Sustainable Toys

I’ve written a lot on this blog about ways we try to go green, and while I was still pregnant about my frustration with all the ‘stuff’ that is marketed to parents and pregnant women with the false sense that you need to have this or that.

One thing that especially bothers me is the plastic toys. All I can think of is their staying power in the landfill and how most parents probably don’t bother to try and dispose of them in an environmentally responsible was – like giving them to a thrift shop, passing them on to another parent, etc. Something that especially annoys me is the amount of cheap plastic crap that is sold at dollar and discount stores. I mean that plastic Fisher Price bike is one thing, because it will at least last through at least a couple of kids use before it ultimately breaks and ends up in the landfill. But those chintzy push cars and little bikes sold on the cheap? Yeah, you’ll be lucky if they last through your first kid.

Now, I’m not going to act like our house is some sort of plastic toy free utopia and we prance around in our organic cotton clothing playing with toys made from sustainable wood and bamboo. No, like every other household in America, we have plastic toys. One of Ivy’s current favorites is her Little Tykes farm playhouse. And guess what? It’s All plastic. Unless you are rolling in the $ (hey that wooden shit is expensive!) and never receive a gift from anyone, it’s hard to exist without plastic toys.

But that’s not to say that we don’t do our best. We have a lot of wooden stuff, and we try our best not to purchase brand new plastic stuff. Contrary to what my husband thinks, we are not overrun by toys. Aside from the Fisher Price busy ball popper which I am dying to get for Ivy, we try not to buy a ton of new stuff, figuring she will receive most of her toys as gifts. I like to think that Ivy’s tiny carbon footprint will not grow to an epic proportion.

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3 Responses to Sustainable Toys

  1. TMae says:

    We have the same thoughts here. SO.MUCH.PLASTIC. It’s unavoidable. And totally overwhelming. I can’t go to BIG BOX Toy Store without having a complete panic attack about all the crap (oh and the not-so-subtle boys and girls toys. For heaven’s sake, the girls can’t play with footballs, and the boys Barbies!)

    We’ve been talking about getting the boy some outdoor toys, which leads us to Little Tykes stuff, which is all plastic. I justify buying it by buying it used…it makes me feel a little better…

  2. We have the same struggles. We try and buy only wood and cloth toys, but we wanted a push/ride car and they are all plastic and all made in china, which we also try and avoid. We try and buy mostly used plastic toys, but that can be hard. The outdoor stuff is normally in awful shape.

  3. Suzanne says:

    I have a friend who has THREE kids and has never bought a plastic toy. They do all wood or cloth or yarn & don’t even buy the plastic stuff second-hand – I think the only stuff they have is third or fourth generation hand me down or from the one relative who refuses to follow their requests.

    I’m actually pretty happy with the amount of plastic stuff we’ve bought. Looking around, the ride on car and the slide and the playhouse out in the yard were all free & used. There are a lot of wooden toys. And the plastic stuff we do have can be handed down to second/third/fourth kids easily and later donated.

    Then again, we’ve only gone through one Christmas. This year is going to be AWFUL, since almost all toys for a 21 month old are loud, cheap and plastic.

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