Society is gaining a greater awareness of issues related to the environment such as climate change, ocean isles of plastics, air pollution. The good news is that, on one side, governments are acting, for instance, implementing strategies to ban disposable plastic products, and other, companies are committed to eliminating single-use non-recycled plastics . At the same time, parents are improving their understanding of the causes behind these problems, and they are looking for more long-lasting, earth-friendly products now more than ever. To learn more check out this link here
OUR FAVOURITE ECO FRIENDLY TOYS FOR BABY
Of course, there are some toymakers who use nothing larger than a hand tool to create artisan pieces, but for the mass market, a highly automated process is the standard.
What makes a toy eco-friendly?
The credentials of eco-friendly toys vary and may include any combination of:
- Carbon-neutral manufacturing
- ‘Natural’ materials (e.g. wood instead of plastic)
- Recyclable materials
- Recyclable/minimised packaging
- Renewable materials
- Responsibly sourced materials
- Zero-carbon delivery
Manufacturers with a focus on sustainable toys may also have other corporate responsibilities, such as a commitment to ethical working practices and to pay a fair wage no matter where in the world their toys are made.
Therefore its important to consider toy manufacturers who are thoroughly concerned about every single step of production line as well as other activities and are wholeheartedly committed to minimising environmental impacts.
In addition, Sustainable Play is a fundamental foundation to nurture creative minds bringing children to understand what nature gives back to them. This includes Sustainable Material, Sustainable Manufacturing and having a Sustainable Mind.
Materials that make a difference
The toy industry uses tons and tons of plastics every year. But for the next generation of parents, in general, “Plastic is not fantastic”. There are other materials that can be used instead.
Wooden toys seem to last almost forever, with many well-loved favourites passed down from generation to generation.
Wooden building blocks, in particular, are a classic addition to any playroom. These traditional and durable toys not only allow your child’s imagination to run free, but have also been proven to improve spatial awareness, improve motor skills, and cognitive flexibility.
At Eco Baby Boutique we pride ourselves on providing families with durable, long-lasting, practical and purposeful wooden blocks for children.
Wooden blocks allow children’s imaginations to run free and build their own world. As children create with block sets, they learn to see the world through different eyes. Simple, versatile and created especially with boundless imaginations in mind, they are the perfect tool for learning and playing.
By giving your child wooden blocks, boys and girls can both learn to build whatever inspires them. See our range here
Plant-based new materials
There are other materials that are also considered more environmentally friendly than plastic and are being increasingly used in toys. For years now, bamboo has been clearly chosen in the context of sustainable toys, companies have used it in some of their best products. Our Bamboo comforters are 95% mechanically made bamboo which means they are the highest grade of Bamboo commercially available. The dolls have knotted arms and legs which assists your baby to develop sensory skills. The fact that they are made from Bamboo makes them Eco Friendly and free from nasty chemicals. They are also ethically made as they are compliant with the BSCI audit. The BSCI is a developmental audit approach that allows members to assess their factories on socially responsible production practices such as labour rights, working conditions and health and safety. Bamboo is also naturally hypo allergenic and has anti – bacterial properties which makes them extremely safe for babies. The bamboo fabric is considered safe for babies with skin allergies and irritations making our comforters an extremely safe toy for little ones. Check out our comforters here
Cardboard is another option, as it allows children to convert cardboard boxes into cars or planes using stickers that are plastic free and eco friendly. Another great example is a puzzle toy or letters and numbers toys that are made of sturdy recycled cardboard. Our puzzle range can be found here https://www.ecobabyboutique.com.au/?s=puzzle&post_type=product
Another possibility is the use of recycled plastic. In France, the company Clip launched building sets manufactured with 90% recycling plastic from bottle caps to the market. In the United States, The main source of recycled plastic in this new product is collected from within 50km of waterways in global communities in the USA that lack waste-collection infrastructure.
In the context of textiles, organic is the key word. Organic cotton is one of the most used materials to create environmentally friendly toys. Eco Baby Boutique has a wide selection of organic textiles in our toy and clothing range. Our Cheengoo range of crocheted toys are a great example; designed in San Francisco, USA but lovingly hand-crocheted by a team of artisan women in China, mostly mothers and farmers working to provide their families with extra income for basic needs. These toys are lovingly hand-crocheted using luxuriously soft yarn derived from the pulp of the organically grown and sustainably harvested bamboo trees. Bamboo is the world’s fastest growing plant (growing 100cm in only 24 hours) making it one of the most environmentally sustainable & renewable resources.
