Compared to 50 years ago, children today are exposed to many more toxins and substances that have a questionable effect on their health. As parents, we want to protect our children as much as possible. One way to do this is to choose eco friendly toys for them to play with. Environmentally friendly toys help ensure that our children are exposed to fewer toxins throughout their day. Green toys are also better for the health of our environment as a whole.
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Choosing Eco Friendly Toys for Your Child
Here are a few green toy options you may want to consider the next time you are shopping for your child:
- Books: Look for books with recycled fiber paper or soy based inks that are environmental friendly and much safer than traditional ones. Many eco-friendly books are also written about topics pertaining to the environment, allowing us to teach our children at an early age about gardening, recycling, composting and living green. Check out my post about Earth Day Books for Kids if you need suggestions.
- Stuffed animals: Stuffed toys made with organic cotton, bamboo fibers, hemp, and wool are just a few of the many options to choose from. You should also make sure that the dyes are natural as well such as “low-impact” or “plant-based” dyes. We recently bought a stuffed bear made from recycled water bottles and I was amazed at how soft it was! Want to thin out your child’s collection of stuffed animals? Read my stuffed animal recycling tips for ideas.
- Blocks: Look for natural wood blocks that are either unfinished or ones that are painted with water-based or lead-free paints.
- Toys: Try to buy eco-friendly options, particularly toys that are made from recycled materials.
- Puzzles: As with books, look for puzzles that are made from 100 percent recycled, bio-degradable material, including soy-based inks.
Shopping for toys for our children can be a lot of fun but it is also a big responsibility. Choosing toys that are handmade or made in small batches from environmentally friendly materials will help ensure that your child’s playroom is as safe as it can be!
More Green Kid Posts to Read
- Green Mom Guilt and Parenting Priorities
- Eco Friendly School Ideas for Greener Classrooms and Smaller Footprints
- A Culture of Cleanliness: A Green Society is a Dirty One!
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Tips for Choosing Eco-Friendly Toys
Finding safe, eco-friendly toys isn’t always easy. It’s not like they are usually carried in mass retailers nationwide. And you will need to budget your money wisely in order to afford green toys for your child. However, keep in mind that kids don’t need anywhere near as many toys as you think they do. Here are a few tips for choosing eco-friendly toys for your children:
- Do Your Research. While this may take time, often once you find a sustainable toy company, you can buy several toys through them and not have to keep searching dozens of other sites. Send these sites to your friends if you want eco friendly baby gifts for holidays and birthdays.
- Read Labels. Make sure you know what those blocks are painted with and whether or not the cotton stuffing is organic. If you are going to pay good money, don’t get greenwashed. Unfinished wooden toys are a great choice.
- Buy Local. Most small toy companies have a more sustainable business model than huge conglomerates do.
- Choose the Right Material. Wood, organic cotton, and some plastics may be good choices for eco-friendly toys.
- Use Second Hand Toys. While they may not be made with upcycled water bottles, they are still better for the planet than buying new.
- Buy Quality Products. Expect to spend more than you do on mass produced products, however, it is worth it for the peace of mind.
- Do It Yourself. Skip the fancy toys and give your kids some pots and pans to bang on. Cheap AND safe!
Check out EcoLife.com for more information about making greener toy choices!
Have you ever purchased any eco-friendly toys for your children?
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.