While you may have eco-friendly toys on the brain for this holiday season, your friends and family may not. Your kids may get scads of plastic, obnoxious packaging, and yes, even possibly toxic toys for the holidays. Additionally, it’s hard to know which toys are eco-friendly and non-toxic. There’s a lot of greenwashing out there. Luckily there’s a lot you can do to keep the holidays safe, fun, and green.
- First of all develop your own green criteria. I have extensive criteria I use when evaluating green products. You can look over my list and adapt it to your needs.
- Next head to HealthyStuff.org. Check out their list of toxic toys. HealthyStuff.org includes test results for over 5,000 products.That said, you can nominate a toy to be tested if you’re curious about it’s toxic (or not toxic) qualities.
- Join the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families campaign if you want healthy toys year round for your kids.
- Next try to get family and friends on board. Encourage them to buy safe green toys for your child. If you need help explaining why you want a meaningful, less commercial holiday take a look at I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas.
- Encourage family and friends to give the gift of time rather than material items.
Some family members can be a hard eco sell though. You can ask nicely and they’ll still get your child obnoxious possibly toxic toys. These toys may not be safe so it’s up to you to protect your children. Do the following…
- Always fill out the toy registration cards. If there’s a recall you’ll know. Also sign up to receive information about toy recalls.
- Read the label to make sure the toy is age appropriate and check for broken pieces. I can’t tell you how many time friends or family bought my son toys that were way too old for him. They mean well, but if people don’t have kids, they tend not to consider safety as much as parents.
- One report notes that 63% of thrift stores sell hazardous or recalled items. Used is good because it’s green, but be careful, and always check with cpsc or the manufacturer to make sure a thrift store toy hasn’t been recalled before you allow your child to use it.
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