What makes a toy eco-friendly? It’s all about the materials. Many toys for babies and children are made from plastics. The world produces over 300 million metric tonnes of plastic a year, and some plastic products can take 500 years to decompose.
The choices we make every day can help to reduce the amount of plastic in the world. And if you have children, you can make a small but significant difference through choosing eco-friendly toys made from natural and sustainable materials.
But plastic and synthetic toys can be harmful for other reasons. Some plastic toys contain toxic additives. These can disrupt development, trigger allergies and even lead to more serious illnesses.
What is an Eco-Friendly Toy?
An eco-friendly toy is a toy that’s made from natural or sustainable materials and is manufactured in a way that’s responsible, ethical and energy efficient. An environmentally friendly toy will also come in recyclable packing and often the toys themselves are recyclable too. That means that, when your baby outgrows the toy, you can get rid of it knowing that it won’t end up in a landfill.
Natural and Sustainable Materials for Toys
An eco-friendly toy is a toy that’s made from natural or sustainable materials, including:
- High-quality silicone
- Sustainable wood
- Stainless steel
- Other organic materials, including natural rubber and natural paint
So let’s take a look at some of the best eco-friendly baby toys for 2022.
Best Eco-Friendly Baby Toys for 2022
- Pebble Fun Rattles
Pebble’s range of rattles are handmade in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, women in rural areas often have to migrate to the cities to find work, leaving their families for weeks or months at a time. Pebble instead offer life-changing work opportunities in rural areas, meaning that women can find flexible jobs while remaining in their villages with their families.
Their knitted rattles are soft and tactile sensory toys suitable from birth. They’re machine washable and available in a huge range of designs. Because they’re handmade, their sizes vary and no two are quite the same!
Find out more and browse the Pebble range of fun rattles.
- Plastic-Free Bath Toys
Envirotoy specialise in plastic-free toys, and they have a large range of toys designed for safe and sustainable bath time fun. Instead of using plastic, their bath toys instead use planwood – a sort of treated sawdust – making them greener, cleaner, and totally waterproof.
Our pick of the bunch is the fountain bowl set. Three bowls that fit inside of each other, each one with a few holes to create a fountain effect. Hours of fun!
- Natural Rubber Toys
Also from Envirotoy, a range of eco-friendly baby toys for every occasion. Many of these are made from natural rubber – latex from the hevea tree, which is harvested without the use of herbicides. This means their toys are non-toxic, readily biodegradable, and completely free of potentially harmful materials including PVC, BPA, and Nitrosamines.
There are many wonderful eco-friendly baby toys in their range. The sensory tumbling pastel heads are good from 6 months, and they’re made from sustainable rubberwood, non-formaldehyde glues, and water-based and natural paints.
- Eco-Friendly Soft Toys for Babies
The Early Learning Centre has a range of eco-friendly soft toys for babies, all safe for newborns.
They’re made from natural cotton and recycled materials. For example, they used 12 recycled bottles to make their Mummy and Baby Whales!
These toys are cuddly and comforting while also providing an enthralling sensory experience. And as your baby gets older, they’ll always remember their soft and fluffy friend from the ocean. So perhaps these toys will give your baby a lifelong respect for marine life – and a lifelong commitment to keeping them safe.
- Wooden Clutching and Teething Toys
Wooden baby toys aren’t just more sustainable. Smooth warm wood can also be a lot more tactile than plastic, which is perfect for little hands keen to explore the world.
Grimm’s toys make excellent wooden graspers and teething toys, like their captivating pastel beads and their adorable wooden hedgehog – made from sustainable alder wood and finished in safe plant-based oil.
Other Eco Friendly Choices For Your Baby
With the toys you choose for your baby, you can help to reduce the amount of plastic in the world.
But this isn’t the only way you can make a difference.
If you switch from disposable nappies to reusable nappies, you can help reduce the amount of nappies that end up in landfills. Standard disposable nappies are made from many potentially harmful materials, including plastics and certain harsh chemicals, and they can take decades to decompose.
But our reusable nappies are made from soft and sustainable materials. So not only are they better for the planet. They’re also better for your baby. They’re more comfortable to wear, and they help reduce the risk of nappy rash.
Find out more and browse our range of eco-friendly reusable nappies.