With an increased awareness about the state of the environment, more and more families are choosing to “go green". Making choices that are eco-friendly is an easy process; there are now lines of environmentally-friendly foods, bedding, and cleaners, to name a few. However, many people fail to realize that in addition to teaching children to reuse and recycle, they can also fill their toy boxes with eco-friendly items.
Environmentally-friendly wood products are becoming increasingly common in the toy world. Wooden toys, a hit item of the past, are making a comeback. Everything from toy boxes to easel are being constructed of natural wood that will biodegrade over time. Many eco-friendly toy manufacturers also opt to use wood that is plentiful in supply, as opposed to scarce hardwoods. Wood is often used to replace certain types of plastic, which some manufacturers fear poses a health risk to children because of the chemicals it contains.
Stuffed animals, a popular addition to any child's toy collection, are constructed of organic cotton in the eco-friendly world. Organic cotton causes as little harm to the Earth as possible, eliminating overuse of pesticides and fertilizers. This type of cotton has gained popularity over the past few years, with a production increase of more than fifty per cent in 2005. In addition to stuffed toys, organic cotton is also used in infants’ and children's clothing and bedding.
It is important to be aware of the increased costs associated with environmentally-friendly toys. Often somewhat more expensive than other toys, organic toys are well worth the money. They offer safe alternatives to potentially hazardous chemicals, often last much longer than regular toys, and will not harm the environment in the long run.
Eco-friendly manufacturers are even producing organic pet toys. Like children's toys, environmentally-friendly pet toys avoid the use of chemical-based plastics, instead using biodegradable materials. Many dog toys are made of hemp, best used for a game of fetch than as a regular chew toy.
Even stuffed animals made for dogs are created using organic cotton, like eco-friendly child toys. They do not contain bleach and may also be stuffed with a combination of cotton and hemp. In addition, the materials used in these products are usually hypoallergenic.
Some organic pet toy producers have even gone so far as to create their own materials. These new compounds offer alternatives to plastic and rubber without any toxic additives. According to dog owner reviews, pets appear to enjoy the new products just as much as the old, tried-and-true versions.
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