The original mama is Mother Earth. On April 22, 2009, take some time to think about how you can be good to your mama. Our planet is the greatest legacy we leave our children and our grandchildren.
Many responsible toy retailers are now highlighting products made from eco-friendly materials. Consider buying locally when possible–saving the fuel required for shipping is even better than buying organic, another smart move. And while you are showing your respect for the planet, don’t forget its people: when you purchase items from around the world, look for fair trade products.
Eco-Friendly Toys and Other Products for Children
|Plan Toys: Plan Toys creates classic push and pull toys, musical toys, dollhouses, and more, from renewable hardwoods and non-toxic natural paints and dyes. Even better, the toys are made in fair-wage factories. Beginning walkers love the Woodpecker walker and the classic dancing alligator pull toy (now joined by a funky zebra). Older kids will get hours of enjoyment from the Eco Dollhouse. Many responsible toy retailers, such as Kangaroo Boo, Oompa Toys, and MonkeyBean Toys carry Plan Toys.
|Recycled and Safe Toys: We are jumping with joy for Green Toys! These toys are made of recycled plastic that is food safe–great for inspiring the imagination and a love for our planet. We adore their durable and eco-friendly plastic tea set and are looking forward to their new action toys! Buy Green Toys at Kangaroo Boo or Green Toys at Amazon.
|Eco-Themed Recycled Plastic and Wood Toys: We adore these new Sprig Toys that are not only environmentally friendly, but encourage kids to learn about the earth, too. Sprig Hollow Toys are available at Amazon.
|Reusable Water Art Boards: The creative urge is a wonderful part of childhood. And you’ll want to save your child’s masterpieces. But for quick sketches and for your traveling artiste, go paperless with the zen-like Buddha Board from Nature’s Child or the popular Aquadoodles.
|ImagiPLAY: These beautiful toys inspire the imagination, encourage discovery, and promote positive values. ImagiPLAY’s beauty is more than skin deep. Their corporate philosophy shows a deep commitment to children, communities, and the environment “Every toy we produce is earth friendly, child safe and people kind. That is our commitment to our children and their planet.” Many responsible toy retailers, such as Kazoo, Oompa Toys, MonkeyBean Toys, and Our Green House, carry ImagiPLAY.
|Fair Trade Sports: Children’s, training, and professional level sports balls certified to be made by fair-wage adult labor. As an added bonus, the gear is eco-certified and vegan. Read our Full Review of Fair Trade Sports.
|Cloth Diapers: Cloth diapers help baby avoid contact with chemicals and reduce landfill. Nature’s Child and Nurtured Family have a great selection for your cloth diapering needs.
|Safe Bottle Feeding: Breast is best but when it is unavailable, you can choose safe, glass or BPA-free and phthalates-free plastic baby bottles, like these Green to Grow, Born Free, or Adiri Bottles at Our Green House or BabyLife Wee*Go, Born Free, and ThinkBaby Bottles from Nature’s Child.
|Natural Health and Hygiene for Baby: We usually find great deals on Natural Health and Hygiene Products for Baby at Drugstore.com, like Burt’s Bees, California Baby, and Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Diapers and Wipes. Diapers.com also has natural baby care if you know your brands.
Eco-Friendly Clothing and Accessories
|Organic Baby Clothing: As parents become more concerned about the chemicals that come into contact with their children, savvy clothing makers are introducing hip lines of organic baby clothing. We found an amazing selection of selection of organic children’s clothing at Wild Dill. Some of my favorites are this bold eggplant-colored onesie from Speesees, the Organic Kimono Dress (pictured), this Organic Onesie/Pant Gift Set from Kiwi Industries (pictured), and the Fresh Heir Powerful Dragon Onesie. Organic options are everywhere.
|Eco-Chic Baby Slings: Take in the sites, sounds, and scents of nature with a nice outdoor stroll with baby. We love the eco-chic slings from Chic Tots, made from tencel fiber and linen for a sustainably hip look.
Family and Children’s Stores Specializing in Eco-Friendly Products
|Gaiam: Your source for organic, eco-friendly, and fair trade everything, including bedding, home decor, personal care, clothing, wellness products, baby clothing and more. If you think environmentally friendly means plain and boring, then you have to check out Gaiam’s hip products that bring eco-chic to a new level.
|Our Green House: Has a selection of natural & organic products for the home and baby, including natural cleaning products, environmentally safe gardening and home improvement, organic bedding, natural toys, healthy pet products, organic clothing, and more. Check out The Original Rubber Duck, made from real rubber, which can be sustainably harvested.
|Nature’s Child: Offers healthy and natural for maternity, infancy, and childhood. A healthy alternative to plastic for both your child and the environment are these great Bamboo Bambu Bowls.
|Kangaroo Boo: Carries a variety of our favorite eco-friendly brands of wood toys, including this Recycling Truck by Maple Landmark.
Eco-Friendly Gifts, Food, and Household Items and More
|Fair Trade Eco-Certified Gourmet Foods: Alter-Eco makes delicious gourmet treats that are healthy for you, the environment, and the farm workers who make them. The produce is cultivated using sustainable methods and all the products are 100% Fair Trade certified. See our full review of Alter-Eco’s eco-friendly, fair-trade chocolates.
|Recycled Gifts: UncommonGoods has a unique selection of Recycled Gift Items sure to please the artsy Earth lover. Check out their recycled jewelry, glassware, accessories, furniture, and even artwork (I adore the oil drum art). For more great recycled picks, visit UncommonGoods or check out some more of our favorite recycled gifts from this funky store.
|Reusable Water Bottles: Reusable water bottles not only protect you and your family from harmful chemicals, they also reduce landfill. We love the fabulous stainless steel water bottles from EarthLust.
|Natural Products for the Home: Shop the natural store at drugstore.com for products by Seventh Generation and more. Also check out the selection of natural cleaning products at Our Green House, including Mrs. Meyers and Deidre Imus.
Books, Videos, and Eco-Tips and Services
|Schoolhouse Rock: Earth introduces junior environmentalists to the science and activism of ecology and encourages kids to do their part to preserve scarce resources.
|Ideal Bite is like Daily Candy…but for people interested in green living rather than expensive, hipster products. Sign up for free in order to receive short, sassy, eco-living tips by email each weekday. You’ll get great, free advice on kids, beauty, household items, travel and more. Register for FREE at Ideal Bite
|Eco-Friendly Books for Kids: For outdoorsy adventurers, check out the Best Hikes for Kids Series. Future ecologists will enjoy Janice VanCleave’s Ecology for Every Kid: Easy Activities that Make Learning Science Fun.
|Gorgeously Green: 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life: Author Sophie Uliano sorts through all the information and provides readers with an easy plan for an eco-friendly and glamorous lifestyle. (Read the full review
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