Searching for chemical free and eco-friendly toys

August 26th, 2010

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For the last several days I’ve been searching for soft baby blocks that are made of either BPA free plastic or fabric made in the USA. Do you know what an impossible task this is? IMPOSSIBLE. I searched for “made in USA toys” on Amazon and I get a few pages of results, but half of the “toys” are really just bottles or teethers, and the few toys they’ve listed we either have or something like it. I just want some lead free, BPA free blocks that a small baby can play with easily (and not wood). Is that asking too much?

During my search it came to my attention that several of the toys that were gifted to Elise are likely not BPA free, like her favorite monkey with a mirrored tummy. Crap. When I realized this, I decided to do a little more research to see which toys might be BPA free and discovered that Sassy brand toys actually has a BPA free listing of their toys. This got me thinking that all toy companies should have such a section on their site—assuming they have some BPA free toys in their collection, which frankly at this point in the game, everyone should. This is a hot concern for parents right now, so why are toy companies not looking into making their toys a) safer for kids b) eco-friendly?

Fisher-Price, Lamaze Toys, Skip Hop, Carter’s: I’m looking at you. Take all your creative toy and game ideas and start wrapping them in a layer of responsibility. When you do, do yourself and your customers a favor and let them sort your toys by categories that are of likely interest to them (eco-friendly, BPA free, lead free!). When you do, I’ll come back as a customer.

p.s. Even the blocks distributed by Parents Magazine don’t appear to be BPA free. This is the same magazine that often writes articles about how to keep your family safe from toxic chemicals.

This post is part of a month long blogging exercise inspired by Seth Godin.

Drinking cold beverages on the go just got a little greener

April 27th, 2010

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These acrylic to-go cups from Vessel Drinkware are so fantastic. I love grabbing iced teas to go all Spring and Summer long, so that I can have icy cool beverages as I cruise around the neighborhood, but I hate throwing away the disposable plastic cups after one use because it’s so wasteful.

While many coffee shops offer discounts on warm beverages if you use your own travel mug, not many offer incentives for using your own cup for cold beverages. And sure, you can use a traditional travel mug for cold beverages, but let’s be honest, it’s just not the same to drink something with ice cubes from a heavy plastic container without a straw. Plus, if you use that same mug for coffee, it always tastes like coffee, no matter what you put in there next.

So! Why not sell some of these reusable cold beverage containers? Sustainable and beautiful? Starbucks, I’m looking at you. Joe’s Coffee, why not? Stumptown? I know you’re fancy and all, but you can give this a try, right?