I wrote a post a few months back titled ‘Here's one of the reasons why I don't like plastic toys’.
In response to that post, Frances wisely commented:
'There's plastic and there's plastic, though, isn't there? We buy most of our toys second hand (often like new and they come with NO packaging), and we sell or donate what we've outgrown.’
While I agree the world needs less cheap crap in general, not every plastic toy is cheap, or crap. Not handcrafted, ok, but there are well designed, open-ended toys out there in every material. I refuse to feel bad about our lego collection. Also refuse to buy meals with play-with-once toys in them.
Rather than asking whether a purchase will biodegrade when we dispose of it, we ask whether it will last well enough for someone else to use it, and hopefully someone after that, and after that. Just 'cause I'm done with it doesn't mean it's garbage.'
Well said Frances. You had me thinking, and reflecting on my narrow-mindedness.
Plastic isn’t always bad, the problem is when we treat it like a disposable product, or when it’s laden with BPA and other nasties.
I’m sure there’s a lot of lego that has been played with by multiple generations.
I'm also sure there's more than a few smurfs that have lasted decades. On a trip to Melbourne a few months ago, we bribed let Little Eco choose a second-hand toy each day (as a way of giving Daddy Eco and I time to browse all those unreal Melbourne op shops). She came home with a few little pre-loved plastic smurfs and a plastic smurf house. They're probably over 30 years old and she absolutely loves playing with them. There's not a lot to dislike about these toys (although, as new, when they were sold cheaply at petrol stations, it's a whole other matter).
Timber toys aren't always ethical or sustainable
Soon after I wrote about why I didn’t like plastic toys, I noticed a whole heap of cheap mass-produced timber toys for sale in Aldi. What’s the difference between those mass-produced cheap timber toys and cheap plastic toys? Not a lot really, given that I doubt the timber was sustainably harvested or recycled.
So I’ve decided to lighten up on plastic toys, as long as they're good quality and non-toxic. Which brings me to the giveaway...
Green Toys giveaway from an Eco Dream
Louisa of An Eco Dream* has kindly offered to giveaway a Green Toys Chef Set to one Little Eco Footprints reader.
Green Toys are made from 100% recycled plastic milk containers, and are phthalate and BPA-free.
Louisa also gifted Little Eco her very own chef set so that we could test it. We made a matching stove, from the box that the set came packaged in, and Little Eco has been 'cooking' up a storm ever since.
I love that the set is child sized. I’ve given Little Eco old spoons and pots to play with in the past, but being able to play with something her own size is great.
The plastic is also very strong and presumably durable. Yesterday, I caught Little Eco enthusiastically 'cooking' scrambled eggs with Emu's first eggs. Thankfully the pots are easy to clean and are even dishwasher proof.
To enter the giveaway, simply head on over to an Eco Dream, browse their stock, and head back here and leave a comment revealing which product tempts you the most and why (I'll share my mine - the eco.kid: Lice Bomb. You can probably guess why. Little Eco has managed to get through almost four years of childcare and preschool without catching Nits, until recently..).
Those of you reading this by email will need to head on over to the blog (by clicking on the title) to leave a comment.
One entry per person, please. Sorry, entries only open to those with Australian addresses.
Entries close midnight (Australian EST) Monday 26th September. The winner will be chosen by Random Number Generator and announced here in this post on the Tuesday morning. I'll contact the winner directly by email.
The winner was comment number 50 by Jen. Congtratulations Jen! I've just emailed you to request your postal details.
Thank you everyone for your entries.
*An Eco Dream was previously know as Modern Little Munchkins. The name change is in response to the store increasing it's range to include products for all ages.