Monday, July 26, 2010

Fair Trade Toys: Fun for Kids, Kind to the Environment

Not all of the products we own are manufactured to the benefit of all parties. But with the aptly named “Fair Trade” items, production is engineered to ensure not only their durability and functionality, but also the equitable compensation and treatment of the people and materials used to create them. In addition to sparking fun and imagination, Fair Trade toys offer an array of socially responsible advantages:
Handmade in developing countries: India, Peru, Thailand, Sudan, and Haiti are just a few of the countries where Fair Trade toys are produced.
Beneficial to the creators: Crafters receive fair wages and benefits for their work; in turn, their families and communities benefit from the income.
Unique, high-quality designs: Since every toy is handmade and not rushed through a factory line, each is fashioned individually with painstaking attention to detail and the finest materials available.
Safe for children: Unlike the standard kids’ toys made in China, Fair Trade toys are made from entirely toxic-free plastics and paints.
Environmentally friendly: Made from natural, sustainable materials, Fair Trade toys are produced by eco-conscious companies that seek out the most efficient, low-impact processes.
Fair Trade toys are a win/win: kids get to enjoy imaginative play, while you are content in the knowledge that your purchase is contributing to a healthier planet and benefiting the people and communities producing them. And on top of all those advantages, each toy presents an opportunity to introduce your children to a new culture and a different part of the world. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Eco-friendly Toys: Good All Around

From new cars to dishwashing detergent, virtually every purchase these days is centered around eco-friendliness—with some exceptions. Until just recently, there wasn’t much focus on environmental responsibility in the toy industry. Eco-friendly toys are finally beginning to grow in popularity and availability, although many consumers still aren’t aware of them.
As their name implies, eco-friendly toys are good for the earth. The meaning of this phrase can vary: the toys might be manufactured from recycled or renewable materials, colored with water-based paints, produced locally, or use minimal packaging. Regardless of the specifics, most eco-friendly toys eliminate the risk of toxins and paints that may harm children. Think about it: toys can go into a baby’s mouth, a toddler’s bed, or a kindergartner’s backpack—it stands to reason that extra precautions should be taken to ensure their safety. 
Safe, earth-friendly toys also present an opportunity to teach children about the importance of the environment by involving them directly. When you give your child an eco-friendly toy, you can explain how the toy was made—with sustainable materials, using socially responsible processes, or according to Fair Trade policies—and why that matters. Kids who are raised to respect the earth from an early age will grow into adults who have a deep understanding of and appreciation for their natural surroundings.
As an environmentally conscious parent, eco-friendly toys provide you with a way to help the planet while easing your anxieties about your children’s well-being. You can rest assured that the toys your children are handling and exploring are completely safe  Plus, you’ll be supporting organizations that care about the world as much as you do. Eco-friendly toys are an easy step towards a better, brighter future for your children and future generations.