Eco-friendly toys are manufactured using both materials and processes that pose a less severe threat to the environment. Toys made from renewable or natural and non-toxic materials are often produced with a focus on reducing carbon emissions, waste generation and the use of harmful chemicals.
They are also a response to customers, particularly parents, who are looking for more sustainable options.
In the last decade or so, natural rubber toys have gained significant popularity, not only because of their enduring quality but also their green credentials.
Environmental Impact of Conventional Toys
The production of modern plastic toys involves the extraction of fossil fuels as well as the release of greenhouse gases during the manufacturing process. These contribute to climate change and ongoing ecological damage. Plastic toys and games do not break down over time. They persist for centuries, end up in landfill, get swept into our rivers and oceans and cause harm to marine life and natural ecosystems.
Plastic toys also contain some pretty nasty chemicals. Phthalates, for example, are commonly used as softeners but have been linked to hormone disruption and developmental issues in past research. Another chemical, BPA, has also been linked to potential long-term health effects.
Understanding the environmental impact and potential health hazards associated with conventional toys highlights the need for a shift towards more eco-friendly alternatives. It’s something that many parents have brought into over the last ten to fifteen years, for obvious reasons.
What Are the Advantages of Eco-Friendly Toys for Parents?
- They are made of sustainable materials such as bamboo, wood and natural rubber and are easier to recycle than plastics and other man-made materials.
- The production process usually means there is less impact on the environment and a reduced carbon footprint which is good for the planet.
- There are health benefits that we’re still learning more about mainly because natural materials tend to be non-toxic, something which isn’t true of plastic.
Natural Rubber Toys
Rubber toys have gained significant popularity as sustainable and non-toxic options for children. They are made from a naturally available, biodegradable and environmentally friendly material. There’s significant evidence that the manufacture of natural rubber toys also involves minimal processing and does not involve the use of harmful chemicals.
- Natural rubber toys are free from chemicals such as phthalates, BPA, PVC and lead, many of which are commonly found in plastic toys both old and new. This makes them a safe choice for children, reducing the risk of exposure to harm.
- They are well-known for their durability and resilience and can withstand rough play, lasting much longer compared to many conventional toys. Natural rubber can also be pressed into almost any shape.
- Natural rubber toys have a unique texture and softness that provides tactile stimulation for children, especially toddlers. They can be squeezed, stretched, and chewed, helping to develop important fine motor skills.
- As it is comes directly from a plant, natural rubber (as opposed to synthetic rubber) is biodegradable and breaks down over time, benefiting the ecosystem and causing no serious damage to the surrounding world.
Eco-friendly toys offer distinct advantages to parents. They are made from materials like wood or recycled plastic and natural rubber. What’s more, these products are increasingly popular as parents look to find more sustainable toys that have less impact on the planet their children are going to grow up into.