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Home / Articles / Special Sections / Kids Gifts /  Eco-friendly toys
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Thursday, December 17,2009

Eco-friendly toys

By Marissa Hermanson

Your children may have smaller feet than you, but their carbon footprints are just as big as yours. Buy your child ecofriendly toys this year. Pass up the toys with the excess packaging, toxins and BPD and opt for a toy made from reclaimed materials. Shop locally for your green toys at Joe Brands, Ginger & Pickles, Grandrabbit’s, PlayFair Toys, ellie’s Eco Home Store, Into the Wind, Real Baby, Momentum, It’s Your Move and Shop Exclusive Baby.com. Here are some suggestions for hot, new eco toys.

Plastiki toy boat kit

A group of scientists, sailors and adventurers are sailing across the Pacific Ocean on a 60-foot catamaran made from reclaimed plastic bottles. This is the Pastiki Expedition — a mission to inspire sustainable solutions and shed light on the damage done to the Earth’s oceans. Purchase a Plastiki boat model for your child to build for $30. The model is manufactured and designed by Jamily (www.jamily.co.uk) in Manchester, UK, and is made from FSCapproved card stock and printed using sustainable vegetable inks. The manufacturing process was designed to create minimal waste and efficient energy use, according to Plastiki. Half of the proceeds will be donated to the Sculpt The Future Foundation. Fore more information on the Plastiki Expedition visit www.theplastiki. com.

Eco dollhouse

PlanToy’s Green Dollhouse teaches kids how to live in accordance with nature through alterative energy generators that don’t hurt the environment. The house features a wind turbine, solar cell panels with electrical inverter for generating electricity, a rain barrel, a shade canopy and recycling bins. Furniture can be purchased along with the dollhouse or separately. The Modern Doll Family, a hip and eco-conscious family, is sold separately. PlanToys creates innovative and eco-friendly educational toys for kids from non-chemically treated rubberwood. The company is committed to lessening its impact on nature. Visit www.plantoys.com to find retailers.

Recycled milk jug toys

Green Toys, Inc. makes environmentally friendly toys for your kids out of recycled plastics – mainly used milk jugs. All Green Toys products are made in the United States and are packaged in recycled corrugated boxes with no plastics, cellophane or twist-ties and are recyclable. Green Toys products are BPA-, phthalate- and lead paintfree and meet toy safety standards. They make beach toys, gardening sets, jump ropes, trucks, tool sets and cookware for kids. Boulder shops that carry Green Toys are Joe Brands, Ginger & Pickles, Grandrabbit’s, PlayFair Toys, Ellie’s Eco Home Store, Into the Wind, Real Baby, Momentum and the Lafayette-based Shop Exclusive Baby.com. Visit www.greentoys.com for more retailers and information.

Ecozoo backpacks

The company ecogear makes a line of animal packs called Ecozoo for your kids. The organic cotton canvas bags are made with non-toxic dyes, recycled rope material, as well as recycled plastic and wood. Choose from panda, pig, elephant or puppy for $30. Also, coming soon: Ecozoo rolling backpacks in panda, pig, frog and puppy. Visit www.ecogear-products.com fore more information.

Solar powered toys

Teach your children about the benefits of solar energy. OWI Robots & Education Kits makes easy-to-assemble solar robot kits for $7 to $13. Choose one of the many vehicles, or an orangutan, frog, grasshopper or seagull. Visit www.owirobots.com to order or for more information.

Earth friendly crafts

EcoToyTown sells earth friendly art supplies for kids. The eco-art pad isn’t made from trees, but from 100 percent post-consumer recycled materials and agricultural waste ($14/50 sheets). The eco colored pencils are made from recycled newspapers with natural wax and mineral dyes. They are lead- and toxic-free ($12/eight colored pencils and two rainbow pencils). The eco finger paints made from natural ingredients are $20 for the regular paints or $30 for gluten-free. The eco dough is made with plant, fruit and vegetable extracts and are free of chemicals, artificial dyes and metals ($20/six three-ounce containers.) Choose from pink, orange, yellow, green, blue white or brown dough. Gluten-free dough is $30/six containers. Visit www.ecotoytown.com to order or for more information.

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