Where to turn when you’re sick of disposable doodads
Keeping up with Ken and Barbie got you down? Check out these companies invested in making eco-friendlier playthings for your little ones. (And read about one mother’s no-crap crusade.)
These soft, handmade toys are created by a women’s knitting collective in Kenya, under the guidance of a nonprofit that helps connect artisans to international markets. All of the items are made with natural wool and colored with vegetable-based dyes, including this zebra hand puppet ($18) and these knit penguins (starting at $18).
Where to buy: Branch
HaPe is a Swiss toy company with global designers and operations. They recently launched the world’s first line of games made from sustainable bamboo, all finished with water-based paint. Check out the dice game with brightly colored caterpillar pieces ($29.95) and the dominoes ($11.99).
Lana produces soft animal toys made of organic cotton, ranging from pigs to geese to anteaters ($24.99-$54.99).
Where to buy: Oompa Toys
Artisans from Oregon-based Tumbleweed Woodworks handcraft a series of wooden puzzles with nontoxic materials. Underneath each dino-shaped piece of their Dinosaurs puzzle ($12.50) is the skeleton and name of the creature; the multilayer Endangered Species puzzle ($20) displays animals in their natural habitats.
Where to buy: Tumbleweed Woodworks
Under the Nile
Janice Masoud founded Under the Nile in the late 1990s when she noticed her children suffering allergic reactions to toxin-laden, manufactured clothing. The Milpitas, Calif., company is dedicated to fair-trade practices, and sells a wide variety of children’s apparel and toys (aww, stuffed monkey) made from 100 percent organic Egyptian cotton and metal-free or vegetable dyes.
Where to buy: Under the Nile
A few other resources for healthier fun:
More stories in this series:
The perfect ending is a gorgeous thing, all the loose ends neatly knotted, all the confusion gone. It’s a motionless bird on a wire — calm, brightly plumed, contented, with no need to fly off or find a worm or …
This summer, my family and I took an overnight trip to Chicago that started out pleasant enough. We were well packed and tidy. Just before boarding our train, my husband took a few pictures of us, joking that this would …
At private schools across the country, good cafeteria food is becoming as de rigueur as French classes taught by native speakers, Associated Press reports. Schoolyard vegetable gardens bloom, tended by future Ivy Leaguers under the watch of “sustainability coordinators.” In …
Mea culpa. That’s the only way I can honestly write anything about getting older kids to eat healthy foods. Because I’ve been a sucker for the look my 11-year-old gets on her face if I plop down a bowl of …
Get Grist in your inbox