap material to create beautiful installations that express their love for the planet they live in.

If you are keen on keeping children in your family, friend group, or community happy, there are many ways to do so without harming the Planet. From eco-friendly stuffed toys right through to toxin-free art supplies, items abound for those who are willing to do a little research before buying. One good way to start is to look for toys and games that are recognized by standards such as the Global Organic Textile or the Global Recycled Standard.

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