4 Things To Keep In Mind While Purchasing Eco-Friendly Toys
Posted on February 17 2023
There is literally no cap to the number of toys produced around the world each year and majority of them are made of plastic. Plastic toys aren’t durable enough to be reused or recycled and eventually end up in landfills or polluting our oceans. Which is why it is the responsibility of parents today to make conscious decisions while indulging our little ones with toys that are sustainable and aid learning while being just as much fun. How do you define the sustainability of a toy? Ideally a sustainable toy is not just made of biodegradable eco-friendly materials such as wood, cotton, bamboo, or wool but the manufacturing process is sustainable too.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while selecting a sustainable toy for your child.
1. Made of Natural Materials – In recent time we have seen major toy manufacturers recall batches of toys because of harmful chemicals. There have been instances of toy brands subjecting their workers to violations like poor pay, forced overtime, and unsafe workspaces. Today it is our responsibility as parents to choose toys made from natural materials such as rubber wood, wood, bamboo or organic textiles and toys painted using non-toxic colours. Toys made from natural materials rarely contain harmful pesticides and are not just sustainable for the environment but are extremely safe for your children too. Toys like the Tom-Tom Drum from Brainsmith are made of unprocessed rubber wood and are not just safe for the environment and your children but it also ensures that the sound it makes is as close to the real life size drum.
2. Produced Locally - Currently, majority of toys on the market across the world come from China, a place where safety and environmental hazards are not a major concern for manufacturers. Today as parents we need to try and source toys for our children that aren't just made with eco-friendly material but cause minimal damage to the environment during their manufacturing and transportation process. When you buy from local manufacturers you help save the planet by reducing your carbon footprint since there is lesser fuel usage by vehicles used to transport these toys as opposed to these toys reaching you by air or sea. Additionally, when you buy locally you are promoting the local craftsmanship and economy alike.
3. Open Ended Toys - Open-ended toys are toys that aid in a kind of play that does not have any rules, limitations or fixed ways. There is no right or wrong way while playing with open ended toys and the best part is that they are not limited to a specific age group. Your children don’t outgrow these toys as they literally grow with your child. Open ended toys aid children in using their own imagination and play in their own creative ways. Play doh, paints and crayons, Lego, building blocks, shapes, tiles, stacking sets are a few examples of open ended toys through which kids of all ages can express themselves and use their own creativity for hours of independent play. These toys foster creativity and are durable and not age specific and are far more environmentally friendly than plastic battery operated toys.
4. Quality & Durability - While the price that comes with quality eco-friendly toys can tempt parents to opt for more economical toys, low-priced toys are often the results of manufacturers cutting corners to reduce production costs and, in the process, delivering substandard products to our children. While buying toys that are eco-friendly the price might be a little higher, but the sheer quality and durability of these toys makes it far more economical in the long run. These toys are timeless and can be passed down to siblings and friends once your child has outgrown them. For example a sturdy wooden table and chair is something your child can use for years to come and can easily be passed on to the next generation. Brainsmith’s Wooden Table & Chair is made of solid rubber wood and finished with non-toxic colours. The set is light-weight and sturdy and grows with your little one and can be used for studying and play.
Buying sustainable eco-friendly toys ensures that your kids have a safe and fun childhood. At the same time, you as a parent are doing your part through carefully curating a selection of toys to do your bit in preserving the environment while giving impetus to toy makers that have adopted sustainable practices. The sustainable choices that we make as parents today and incorporate in our little one’s everyday lives will help them make more sustainable choices as they grow older.