I don’t have kids yet. But, I’m getting to that age where a lot of my friends are starting to have babies, so I’ve gone to a lot of baby showers over the past few years, and there are even more on the horizon.
Nestor the Bunny, made with eco-friendly wool.
Figuring out what to buy for these things is tricky. You want your present to be unique (i.e., not the same stuffed animal everyone buys), but still something the kid and/or parent will use (i.e., not this thing). If you’re like me, you’re also totally put off by the aisles upon aisles of plastic, sweatshop-produced, possible lead-tainted junk that you often see at toy stores. Surely there’s an alternative, right? Luckily, kids are big business these days, so there are tons of ethically sourced, environmentally friendly toy options on the market. You can find nontoxic baby and “big kid” toys made from sustainable wood, bamboo and other materials from specialty retailers like Planet Happy Kids and Green Toys as well as some of the big chains like Toys R Us. Amazon even devotes an entire section of its site to green toys, so you can toss something in your cart while ordering the new Band of Horses CD. Convenient. Another great option I have taken advantage of before is buying toys directly from individual toy makers on Etsy. Many of the toys sold through Etsy are made from eco-friendly and or recycled materials, like this dinosaur teething toy and adorable stuffed mouse. As an added benefit, you get to feel good about supporting small businesses and individual artisans, and you know your toy will be one of a kind. You won’t find this at Walmart!