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:
Click photo to launch slide show. To help kick off our series on parenting and health, we asked Grist readers and staff to send us photos of their little ones, along with advice on how to weave a green outlook …
Kidhuggers. It’s a gag-me kind of word, too precious to be catchy. And it certainly won’t ever replace the slur-cum-badge-of-honor for enviros — treehuggers. But maybe it should. Illustration: Keri Rosebraugh The green movement has never been about people with …
Talk about a double whammy. It’s challenging enough to be green when you’re solo, and then pregnancy comes along and gives you twice the eco-angst (not to mention more hormones than you know what to do with). Photo: iStockphoto The …
Illustration: Keri Rosebraugh Feeling unusually infertile lately? You’re not alone: according to a December 2005 report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 12 percent of American couples reported having a hard time conceiving a child and …
Get Grist in your inbox