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Why Sustainable Toys Matter: A Guide to Eco-Friendly Playtime

Why Sustainable Toys Matter: A Guide to Eco-Friendly Playtime

Playtime with a Purpose: Choose Sustainable Toys for a Greener Future

Playing with toys is an important part of childhood, but it’s also a time when kids can learn about the impact their actions have on the environment. That’s why it’s important to choose toys that are not only fun but also sustainable. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at what makes a toy sustainable and why it’s important to choose eco-friendly options.

What is a Sustainable Toy?

A sustainable toy is made from biodegradable, natural materials such as wood, cotton, bamboo, or wool. It’s also manufactured in a way that does not harm the environment, workers, or surrounding communities. This means avoiding the release of carbon, greenhouse gases, and chemical toxins into the air and water.

Wooden toys, for example, can still be produced in harmful ways if made in third-party factories that use various brands. There are varying degrees of sustainability in the toy industry, with some companies being light-years ahead in eco-friendly practices, while others are just starting their journey.

Now that’s not to say that all plastic toys, or toys made from other materials are bad. Toys made from non-toxic plastic can often combine multiple development types into one product reducing the number of toys needed to fulfill needs. These materials are also long lasting and can be reused or often recycled. A great example is our Matchstick Monkey range where, silicone teethers that are extremely hardwearing and safe, they’re manufactured in the UK and help to develop hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, cognitive skills, colour selection and more. 

How to Evaluate if a Toy is Sustainable?

To make it easier to choose sustainable toys, we’ve set five criteria categories: Sustainability, Playability, Durability, Longevity, and Versatility. In this article, we’ll focus on the Sustainability category and its three subcategories.

  1. Product – What materials make up the product? Are they sustainable and biodegradable?

Choosing sustainably made toys is a great way to support a grassroots toy movement and shift the market away from cheap, disposable plastic toys. By buying sustainable toys, parents can influence toy companies to produce more sustainable options. The real cost of an inexpensive plastic toy is a complex and toxic manufacturing process that involves bonding oil and gas molecules with chemicals. Cheap plastic toys are often non-recyclable and have a short life due to cheap production and poor qualiy plastic. They often end up in landfill and, as they never biodegrade they eventually break down into microplastics that pollute the planet indefinitely.

  1. Packaging – Is the packaging biodegradable and recyclable? Does it contain single-use plastic?

Sustainable packaging is important because it reduces the environmental impact of the product throughout its entire life cycle. Packaging waste is a significant contributor to landfill waste, so reducing packaging can make a big difference. By being mindful of packaging, both producers and consumers can reduce their environmental impact. At The Babber we always try to combine shipments into fewer boxes to reduce pollution caused by transportation. Combining multiple smaller-orders into one large order can also help reduce packaging and transportation pollution.

  1. Origin – Where is the toy made and how was it manufactured?

Knowing where a toy is made and how it was manufactured is important because it can reveal the environmental and social impact of its production. Toys made in factories with poor labor conditions or that release pollutants into the air and water are not eco-friendly. By choosing toys made in sustainable facilities, parents can support responsible companies that prioritise the environment and their workers.

Why Sustainable Toys Matter

Millions of toys are produced each year, with most being made from plastic. This results in a lot of waste that will eventually end up in landfills or our oceans. By choosing sustainable toys, parents can teach their children about the importance of respecting the environment and make a difference in the future of our planet.

In addition, buying eco-friendly toys sends a message to the toy industry that there is a demand for sustainable options. This can help drive the market in a greener direction, leading to more responsible production practices and a healthier planet for future generations.

Choosing sustainable toys is a small but impactful way to support the environment and promote responsible production practices. By being mindful of the materials, packaging, and origin of toys.

 

View some of our sustainable products below.

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