Being eco-friendly shouldn’t exclude Christmas time and choosing gifts for your kids. For parents to small children, the number of non-eco aware products in any child’s bedroom is very evident; with hundreds of lurid-coloured one-use non-compostable plastic toys being prevalent in most nurseries around the UK. So how can we become more eco-aware when it comes to buying gifts for our children this year?
Here’s our top ten of eco-friendly toys:
Recently launched ekolife provides parents with a truly sustainable alternative to the vast amounts of non-recyclable toys that flood retailers every year. Consumers are expected to spend around £5 billion on toys this Christmas, 90% of which will be made from plastic and other non-recyclable materials such as metal.
The delightfully designed and super durable toys from ekolife include planes, cars, jigsaws, build-your-own shops and castles – all crafted from 100% recyclable, renewable and biodegradable cardboard. The ekolife range also includes canvases that can be coloured in by their new owners to get their creative juices flowing.
For £24.99 at ekolife
Plan Toys are the original green toy company. Using sustainable materials, organic ingredients, biomass power and a whole host of other eco friendly production techniques Plan Toys make their incredible toys. Every stage of the production process has green thinking at its heart.
The Play Toys Deluxe Marble Run contains a collection of colourful wooden tracks and building pieces. Each piece is two-sided so you can turn them over to change the direction. 25 piece building set with 5 traditional marbles included. Brilliant for encouraging creative play and problem solving.
For £41.95 at Babi Pur
JoJo Maman Bébé
Jojo’s has a fabulous array of sustainable gifts. A recent article in the Telegraph references the brand’s ‘sustainable ethos [which] has been core to the company since before “sustainability” was such a buzzword.’ We’re particular fans of the wonderful Plant & Pick Veggie Patch which includes a selection wooden fruit and veg, a garden to plant and pick them from and a number of garden accessories,
This lovely toy encourages healthy eating habits and a love for nature. With a selection of fruit and veg including carrots and strawberries, animal puzzle pieces that slot into the lid, a watering can and more fun accessories to help your little one keep their patch in order, this set is sure to keep their imaginations flowing.
For £28 at Jojo Maman Bébé
Alphabet Jigsaws are cut from sustainably sourced wood and painted by hand in dazzling colours, using non-toxic acrylic paints. All the puzzles are designed to encourage dexterity and logic and although educational, the emphasis has always been on making the puzzles fun.
The Four Seasons jumper is a wonderful introduction to the world of science and nature for young children. Hand painted in vibrant colours, separate pieces represent different elements of nature, from rainbows and sunshine, to snow and autumn leaves.
For €38 at Alphabet Jigsaws
Weaving Hope offers toys and gifts for children that are bright, unusual and fun! They are all handmade by women artisans in Sri Lanka, who weave the cotton fabric on traditional wooden handlooms and then craft it into high quality items.
The brightly coloured Fairtrade Dinosaur Play Set is a great introduction for little ones to the wonderful world of Tyrannosaurus Rex and friends. The zip-up pouch opens to reveal an integral river and volcanic cave, where the six brightly coloured mini dinos can play among the trees
For £30 at Not on the High Street
My 1st Years
My 1st Year is a one-stop-shop for personalised gifts for small people. From toys to keepsakes, the products are high-quality and original and make gorgeous unique presents for friends and family.
The Personalised Wooden Stacker is a fun education toy and a must for every nursery. The multiple sized wooden rings provide a fun challenge that is both suitable for one-year-olds and older toddlers and the personalisation is a lovely added touch.
For £22 at My 1st Years
At its core, Green Toys Inc. has always been an eco-friendly toy company. We believe that the best way to encourage environmental change is through goods people buy and use every day—and in our case that’s children’s products.
Made from 100% curbside collected recycled plastic, the Green Toys Ferry Boat with Cars, features 2 colourful cars, a spacious cargo area area and slide-our ramp.
For £23.99 at Green Toys
cuddle+kind launched because they wanted to make beautiful hand-knit dolls that help feed children. For every cuddle+kind doll sold, they give 10 meals to children in need.
cuddle+kind’s Violet the fawn is hand-made in Pera using sustainable, fair trade practices. It’s hand knit with premium 100% cotton yarn and has a high stitch count for durability and softness. It’s stuffed with hypoallergenic polyfill to be the ideal cuddle weight and benefits a good cause.
Smaller fawn is £52 at cuddle+kind
Ailefo Play Dough
Ailefo organic play dough contains high quality certified organic ingredients. It is the first and only organic modelling clay on the European market. It does not contain perfume or parabens, the preservatives are all mild and colours made using natural dyes. Furthermore, the packaging is 100% environmentally friendly.
For £18.95 at Conscious Craft
babipur specialises in Sustainable, Ethical, Fairtrade, Safe and Green Toys. They stock a huge selection of good quality Waldorf toys and Montessori toys made from natural raw materials. Their traditional wooden toys are solid and made to lastand focus on educating and stimulating children.
There are numerous fantastic eco-friendly brands on the website and they also sell this fabulous eco-friendly Elephant Tape, perfect for using to wrap Christmas gifts: This eco paper parcel tape is made from a renewable source, uses a natural adhesive and is recyclable – a fun, zero waste alternative to plastic adhesive tape.
For £2.95 at Babipur
Read our tips on how to have a greener Christmas here.