I've been looking at toys recently. A lot of people have given me toys. Most of them are cloth toys which are nice, but I have a few plastic electronic toys. I'm not too thrilled about them. Not just because they use energy and are made from plastic, but also because they are electronic they don't allow children to use their imaginations.
Anyways...as I said I've been looking at toys and here are my top list of toy companies and why. They are in no particular order.
1) Plan toys- They offer a wide range of toys for all age groups including babies. There toys are made from recycled rubber and use non-toxic inks. They are typically wooden toys so they really last. Unfortunately they're an international company which manufacturers its toys in Thailand so while they may be green, they have a carbon footprint.
2) ImagiPlay- Offers a wide range of toys for children. They also make toys using sustaining practices including bamboo and rubberwood. They make their toys close the site where they harvest their wood products. Unfortunately since bamboo is typically found in China that means their toys are made in China.
3) Lindenwood Inc.- Is the maker of Uncle Goose wooden blocks. They make their blocks in Michigan. They make their blocks from Basswood found in the area and try to follow fair manufacturing practices. Their inks are non-toxic. Unfortunately the blocks are their only thing.
4) Green Toys- is my all favorite of the plastic variety. They make different age toys from recycled milk jugs. They are BPA free, do not use coatings so there is no lead paint, use recycled cardboard packaging, and they are made in California. Awesome!
5) Little Sapling Toys- are wooden toys for younger children. They have a cool selection of teethers. They make state ones. They also make blocks, trucks, cars, peg boards, and wooden lacing toys. They're business is small. It's run by a couple out of Idaho. To offset their use of wood, they plant a tree for every toy sold. Fantasic! (I'm glued to their store and am constantly watching when they upload a new teether.)
6) Smart Gear Toys- are wooden and plush toys. They are cool because they include riding toys. (Not the electronic variety; the kind that make your kids work up a sweat) They make their toys from Rubberwood and plant trees after they have been harvested. They use non-toxic inks. Unfortunately, their products are made in Thailand which is where rubberwood is located.
I wish there were more eco-friendly toys located in the US. Of this list, you'll notice that three of them are located in the US. One uses recycled plastic and one plants trees. The other one says they use a renewable wood but does not say that they replant so I'm a little hesitant. Maybe before I buy the blocks I'll ask them about that practice. While I understand a lot of renewable woods are located overseas, I still would rather not use a product with a heavy shipping carbon footprint. I'm hoping since there is an upsurge in green business in our own country more toy companies will choose to make green products here in the US. The future will tell.
Authors note: No one pays me for the reviews of the toys and I don't personally own the toys. These are my observations based on information on the manufacturers website. I hope to purchase some of these toys for my own child in the future which is why I've been looking at them. If the companies are lying about their practices, I am unaware.