Thursday, August 12, 2010

Eco-friendly Chinese?

A lot of things are manufactured in China. For example, I went to the library with HB for baby story time and picked up some board books for him. Three were printed, manufactured, whatever wording they use, in China. One I have no idea because it's covered by a giant library sticker and the other was manufactured in Malaysia. I have found some US and Mexico books that I will share with you but that's tomorrow's post.

In my quest to find eco-friendly products, I've hit a dilemma. I've looked at eco-friendly toys and where they are produced before. And I've also looked at where cloth diapers are from. I have one to add to the list: Litewraps are made in China. Lately since HB eats, I've been looking at baby/toddler eco-friendly non-plastic utencils. We've been using some toss and takes that were a gift and some all metal baby spoons that my mom used with me and my brother.

So here are my alternatives:
Green toys, which is US based, makes a recycled plastic dinning and utensil sets, but it's not great for on-the-go. There aren't any covers for the bowls. At least not from what I can tell.
Update: Got a response. Their products have not been tested for microwave use. I take this to mean that you can try and microwave them but they aren't responsible for the results.

Stainless steal- which are great for on the go, but some of them like Thinkbaby use a plastic lid. Fortunately it's dishwasher safe (some aren't) and it's made in Korea (some aren't). At least it's not entirely plastic right? And it's BPA free. Also another downer of stainless, it's not microwaveable. Although that won't be a problem when we switch to table food in three months.

Then there are silicone based products: Kinderville makes a silicone dishes for children complete with silicone lids. Problem: Made in China. How can anything call itself eco-friendly if it's shipped from China using petroleum? Yeah. Don't understand. Guyot designs also makes silicone and stainless steal. I contacted them because their site doesn't say where there stuff is made just that their factories use fair labor practices. That's great, but I'm not giving my money to a country with human right's abuses. Sorry. Yep, Taiwan (good), US (great), and South China (sorry). I told them nicely that I couldn't buy their stuff and asked them to consider using a different factory located somewhere else.

Update from Guyot: "Thank you for responding. We would obviously love to manufacture all of our products in the USA, for so many reasons including convenience, no 3 am conference calls, and fewer fossil fuel expenditures and costs in shipping. But sadly it is just not financially feasible. We have been very diligent in our selection of factories and really stand by our decisions. The ones in Southern China have the best working conditions of any factories that we have visited, and I am afraid to say that some of the US factories have amongst the worst that we have seen. So by using the ones we selected, we are supporting the progressive factories that will hopefully prove to be examples to the others and leaders in the communities.

Mountain Equipment Co-op (based in Canada) has been a mentor to us in the selection process. Here is a link to their website which you might find interesting:

Best regards,
Cara Guyot"

Wish that I had the guts to refute to her directly, but I will say this. To ship from China uses more fossil fuels for the barges and then trucks to transport inside our country. And from my understanding, US factories are highly regulated and are NOT among the worst. My FIL would be very offended since he works in a factory. But I'm not about to pick a war with this lady. I just won't buy her products. And for the record I simply said that I couldn't buy anything from a country whose government carries out human right's abuses. And that was all I said.

Also I've looked into wooden products. Again not friendly for on-the-go, and you can't put wood in a dishwasher. The dishwasher can make wood crack from excessive heat and moisture.

So what options do I have? Does anyone know of a eco-friendly, non-plastic, non-Chinese made, dish washable, microwaveable kid's bowl and plate set? I guess that I'm going to have to get creative and buy the Thinkbaby for portability and Greentoys for home use. And if Greentoys isn't microwavable either (which I've asked will let you know what they say), I will have to use glass and transfer. Sucks to have to a lot of dishes for nothing.

What do you use? Thanks.

1 comment:

  1. No idea. I want more eco friendly items in this area too, but I have to fight for each and every one we get it feels like.


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