During my monthly focus of Eco Kids, I did a lot of research into the environmental impact of different children’s items. This includes the chemicals used in toys, to the amount of waste that is sent to landfill. Take a look at the info below to see how the every day products we use for our children can affect the planet.
We’ll start with some facts on what products are sent to landfill and how much of it there is here in the UK. These figures are quite staggering but read below for some easy ways to reduce those numbers.
It is estimated that children’s toys are played with for less than 6 months on average and they use more plastic than a lot of other plastic based products. Here are some ways you can help to bring those figures down.
Toys – making sure they don’t end up in landfill is ridiculously easy! There are loads of selling sites now so if you want to make some money, get them on there. You can also give them away on various groups, apps or to a charity shop. You could pass them on to other family members or friends or you could hold a garage sale or attend a car boot. Unless the toy is damaged beyond repair or is unsafe to use – there really is no need to put it in the bin.
Clothes – I have recently found a new love of @Vinteduk. I’m not going to lie – I hate having to get rid of the girls clothes – it can be very time consuming. But within one month of using Vinted, I made £45 and got rid of some near perfect clothes for other to enjoy. I’m left with a bag of other bits which seem way more manageable and which I can bundle up and sell at a car boot sale or see if neighbours are interested.
Shoes – as above, get them sold or pass on to someone smaller. Even scruffy shoes can be used for the beach or nursery so unless they have a hole in – pass them on. You can also look at an amazing charity Sals Shoes, who collect and distribute shoes to people who don’t have them. I sent 5 pairs a couple of years ago and am so pleased they will have found a good home and be used again.
Now it’s time to take a look at the chemicals found in kids toys. Whilst researching I found out there is no legislation (worldwide), for which substances should be banned from children’s toys. One very recent survey (from The Technical University of Denmark), found that there are over 100 chemicals found in children’s toys which could be harmful to their health.
We are very fortunate to have a wonderful collection of wooden toys and games, (and family members who 100% understand why we want to avoid plastic toys), so rarely get plastic toys coming in to the house. There are some amazing sustainable and ethical wooden toy companies around and you can get some amazing bargains of 2nd hand toys. It’s worth looking in to if you are serious about removing these toxins from your home.
The final area to look at in this blog is the waste from disposable nappies and wipes.
3 billion nappies every year – just in the UK. I can’t even get my head around what that would look like. It would be amazing to see reusable nappies become more mainstream and affordable, and potentially with local council or government backing! These switches are so easy to make, and cost effective too, it makes sense to get on and do it to make a big impact!