Here’s a tale of two toys:
Toy #1 is a remote control car. It comes in a lot of packaging. It was purchased off of Amazon, so it also comes in an extra box with extra packaging. We remove it from its plastic trappings, and we hope those things can be recycled in a useful way, but we aren’t totally sure. My son loves it! However, it runs out of batteries quickly. We replace them a few times, but then within a few weeks, the toy breaks. One of the plastic fasteners snaps and the wheel won’t stay on. There really isn’t a way to soundly repair it. It can’t be sold, passed on, or really even donated. It goes in the trash.
Toy #2 is a box of Legos. They were purchased at a local toy shop (maybe THL?!). They are sold in a box that we still store them in. My son received these as a gift when he was four. He plays with them consistently for years and years. He loses pieces here and there, but it really doesn’t negatively affect the play value. If a piece breaks (I don’t think we’ve ever broken a Lego, but I guess it’s possible?) we could throw it away and carry on using the remaining pieces. They will be passed down to his little sister someday. When (if?!) the day comes that my kids no longer play with Legos, we will sell them, give them to a friend, or donate them. They will have a long and happy life, and during that life, they will positively impact the life of many children.
While Legos might hurt your feet now and then, their useful life is SO much longer than the remote control car. These are both plastic toys, most likely made from a similar type of plastic. But look at how much more usefulness the Legos have.
There are so many facets that go in to a product being eco-friendly (the materials in the product, the packaging, the environmental impact the shipping and production has, if it can be recycled, how eco-friendly the company is, etc). It is SO overwhelming! So, right now we are focusing on this ONE aspect of sustainability. We think it’s the easiest one to master, and bonus, it will have a positive impact on the quality of play in your home. Here is our challenge to you and your family this holiday season:
Purchase toys that have a really long life span.
Buy things that will last. Buy things that can be sold, passed on, or kept for future generations. Buy things of quality. Buy things that aren’t immediately trash if a small part breaks or gets misplaced.
If this resonates with you, share this blog post on your Facebook page. It’s a great first step toward signaling your loved ones that bringing quality toys into your home is important to you. Think of the difference we could make as a society if we each bought one quality, long-lasting toy instead of five junky toys. We can do it!