The Eco-Friendly Parent’s Guide to Toy Shopping

When it comes to modern parenting, going green involves making the transition to an ethical lifestyle and a consistent pattern of making conscientious and healthy choices that often include organic, natural, and sustainable materials.

It might feel overwhelming at times, but with genuine dedication and support from loved ones, it can be done. 

The Challenges of Going Green

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Living a more sustainable lifestyle is easier said than done when wastefulness is the norm. Parents must make choices each day for their families, and the more sustainable options may not always be the easiest or the most obvious.

Children’s gifts. It’s common for friends and family members to show their love by giving gifts during the holidays and other special occasions. The problem? You end up with heaps of wasteful plastic and non-eco friendly items. 

When making the transition to green parenting, it’s important to talk to family and friends about your concerns regarding sustainability and environmental impact in a non-judgmental way.

Convey your preference for wooden toys and other sustainable alternatives by making a wishlist of these items. 

You can also ask loved ones to give second hand or homemade items as well as to spend time with your child instead of buying plastic toys. 

Excessive baby items. Retailers are aggressive when it comes to marketing baby “essentials”, making it all too easy for parents to buy items they don’t really need, and which may not always be good for the environment. Be wary of adverts. Before purchasing a new baby product, let the idea simmer for a few days or weeks and decide whether the item is truly necessary. 

At the very heart of it, living a green and sustainable lifestyle is simply about showing consideration for people, animals, and the environment. It’s a wonderful value system to teach children, and being a good example as a parent can show them the importance of being kind to the environment.  

Tips for Making the Transition to Eco-Friendly Parenting

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There are a few things you can do to make the switch to a more sustainable family life, including:

Use up everything you already have. When transitioning to a more eco-friendly lifestyle, it’s more about focusing on what you already have instead of buying a complete set of greener replacements for existing items. Make it a point to use up everything you have and only buy a new item only when you need it.

Upcycle. Children tend to lose interest in store-bought plastic toys within days, weeks or months of receiving them. Instead of buying a new plastic toy each time, you can buy wooden, open-ended toys that are more versatile and timeless. These toys can spark your child’s imagination and allow for a wider range of activities.

And if your child eventually does tire of them, it’ll be much easier to upcycle and reuse wood instead of plastic. 

Reuse and buy second hand. To reduce waste, parents can buy second-hand items, join swaps, or accept hand me downs from friends and family, unless there’s a safety or hygiene issue. Reuse as much of your children’s belongings without compromising their health and safety. If your child tires of their toys, consider donating them to a toy library. 

Choose eco-friendly toys. Buying brand new isn’t always avoidable, especially as your child grows and their developmental needs change. While it’s not necessary to throw out all of your child’s plastic toys to go green, you can simply choose more sustainable and eco-friendly toys moving forward. Keep an eye out for toys made from wood, cork, cotton, linen, natural rubber, and other biodegradable, recyclable, and ethically sourced materials.

Teachers Choice offers a variety of wooden educational toys to aid in your child’s development. Browse our toy collection today. 

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