SafeGreenToys.org: Celebrate the Holidays With Gifts That Are Better For Your Child and the World

Source: Photographer

Green America Highlights Small Green Businesses Giving Parents Choices Among Less Toxic Toys Made From Recycled, Organic, and Fair Trade Resources

November 25, 2014

WASHINGTON D.C - November 25, 2014 - Parents who want to celebrate the holidays with gift ideas that are better for their children and the world will find a wide range of alternatives at www.safegreentoys.org, a new resource offered by the nonprofit Green America. All of the highlighted toys avoid toxic materials and are made from recycled, organic, and Fair Trade materials. 

The recommendations for the toys singled out in the latest edition of Green American (http://www.greenamerica.org/go/greentoys2014) come from the finalists in Green America’s summer 2014 People & Planet Award. As experts on products and services for green kids, the Award finalists provided their list of the best green holiday gifts, from among the products they sell and also from others. 

Green America Editor-in-Chief Tracy Fernandez Rysavy said: “Going green for the holidays can mean minimizing the number of gifts you give, so you can focus instead on making the season special and spending time with friends and family. But if you find pleasure in giving presents to the children in your lives, there are many gorgeous green gifts available that are unique, fun, and guaranteed to bring joy. And you can feel good about the fact that your green gift choices support independent, conscientious businesses that go the extra mile to care for customers, communities, workers, and the Earth.”

Holiday gift items featured on www.safegreentoys.org include the following:

  • Tree Owl Shadowbox, Baby Eco-Trends, Miami, FL.  A whimsical decoration for a child’s bedroom, this wall hanging, made by painting layers of sustainably harvested wood, colorful felt, nontoxic veneer, and recycled book pages, results in a bright, three-dimensional rendering of an owl that can be personalized with a child’s name.  In addition to the wall art, Baby Eco-Trends specializes in handmade heirloom-quality children’s furniture and toys made by Amish woodworkers in the Midwest.  www.babyecotrends.com
  • Hooded bamboo bath towel, Andrews, SC. The fabric for Bamboosa’s baby products comes from 100-percent organically certified bamboo fiber, or is blended with organic cotton, Lycra, or recycled polyester.  For the infants on your shopping list, consider Bamboosa’s hooded bamboo bath towel, which is generously sized and can still be used in the toddler years. www.bamboosa.com
  • “Made By Me” kits, Maple Landmark Woodcraft, Middlebury, VT.  The Maple Landmark Woodcraft fashions the scraps of a local furniture maker into toys, while it sustainably sources other woods, like maple and pine, from within Vermont. Co-owner Barb Rainville recommends the company’s “Made By Me” kits that allow kids age three and older to assemble and decorate their own wooden toys, like tractors, tugboats, and trucks. www.maplelandmark.com
  • Board games, Naturally Playful, Aloha, OR. In addition to classic products like recycled cardboard puzzles and organic stuffed animals, Naturally Playful makes available cooperative board games made by a family company in Canada. These games teach kids about cooperation, while also educating about topics like loss of animal habitat (“Then There Were None”), world geography (“Explorers”), and grammar (“Star Words”).  Apart from its own products, the company endorses the all-organic bubble bath from the “Clean Kids Naturally” line made by Gabriel Cosmetics, which also includes soap, shampoo, and de-tangler. www.naturallyplayful.net and www.gabrielcosmeticsinc.com
  • Cotton kids’ T-shirts, Dhana EcoKids, Mill Valley, CA.  One popular item is Dhana’s 100-percent organic cotton kids’ T-shirts in the “Earth Day Winter White Tree” design, featuring a tree formed from the intertwining words rethink, revive, recycle, renew, regenerate, remember, respect, reuse, restore, and recover.  Company owner Shamini Dhana also suggests a product outside of her company’s standard manufactured line.  She’s partnering with the cooperative Panchachuli Women Weavers to sell a limited number of fairly traded, hand-spun, and nontoxic “Hope” scarves for girls, handcrafted by Himalayan women who lost their homes in the devastating floods that swept through India’s Kedarnath Valley in 2013.  www.bamboosa.com
  • YOXO Dragonfly Construction Kit,  Peapods Natural Toys and Baby Care, St. Paul, MN.  The folks at Peapods are very excited about the work of YOXO, a local toymaker in St. Paul, MN, makes construction toys out of compressed recycled paper. Not only are YOXO toys fun to play with, but they also encourage kids to reuse other household items like paper towel tubes or cereal boxes. The dragonfly construction kit creates a three-foot-long model.  www.peapods.com/ and www.yoxo.com/
  • Chewing gum, Glee Gum, Providence Rhode Island.  If you need stocking stuffers, Glee Gum offers six flavors of chewing gum certified by Fairtrade International. The company also provides kits for kids to make their own chewing gum, chocolate, and gummies. For more stocking stuffers, consider chocolate from fellow Fair Trade business Equal Exchange.  www.gleegum.com and www.equalexchange.coop
  • Home-made gifts.  For green gift-giving around the holidays, one popular approach is a “do-it-yourself gardening kit” consisting of: three to five clay pots, water-based paints to decorate the pots, a small bag of potting soil, vegetable or flower seeds, a small shovel, and a child’s set of gardening gloves.

 

ABOUT GREEN AMERICA

Green America is the nation’s leading green economy organization. Founded in 1982, Green America (formerly Co-op America) provides the economic strategies, organizing power and practical tools for businesses, investors, and individuals to solve today’s social and environmental problems. http://www.greenamerica.org.

 

MEDIA CONTACT:  Will Harwood, (703) 276-3255 or wharwood@hastingsgroup.com.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Images of the recommended “Green Toys” are available upon request.  Please contact Will Harwood at the email address and phone number above for more details.