Shop here for Cheengoo teether toys https://www.ecobabyboutique.com.au/product-category/baby-gear/comforters/
Non-toxic paints and dyes
And also very relevant to consider, for the use of paints and dyes the non-toxic factor is essential (e.g. Cuburo).
Raising awareness with specific topics
No doubt another way to create eco-friendly toys and games is by using a related topic. Think about themes that are educational in a way that instills values and promotes awareness of specific issues that are impacting the environment. Obviously recycling is a big topic. For instance HEVEA Planet began as a question that needed an answer: how to take care of our children and our planet just a little bit better. That makes everything quite simple for us: we were born of an urge to do better. To show that how we act and live in the world makes a difference to ourselves, and our children – the citizens of tomorrow. The lack of natural options for our future generations and the choices we have to make was what made Hevea Planet turn to Hevea Brasiliensis – natural rubber, and this has formed the basis of their mission and purpose. Shop our range of Hevea products here
Collaborations with non-profits
Some non-profit organisations are actually realising the importance and impact they can make on children by selling toys and games. In 2017, the international marine conservation nonprofit Sea Shepherd launched Pollutoys, stuffed animals that teach children about ocean pollution. Through their website people can donate to support marine life.
Toy companies are also implementing their own campaigns to help the planet. With the materials they use, the topics they choose, and also their campaigns to improve the environment. Some even have programs to restore forests and set up foundations to foster environmental minds through several activities for example our Hug a Bub range have partnered with Eden Reforestation Projects which is hoping to plant a minimum of 100 million trees each year by 2025, and to offer hope through the employment of tens of thousands of people in countries where poverty is rampant.Eden Reforestation Projects has a primary goal to lift people out of extreme poverty, and, in doing so, is a model for environmental restoration and land management.Given that trees create a home for animals, purify water sources, control flooding and erosion and help to replenish the soil with nutrients needed for farming, the benefits of planting suitable trees in deforested countries are myriad.Hug-a-Bub has long been a partner with organisations and charities that look after the health of babies and the health of Mother Nature.Your baby’s future is dependent on the decisions we all make today, everyday, and we take that responsibility seriously.Our support and/or alliances have embraced such organisations as the Australian Breastfeeding Association, the Australian Physiotherapy Association, the Reflux Infant Support Association, Rainbow Families, the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance and both Healthy Hips Australia and the International Hip Dysplasia Organisation.We are also committed to supporting independent certification of our green credentials, namely the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), recognised as the world’s leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibres. It defines high-level environmental criteria along the entire organic textiles supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well; and World Fair Trade Organisation, which ensures the manufacture of each Hug-a-Bub makes a tangible contribution to the fight. To shop Hug a Bub click here:
It is important that toys for babies and young children are not only fun to play with, and preferably stimulate child development, but are also safe. They have to meet strict safety standards. The main issue is PVC and the plasticisers and stabilisers which are added during manufacture. These toxic substances may be ingested when babies and young children chew, as they do, their plastic toys. In addition, if PVC products are disposed of and incinerated they give off dioxins which are carcinogens and can cause developmental and reproductive damage. Because of this, one group of chemicals, the phthalates, have been banned across Europe from use in toys. Greenpeace has campaigned on many aspects of toxic chemicals in toys and household goods since the 1990s and information on the various campaigns (e.g. toxic toys and the chemical home) are available by searching the Greenpeace website.
Green parents who buy wooden toys may wish to avoid tropical hardwoods if they can, and some of the suppliers stock items made from sustainably grown wood, though little information is available.
Eco Baby Boutique aims to provide a range of toys toys which have a strict criteria of having certified 100% organic cotton as, at the very least, the main outer fabric. These make Lovely gifts for newborns and toddlers.
Our aim is to support the first years in the lives of little ones and their families. That’s why we partner with wonderful suppliers who have an ethical sustainability principle. We donate toys and clothing to a local charity that supports vulnerable families in our local Sutherland Shire community. To find out more click here: Dandelion support network
Eco-friendly toys are on the rise
Overall, eco-friendly toys respond to an increasingly important trend that represents more sustainable and eco friendly choices for parents. This is an easy option for families to make better choices towards sustainability and become part of this ever growing phenomenon. Browse our eco friendly toys and gifts here at Eco Baby Boutique !