The Quest for Eco-friendly Toys

By Marisa Belger for Green Goes Simple

For the first year and a half of my son’s life, he was content to play with an empty shoe box or a handful of crinkly scraps of wrapping paper.

This didn’t stop me from filling his shelves with a variety of green toys — that is, toys that are made in a sustainable manner. I’m always in search of the next great multitasking moment, and green toys simultaneously satisfied my desire to protect the planet — they’re made with natural, recycled or reclaimed materials — and my child.

Since babies experience things by biting, sucking and drooling on them, I looked for playthings that were made without toxic glues, paints or varnishes and that were composed primarily of natural fibers or wood. It turns out that greener toys also often encourage kids to use their imaginations: Without flashing lights, music and sparkling colors, a little one is left to stretch his creativity.

Green toy companies like Plan Toys (, MiYim ( and Sprig ( continue to be at the top of my wish list.

Marisa Belger’s work has appeared in Travel + Leisure Family, Natural Health, Prevention and on the She was a founding editor of — which specialized in wellness and sustainable living — and she collaborated with author Josh Dorfman on his bestselling books, The Lazy Environmentalist and The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget.



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Sheri McDonald is a family lifestyle blogger who has been sharing her parenting and travel adventures online for the past eight years. You can find her discovering the world with her children when she's not at home enjoying a good book.


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