When I’m not bringing you the hard-hitting eco-news, I’m usually spending a lot of my time being the nanny for the most adorable eighteen-month-old baby boy. Seriously. He could win pageants. And since I’m too young to give my mother a grandchild, she treats the little one like he’s her own and showers him with hugs, kisses, and lots of toys.
This got me thinking – what kind of eco-friendly toys are there out there for our little bundles of joy? How big is his carbon footprint – from a toy perspective? Just because they can’t walk or talk or even eat without our help doesn’t mean they can’t ride the green wave too. After doing a little research I discovered some great toy options that are completely price comparable to regular toys. Great news, just in time for the holiday shopping season.
But before I convince my mother to start showering the little guy with green-toys, I thought I would do a little investigative journalism to see whether buying more “eco-friendly” toys would really be that useful for reducing my carbon footprint, and his little paw print.
It turns out that most plastic toys are Resin code 3, or made with PVC. PVC has strong levels of carcinogens because of toy manufacturers adding phthalates – an additive that softens plastic making it moldable.
NYPIRG.com explains the phthalates have a tendency to leach out of their plastic products and not only harm the environment, but also can be toxic to the children that play with them. Phthalates are being phased out in the United States and other countries because of health concerns. PVC is also known to contain lead and cadmium, which can easily contaminate their surroundings when thrown away. For more information about toxic leaching and PVC toys, check out this GreenPeace archive page.
It seems like buying eco-friendly toys may allow you to reduce your carbon footprint and keep toxic pollutants out of our air, water and soil.
Even better, you’ll keep your little ones from harmful toxic chemicals. The kid I nanny for puts everything in his mouth from bugs to rocks, and voluntarily giving him leaching toxic chemicals seems pretty ridiculous.
So I recommend we get our little ones started early on their path to a greener future. Check out some of these environmental toys made from eco-friendly wood, or recycled non-toxic plastic, and have fun!
Be sure to check out our green lifestyle store Green Blizzard Store. Check out these related Green Blizzard articles: Seafood Watch, Are We Eating Fish Into Extinction, Carbon Impact of Meats, Local Produce, Sun Tea, or Growing Basil.