Daddy Eco-Tips #1

One of the things I try to do is to be as light on the planet as possible, although it doesn’t always work out as well as I’d hoped (don’t ask me about nappies/diapers). A few things have worked out pretty well, so I thought I’d share those occasionally on here. First up, Green Toys…

Our little boy took a liking to cars, buses and trucks very early on. Initially the small Hot Wheels size cars were all he was interested in, but more recently he has been playing with some of his larger toy vehicles. School buses were a early favorite as were garbage trucks, the latter being a weekly attraction at home that he had to go and see when they came to empty the bins.

So, those two vehicles were natural choices for his first two bigger toy vehicles. The Green Toys school bus was the first we bought and we were impressed by how durable it was. Our 2 year old is not gentle on toys (currently crashing them is a favorite way to play cars), but the bus stands up to the abuse very well. 

The second one we got him was their recycling truck. While the bus only has moving wheels, the recycling truck (still a garbage truck to our son) has both a flap on the rear and a tilting rear section. Even with these extra parts it stands up to the abuse well.

Green?

So what makes these plastic toys eco-friendly? Well, first up they are made from 100% post consumer recycled plastic. More specifically, recycled milk jugs. But you really can’t tell. Leading me to wonder why more plastic toys are not made of the same recycled plastic.

Next up they are made here in the US (in California in fact), all in the same factory. So there’s a lot less travel involved during production as well as post-production (at least if you are buying in the US) than there would be for a toy made in China.

Finally, all the toys are packaged in frustration-free recycled cardboard boxes with no twist ties, no cellophane and no plastic parts that would end up in a landfill. The box can be opened easily, the toy removed and the box dropped straight in the recycling again. Except that Amazon feels the need to put the entire box in a plastic bag before shipping it, somewhat defeating the plastic-free packaging. Amazon does this to lots of things though, so we reuse those bags when possible.

Entertainment Value

Initially, not much. He was excited when he first opened the bus, but quickly left it alone in favour of the Hot Wheels. More recently though (he is 2½ now), he has been playing much more with all his larger cars, frequently filling the bus with Hot Wheels. The garbage truck is filled with “small cars” even more often than the bus.

The only real negatives we have, both on the recycling truck, are the wheels not rolling well on hard floors (interestingly the school bus does not suffer from this) and the rear door not staying shut that well (often when he “drives” it off with cars in the back, the flap opens & some fall out; leading to a frustrated toddler).

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