Sunday, March 16, 2008

Living Green

I've been trying to find gifts for my grandson.... it's harder than I thought it would be!

First, try to find something for a toddler that doesn't light up and make noise! Whatever happened to creative play? I don't want to teach him that you can always 'touch a button' and be entertained. I think it's important for kids to use their imaginations....

Second, with all the recalls of the past year I want to find safe toys that also help me feel confident about the impact of my purchase not only on my grandson but on the environment and workers across the supply chain.

I've done a little research and thought I'd share my findings...

The member businesses of Co-op America's Green Business Network are screened for their commitment to people and the planet. You can find this listing online at

You can shop with confidence knowing that these businesses carry the most responsible products for your family. I've also come across some great shops on individual artisans who spend their time and care creating unique, well-made toys.

Here are a few of the things I've come across.. most of which I've actually purchased - so I know they're great!

Every kid needs a sock monkey! I bought this one for my grandson at Christmas... You can find bunches of them on but this is the one I bought... from KellyJeanDesign it was super reasonably priced too! Only $16.00!
and best of all.... he loves it!!!

I've never met a kid that doesn't like to play with balls... Fair Trade Sports Balls is a member of the Green Business Network - you can be assured that no child labor is involved in their production and that workers receive a living wage in a healthy work environment.... and they donate all of their after-tax profits to children's charities!

For the younger set... thepolkadottotspot on Etsy makes beautiful handmade cloth balls with a little jingle bell inside! Only $10.00! She makes loads of fun blocks and balls in a variety of sizes and fun colors.

Children's Organic Hemp Sneakers! These sweatshop-free, chemical-free, cruelty-free, leather-free children's shoes are vegan and are made with only environmentally sound materials, including organic hemp uppers and soles made from reclaimed used tires.For toddlers and beginning walkers, our vegetarian kids sneakers are the ideal first shoe: supportive, soft, comfortable, durable, fair-labor produced, and 100% vegetarian. Only $25.00!!
Buy them and all sorts of products that are "safe for your baby, the planet, and all animals" at

Kate’s Caring Gifts brings you the very best natural, organic, and ecologically sustainable products that you can find anywhere.

These wonderful toys and books are made from durable, recycled material. The proceeds from the sale support the Golden Gate National Park Conservancy, a nonprofit nonprofit membership organization created to:
*Preserve the Golden Gate National Parks,
*Enhance the experiences of park visitors, and
*Build a community dedicated to conserving the parks for the future.
...and they're only $6.95!!

Stump Pond Woodworks has been delighting children with these toys for over a quarter of a century. For safety and durability, they use native hardwoods finished only with non-toxic drugstore grade mineral oil. For safety,no soft pine, paint,stain or breakable plastics are used in any of my 25 toys and puzzles. Made right here in the USA... This fabulous pull toy is handmade and is still only $22.60!!
I could go on and on.... I found so many wonderful things in my search that it would take pages and pages to show you... but the main point is...
You can make a difference! You can support businesses devoted to environmental sustainability, social justice, and healthy living. We can teach our kids to make a difference too!

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