I recently read the very inspiring magazine, “Motto”, which I highly recommend reading. It featured an article called “Where Green Meets Gorgeous” and it was about Linda Loudermilk’s eco-luxury fashions. In it, Loudermilk was talking about how consumers throw things away without considering the impact on the earth. But, because they are beautiful, well-made, and they last a long time, she points out that “there are very few Gucci purses in our landfills”.
Immediately I thought of the parallel to wooden and natural toys. I can’t imagine throwing away any of our sons’ wooden toys or games. They are either being saved for their children, passed on to friends, given to goodwill, or resold on ebay. And whoever inherits them next, will likely do the same. Yet, it’s easy to throw away the little plastic trinkets that they are given at their friends birthday parties. And what a waste! Those trinkets cost laborers in China their time (and at a low wage), they cost our earth plenty between the chemicals and energy used to make them, and now they are taking up space in our landfills. Plus, there is the negative health impact they can have on children.
So, why do parents buy them? Most likely they feel that the party guests will be disappointed if they aren’t given a certain amount of “goodies” to take home with them. Yet, if given one nice toy that will last a long time, wrapped to show how special it is (rather than being put in a plastic gift bag), the child will not only love it, she will appreciate it. And the current generation of children wants to do what is right for the earth.
One of my friends and her daughter tie-dye t-shirts for their party guests, and all of the kids love them. A Hazelnut Kids customer recently bought several Haba magnifying glasses as party favors. Another bought several Plan Toys moving mice. Bridgett, our manager at Hazelnut Kids, gave her daughter’s party guests silk rainbow streamers, and she couldn’t get over what a beautiful sight it was to see all of the children running and playing outside with their streamers. Each of these gifts cost more than plastic toys, but if you add up the price of all of the junky trinkets, monetarily it often evens out. And as far as the Earth is concerned, there is no comparison.