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Playtime is crucial to children’s healthy brain development; it is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them.

Whether you are acquiring toys for the special children in your life, or for a play area for your property or restaurant, remember that your choices can make an impact both socially and environmentally.

Here are 7 tips on how you can go about choosing the right toys for kids: 

  1. Look it up

Before purchasing a toy, look it up online to make sure there are no recall notices.

To check if the toy you want to purchase is safe, try looking it up on Healthy Stuff. They have a database of products that you may use to your advantage.

  1. Check for labels

Familiarise yourself with symbols on product labels so that you can avoid toys that may have harmful substances like lead, phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA) etc.

If a label is missing, look up the toy online and check if there are any complaints about it.

  1. Shop local

By buying from local vendors, you support the local community and bring down the need for importing products from far-flung places; this subsequently reduces greenhouse gas emissions as well.

  1. Buy second hand

Children grow out of their toys so quickly ­– they lose their lustre or they move past a certain developmental phase. Look out for yard sales, and check your local consignment store or Salvation Army for deals! You’ll be surprised to find many new toys still in the box. On the flip side, when your children grow out of their toys that still have lots of life left, save them for nieces and nephews, donate them, or sell them on a local Facebook group! Make a buck while saving more items from landfill.

  1. Select the right material

Try to avoid buying plastic toys whenever you can because, they can often contain various chemicals and toxins that can be harmful to your little ones and the environment.

Consider toys made from more natural materials, such as wood, wool, and cotton. If you’re buying puzzles and books, check to see if natural inks were used on recycled and biodegradable materials.

  1. Get creative

Perhaps exercise your creativity and handcraft something for your kids to play with. Here are some fun DIY projects you can try. Other favourite resources include:

  1. Steer clear of batteries

Batteries pose a threat to the environment because of the toxic waste they release upon disposal. They are also a choking hazard for your little rug rats. Therefore, instead of opting for battery-powered products, go for ones where your kids have the freedom to bring the toys to life with pure, unadulterated imagination.

Sustainable toys will not only ensure a safe and happy childhood for your kids, but it will also help secure the world for generations to come. It’s a win-win!

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A sustainable start – teaching sustainability at home

Categories: Green Tips
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Credit: Shutterstock

Credit: Shutterstock

Living green isn’t difficult, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a “lifestyle choice” either. It’s something that can be easily turned into habit, and something that can be easily taught at home.

 

If we can teach our children, then they – and their children – can have a greater chance of inhabiting this planet for generations to come.

 

Here are some tips for teaching and practicing sustainability at home:

 

  1. Lead by example: practice simple measures at such as turning the lights off when a room is not in use, separating waste, taking shorter showers, and spending more time outside. Get some ideas on sustainable everyday life choices from our last Green Tip of 2017.

 

  1. Make it ubiquitous: conscious consumption in the home is one way to ingrain sustainable practices. If buying local or second hand is prioritized, children will surely follow suit – we know well that brand loyalty starts young! If you must buy “new” here are some green toys that kids will love.

 

  1. Make it fun. Learning (and teaching) is much easier when it’s fun. Here are some ideas for experiments, crafts, and activities that can create a lasting impact.
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