Baby Green Bean — Happy Toys, Happy Tots

June 11, 2008

Before my daughter was born I told myself that I would not have a house full of plastic garbage littered around the house. For me, plastic toys were not just unsightly but really not earth friendly. Not to mention, plastic toys don’t last long, break easily, lose parts, and need batteries replaced so often that we let them sit there useless until we throw them out.

Here are four pointers to measure the green-ness of toys before buying.

1) What Materials are the toys made of?
Identifying what is classified as a ‘green toy’ starts with the materials used to create that toy. Choose toys which are made with natural or easily recyclable materials. Choose toys made with:

  • Leather
  • Wood
  • Organic cotton
  • Metal (aluminum is easily recycled)
  • Fabric

Avoid toys made with plastic as plastic is a non biodegradable oil based product.

2) What country are the toys made in?
Surprisingly the location where the toy is manufactured has a large impact on its ‘greenness’ . Most toys these days are produced in China and as a result incur an enormous environmental ‘carbon footprint’ due to the distances travelled. A Toys ‘Carbon Footprint’ increases every mile that toy has to be transported.

3) Will this toy break in the first 10 minutes?
Well made toys are inherently green because they can be passed down and are not designed to be used for a week before they break. Select toys that are robust, made with quality materials and designed to stand the test of time.

4) Can the toy eventually be recycled?
All toys will eventually find their way to the landfill unless their components can be recycled. Some toys are manufactured in a way that allows for their parts to be easily disassembled.


6 Responses to “Baby Green Bean — Happy Toys, Happy Tots”

  1. Mohammad Mertaban said

    You sound just like my wife. She wants everything in the house to be green, earth-friendly, even the toys!!

    I think she won me over though 🙂

  2. MetaMuslim said

    Cheesy. I just barfed on my keyboard and I’m sending you the bill, Mertaban. Too bad keyboards are made out of tons of plastic.

  3. MetaMuslim said

    ps. Nice post but my only concern with all natural baby toys would be the ability for them to get dirty (maybe to an unhealthy level… fungus, etc?) and how much harder they would be to clean than plastic toys. Perhaps this is just a non-issue. I want messy kids but I also want toys that can keep up with them. I don’t know anything about this topic but just throwing some things that came to mind. Enlighten me.

    Also.. 2 words. Cardboard boxes. Kids love em and highly recyclable :p

  4. Sarah Al-Habib said

    Hahaha Comedy comments.

    If you have toys made out of cloth, wouldn’t you just put them in the wash?

    Are you REALLY going to tell me that as a kid your mother took a sponge and washed all those plastic Batman, Superman, Nascar toys- everyday? No, I didn’t think so.. (If so, you’re mother rocked!)

    But seriously – Imagine all the bacteria that must have built up over time. Especially when you had guests over as a child playing with all your toys.. Then again, I don’t know if I would give my child a toy radish and carrot. – kidding –

    Thank you for your educational post Ferdaus, really insightful I enjoyed it! 🙂

  5. MetaMuslim said

    Nascar toys? I’m offended. My mom didn’t raise no Republican. If you meant Hotwheels, then sure.

    I used to play with my plastic toys in the tub so they automatically would get washed. Alright, that was TMI.

    I definitely wouldn’t give my kids toy veggies… I don’t want them to think it’s okay to play with food. #5 should have been, What kind of habits might the toys create in your children? Ferdaus, you’re slippin’.

  6. Angie said

    I love the toy carrot!

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