Monday, October 15, 2007

A Greener Christmas

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Today is "Blog Action Day", which was created to help bring awareness to issues concerning the environment. Thousands of blogs have all signed up to talk about this one issue today, which I think is pretty cool!

With all of the toy recalls going on and the probability that there is more to come, I have begun to do my research on earth-friendly, non-toxic, not totally expensive toys for the girls this Christmas. Sounds simple, right? I wish. But I am up for the challenge, and am determined to choose quality over quantity this year.

So here's my checklist so far:

  • The toys must be earth-friendly, so they must not be made with PVC plastics (labeled as PVC or #3). Plastics marked #1 or #2 is easier to recycle and do not have all the toxins that PVC plastics do.
  • Make or buy handmade. I would love to make a bunch of stuff for the girls, as I have a ton of ideas and truly love the process...BUT realistically my time is so limited right now. I may try a few things and see how it goes. I have also begun browsing on Etsy, where I can buy cool handmade things from people who do have the time!
  • Open-ended toys. Toys that allow the girls to use their imagination, use in many different ways and be able to expand on as they get older.
  • Toys that the girls can use together. Toys that promote-or allow sharing, so they must be age-appropriate for both.
  • Affordable. As much as I would love money not to be a factor (who wouldn't?) it has to be.

I am sure as I continue to research, I will find more to add to my checklist! There is still so much more I need to educate myself on keeping my family safe from all the toxins out there. I feel like Greg and I have come a long way since Analese was born, no longer just trusting that if its a toy, it has been made safely for kids. These recalls have only reminded us of this fact.

So here are some of the things I have found so far that I am excited for!
  • Plan toys: I LOVE these products! They are made from discarded rubberwood that is processed naturally (no preservatives). They use recycled packaging-another plus! I also found that all of their toys use vegetable dye for color.

    • Here is what I am looking to purchase from them for the girls this year:

      • Creative Blocks: These look really neat, and adds some different elements to block play.
      • Unit Blocks: I have been looking for unit blocks, and these may do the trick!

      • Chalet Dollhouse: this may be Mara's birthday present in January, or a toy for the playroom. I love that it splits up into 2 sections (fulfilling my need for the girls using it together!)
  • Cherry Tree Blocks: I love these and have found a couple places to get them.. Magic Cabin, or Blueberry Forest.
  • Fairy Family and wood furniture. This will be for the cherry tree blocks, as I can see Analese spending hours building and playing. I am still debating whether to make a family or buy one.....

  • Hide & Seek Safari: this looks REALLY neat, and the girls would love it! Their favorite game is Hide n Seek. You can buy either a monkey or a tiger, and one person hides it while the other one uses the wand to find it! You can also purchase an extra wand so more then one child can look at the same time. Very neat! I still have to look and see what kind of plastics are used yet...

So that is my list so far. I'll continue to keep you updated as I find more neat and earth-friendly products!


Following Forward said...

I LOVE Etsy!!! I could spend several thousands of dollars on the things I see on there! Good thing I have some self-control! :)

Mama Zen said...

Great list! I'm going to keep it to use for my Christmas shopping!

Peace is every step said...

Love your list! I agree--what sounds so simple is so much more complicated, debillitating at times (SP?). I saw that California passed a new law outlawing all PVCs and other plasticizers that soften plastic-YAY! At least its a first step. Thanks for reminding me about blogaction day....I now need to make a post:).

Lorrie said...

Thanks for the great list! I am going to refer back to it for gifts as well! I'll just let you do all the research (:

The Daily Rhythm said...

Glad you all like my list! I'll try and update every week or so as I find some more things! It's funny, remember when you would spend months researching what YOU wanted for Christmas? Now I spend it trying to figure out what to buy for the girls, and I like it much better this way :)

Yes-I had planned to write this thoughtful essay on ways we can help our planet, but no time this week!

Peace is every step said...

I just have to say the creative explorers site is AWESOME. I will refer all Grandparents to this site for gifts, as well as my favorite Hearthsong & Etsy. Thanks for the research!!!

The Daily Rhythm said...

yes-I also their site as well, especially now that the girls are getting older.
Magic Cabin and Rosie Hippos are also favorites of mine..I'll post more as I find them :)

Jen said...

what a fantastic list!!! and thanks for mentioning Etsy! I love shopping there, and it's fun to run my little Etsy shop. I'll definitely be back to see what else you add to the list!