Thursday, November 26, 2009

Top Ten Ethical Toys for Christmas

Alright. You can’t deny it any longer. Christmas is just around the corner. Working at a toy store, I’ve noticed that people seem more and more stressed the closer it gets, rushing in to get their Christmas shopping done in a hurry. It’s getting to a point where flustered customers don’t seem to care what these toys cost—or how they’re made. They just want to get it out of the way. Understandable; nobody likes stressing over the holidays (such a paradox…), but before supporting companies that use synthetic materials and harmful manufacturing methods, check out some of these extra-special toys for your extra-special sibling, niece or nephew, or toy drive. For those of you who have special little ones to buy for this year, here (in no particular order) are my top ten Ethical Toys for Christmas:

Fuzz That Wuzz

Believe it or not, these cuddly stuffed animals are 100% made from recycled PET bottles. These recycled plush toys are one component of Mary Meyer’s “earthmates” line, which also includes two other lines of plush toys; one line completely composed of organic materials, and one line of plush made completely from bamboo. More info.

Pictures to come!

Green Toys

All these play-pretend toys are composed of recycled plastic milk jugs. The recycled plastic is THOROUGHLY cleaned, guaranteeing safe play. Packaging is 100% recyclable and is minimized as much as possible. All Green Toys are made in California, which cuts down a TON on transportation. More info.

Plan Toys

Plan Toys makes all their products from rubber trees, and to prevent deforestation, new trees are planted for each one that is used to make these classic-style toys. They use vegetable based paint (extra safe for babies to chew on) and their manufacturing plants use state of the art solar energy. More info.

Pull Along Zebra

Sprig Toys

Taking a stand against the growing trend of passive “watch-me” electronic toys, Sprig strives to develop toys that keep kids having fun and moving around. This company is a reformed one, at one time being one of the big, environmentally-detrimental companies. But when the designers saw first-hand how their manufacturing plants affected the environment, they changed their tune, resolving to only make toys that met their new criteria: battery-free, eco-friendly, paint-free and kid-powered. More info.

Wild Republic

This conservation and nature-avid company has been given the nod of approval by such authorities as National Geographic, Audubon and Cornell Lab of Ornithology. They focus on humanitarian endeavours, with three major projects currently running in India; Abhayabala, a housing centre for girl-victims of domestic violence; Panmana Asramam, a rescue/rehabilitation centre for abandoned or slaughter-destined animals, and a trust fund to feed the monkeys that inhabit the ancient Temple of Sasthamkotta (!!!) All projects are funded by a portion of the proceeds from Wild Republic’s toys. More info.

Due to time contraints (or being kicked off the library computer by dialogue boxes reminding me I have a time limit), I will post the other five ethical toys within the next few days.


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