As a business, I try to honour what we have been given stewardship of by:
- recycling boxes that come with toys to me. I do this by packaging orders in them and covering up any labelling so children don’t know what’s in the box when it arrives.
- recycling all the packaging that comes in orders to me, back into orders going out.
- dispatching in cardboard instead of plastic, where possible
- not buying any plastic bubble wrap but protecting the contents of orders using brown paper or cardboard (or bubble wrap that has been sent in orders to me)
- using paper tape instead of plastic tape on boxes that don’t have plastic tape already on them
- offering sustainable toy options on my website
If you want to make a conscious effort to only buy toys that are made with the earth in mind, check out these brands:
GOKI donates a new forest every year to Germany’s least wooded federal state. More than 400,000 trees have been planted by them since 2004. GOKI toys are all made from wood from sustainable European forests. They have set an ambitious and unique goal of eliminating the four plastics (PVC, PU, ABS and PS) from all their toys by 2020 (I haven’t heard if they have succeeded) and replacing them with environmentally friendly alternatives. If you’d like to read more about Goki’s environmental policy, check out this blog. You can find my range of goki toys here.
In all their import and export activities, Egmont Toys try to limit their impact on the environment as much as possible. They avoid air transport, they try to work with full containers, the orders are packed in recycled carton, for pallet shipments, they work with recycled euro pallets and they recycle themselves all excess carton they have. On top of being members of the recycling organisations FOST + and VALIPAC, right from the start when they are designing a new product, wherever possible they choose materials with the smallest impact on the environment. The majority of their team of collaborators cycle to work. And their newest project is to install a big sun panel on their roof, in order to be self sufficient in electricity. You can find my range of Egmont Toys here.
Small Foot are committed to using the renewable resource of wood and avoiding plastic when possible. More and more of their toys come with the FSC mark. You can find my range of Small Foot Toys here
FSC – The Mark of Responsible Forestry
The goal at SES is to reduce their carbon footprint every year. They are making their entire business operations CO₂-neutral by purchasing and managing European forests. They offset their full CO₂ consumption and supply 100% CO₂-neutral toys. You can find my range of SES Creative Toys here.
These crocheted rattles are just gorgeous. Pebble toys was initially conceived to combat poverty and to provide jobs in rural Bangladesh so that people did not have to move to Dhaka to get jobs. Providing flexible jobs in the villages has meant that parents stay with their children and play a role in the life of their village. Many of Pebble’s rural production centres are set up in conjunction with NGOs to provide an alternative to over farming/fishing in specific areas. Pebble set up rural production centres in the area offering flexible work and paid employment to people, whilst the NGOs created programmes to protect the land and allow for regeneration. The availability of paid work has meant that the people do not have to raise cash crops, they can cultivate only what they need to eat and then make additional cash through working with Pebble. Above is their Crab Baby Rattle. You can find my full range of Pebble Toys here.
PlayPress sets are eco friendly and made from toughened cardboard instead of plastic. They say about their products that the ‘environment is at the heart of everything we do’ and that they ‘don’t think that quality toys need to cost the earth. That’s why we put care into every part of our product, from the sourcing of our materials through to responsible manufacturing and design’. The fibres for their playboard are bleach- free and sourced from sustainably managed forests in Finland. They use food safe water-based inks and glue that are vegan, biodegradable and ocean friendly. They use materials that are fully recyclable, 100% biodegradable, whilst also being robust for play. Their toys conform to European standards and are locally manufactured in the UK to minimise air miles. I stock the Savannah Animals Set, the Check-Up Time Play Set and the Dinosaur Roar play set.
Today, 95% of Djeco products are FSC® certified.This approach will be extended to all our collections from September 2022. Djeco has already eliminated single-use plastic packaging and replaced it with paper sleeves for all its collections.
Me and Mine
Me&Mine is a lovely company that makes retro wooden toys. I stock their playground skipping ropes, wooden catapults and spinning tops. The wood and paper they use is FSC certified, which guarantees sustainable harvesting. All their packaging is made with recycled and recyclable material. All their production is carried out in the province of Barcelona. Producing locally allows them to minimize the carbon footprint and to encourage a fairer distribution of the economy. Their products do not require batteries or any other type of electronic mechanism; they stimulate spontaneous, open–air, manipulative and social play and they have eliminated plastic from all their packaging.
Almost every day a truck load of beech wood reaches the toy production plant of the HABA FAMILYGROUP – that’s around 5,000 cubic meters a year. Given these large quantities, HABA ensures that delivery routes are short. It is also very important for the HABA FAMILYGROUP to ensure that a product is sustainable from the very beginning of its life cycle. The company is regularly involved in the reforestation of local forests. They power their factor using solar powered energy. You can find my full range of HABA Toys here.
I know there is always room for improvement for most toy companies, my own included. Producers and sellers are influenced by toy demand so it’s important that we make choices that reflect our interest in looking after the earth. In order to encourage that today and mark World Earth Day, I am offering 10% off toy sales. Simply use the coupon code ‘EARTHDAY23’ at the checkout. This coupon is just valid for today so don’t delay!
Happy Earth Day,