Toys that Grow Green
How to buy a truly green toy
Today’s savvy toy shoppers know the color green has come a long way from being just another springtime color in the crayon box. Green is now synonymous with all that is safe for our children and the environment. Navigating through the abundance of green product claims, however, can be daunting for even the eco-enlightened consumer. The world’s leading manufacturer of eco-friendly, recycled rubberwood toys since 1981, PlanToys, Inc. (http://www.plantoys.com), offers the following tips when looking to purchase genuinely safe and environmentally sensitive toys.
Know the facts about Green Manufacturing: A truly green manufacturing facility is a rare and much coveted distinction. Look for companies with third party certifications such as ISO14001 (Environmental Management Standards), SA8000 (Social Accountability), and E0 (E-Zero formaldehyde).
How Toys Grow Green:
A green toy factory is dedicated to using only green materials from initial toy design, through development and ultimately into distribution. All manufacturing operations should reflect sensitivity to the environment and respect for natural resources. Recycled or recyclable paper should be used for packaging, promotional materials and business documents. Vitool Viraponsavan, Founder and President of PlanToys, Inc., reports that in his green toy factory in Thailand, eco-friendly is a way of being. “Environmental planning and conservation are part of our corporate culture. Employees conserve energy, recycle and are aware that each individual action affects the environment. We even have a reforestation program where the employees plant new trees in the forest each year.”
Read Toy Packaging Labels Carefully:
Scrutinize the manufacturer’s labels on toy boxes as if you were buying for a child with an allergy. In essence, you are. Look for the language of true green toy materials such as:
- 100% recycled woods; preservative-free and chemical free
- Non-formaldehyde glue
- Nontoxic, water-based paints
- Soy based inks; Vegetable dyes
- Organic cottons for clothing or accessories
- Pure wool stuffing in plush
- Natural rubber teething toys
- Phthalate-free vinyl
- Recyclable packaging
- Sustainably harvested materials
Reference Toy Manufacturer’s Web sites:
Always go online to learn more about a company’s commitment to safety and the environment. Company Web sites generally share a mission statement and personal philosophy. You can also learn of any toy awards and industry distinctions, as well as any voluntary or mandatory recalls.
Overall, concerned consumers should watch for “green” in manufacturing, materials and more.