Here is my confession. I am not perfectly green.
Occasionally, I will have very long, very hot showers (very occasional these days – leaving two small boys to their own devices while one luxuriates in washing oneself is inviting chaos). I always recycle but admit to a passionate love affair with my newest and most evil whitegood – the tumble dryer. I buy toilet paper made from recycled paper (I'm counting on the fact that it wasn't also toilet paper in it's previous life) but compost makes me want to hurl.
I am not perfectly green.
But I care. I look at the world with a green perspective and having children has certainly strengthened my resolve to care for the planet until it inconveniences me too much as much as I can…
Wherever possible, I do like to support local produce and products, handmade stuff makes me giddy and I am a sucker for anything organic or free-range.
And when I fell pregnant, I fell in love with wood. They don't make toys like they used to, right? In some cases, sure, they make them even better but there is something so charming and lovely about a toy that doesn't beep or flash or have a Made In Taiwan stamp. Wooden toys, apart from enjoying retro chic these days, are not only lovely to look upon but they also feel so nice in your hands.
However, having two small boys, I know how toys can take a beating in even the smallest of hands. So there is definitely a place for tough, durable plastic toys, too. But is there an eco way to buy plastic toys? I decided to find out.
Below I have listed some lovely eco finds. They're out there if you're willing to look. Enjoy!
Latest crush – Leah from Zoology. I found her on Made It (of course I did, I live there!) and immediately fell in love with her little pieces of wood-crafted goodness. By hand, Leah makes wooden toys and teethers from local, reclaimed and recycled timber. The little bird is ultra swoon-worthy, as is the elephant and there are more little designs to come. These unique little pieces are so much more than the disposable plastic junk that seems to be multiplying in my children's toy box. It's so easy to get caught up in buying cheap shit but a little Zoology elephant is something that could be kept and passed on to future generations. I dunno – there's something lovely about that.
This website is an absolute treasure-trove of eco products for little people. From bottles to bibs, toys to towels, the owner, Donna MacMullin, has put much thought into each item she selects to offer for retail. I found so many covetable bits and pieces. Here are just a few.
Apart from anything else, have you ever noticed how shitful drinks taste when they've been sitting inside a plastic sippy cup? Yuck. I am slowly phasing out all plastic and replacing them with stainless steel alternatives. I love this sippy cup from Onya – I don't own one (yet) but I love the design. It's BPA free and built to be tough but lightweight. I want one. Or two.
LD is currently crrrazy about tools and 'fixing' things. And yet, he does not own a toolset. I am reticent to deal with all the bits and pieces. And the toolsets I've seen in the past have just been such junk – but still cost a fortune. The Green Toys Toolset has 15 pieces (that seems manageable, right?) and is made from non-toxic recycled plastic. This is a definitely on the list for possible birthday presents, come July.
Why do I do this to myself? Why do I look at clothing for little girls? WHY? Oh, the agony. This dress by Little Wings is made from 100% organic cotton jersey under fair trade conditions and is so sweet I need to cry into my pillow tonight when I think about how it's on sale right now but Zee would look funny in it…
A good towel is so nice to get out of the bath to, isn't it? This towel from 3 Sprouts is made from soft organic cotton. I have two little monkeys whose heads would look pretty cute in that hood!
3. Eco Toys
Specialising in products that have been made ethically and in an environmentally concious way, Eco Toys is loaded with great eco finds. Check out owner, Melinda's blog and be inspired by her committment to all things eco. Here are a couple of my faves.
This is the HaPe Bamboo E-Plane. Am I alone in thinking the design of this thing is AWESOME? Zee has just started copying his brother in making things 'fly through the air' whilst making the accompanying 'wshhhhhhhhhhh' sound. Bloody cute. I think they would both love this little beast.
Do your kids love scooping stuff in the bath? Mine do. Namely big cups of water that they then tip over the side and onto the floor. Personally, I think these Boon Floating Water Bugs might be a better idea. They are BPA, Phthalate and PVC-free, making them one the safest bath toys currently on the market. Given Zee's propensity to chew the shit out of all bath toys, this is comforting to know.
So, some eco choices for you to consider. The way I see it, toys are expensive. If I have to spend the dollars, it's actually really nice to think that there is a greater good being served by my purchase.