Editors' Blog

Green Living editors dish on the latest trends and happenings in sustainability.

As the mom of a toddler, I am now reaching the stage where my kid  learns what something is by putting it in her mouth. Yup, touch is no longer the only way for her to determine what objects are – she has to taste them too. From her feet, to the cat’s tail, you can find it in her mouth. Of course, her little arms can only hold things for so long and it is inevitable that whatever she is holding will get dropped on the floor. So I am  in the market for durable toys.

The big thing for us new (and old) parents to be aware of is – PHTHALATES – I am putting it in bold in the hopes that this word will now jump out at you when reading through the ingredient list of plastic toys. It is pretty scary stuff what this ingredient can do and we can go into that on another day, just know you should avoid it so as not to make it easier for cancer to grow, or other abnormalities to occur in your DNA as a result of long term use. (Phthalates are among the most common chemicals added to plastic, making it more pliable and less brittle. They are also found in cosmetics and other personal care products.)

So what is a new parent to do? What do I do to satisfy my infant's desire to eat all and not have things shatter on my floors? Enter Green Toys, and Sprig Toys. These are my new best friends and not only entertain my daughter but my husband as well.

Green Toys (www.greentoys.com) are made in the USA and created out of recycled materials that come from the USA, so no energy is wasted in transporting materials around the globe. Plus, the toys are made from recycled milk containers. Each pound of recycled milk jugs used saves energy equal to 3000 AAA batteries. That's the same as the amount of energy used to power your TV for 3 weeks, or the amount of energy used to run your laptop for a month! They also create toys that incorporate green concepts to kids. For example, they don’t just make regular trucks, they make a recycling truck for kids to play with, along with their sand play set (great for the cottage) and their tea set for all those tea parties this summer.

Sprig Toys (www.sprigtoys.com) are just as cool and these keep the young boys as well as the older ones (yes, husbands too) entertained. Sprig Toys are made with recycled wood and reclaimed plastic. They don’t use harmful paint and keep packaging to a minimum. They have 3 series of toys, eco trucks, eco adventures and Sprig Hollow. Their toys encourage play with lights that turn on the more the toys are played with. They smell like wood chips and actually breakdown in landfill – so cool!

I feel better now that I know what I can buy my little munchkin versus being on guard against all that is harmful. I am saying yes to a better choice versus no to everything. A much more positive stance. Hope this helps you too!