Eco-Smart Tips for Shopping for Your Little Ones


Submitted by: Dorinda Bredbenner, www.raisinggreenrichmondkids.com
As a mother, former early childhood teacher, and earth enthusiast  I am committed to raising green children and I hope to inspire others to do the same.  At our home we try to buy organic, reduce our waste, use rain barrels, teaching our young children the art of taking short showers, use non-toxic cleaning products, recycle, and compost along with other small changes we have made in our lifestyle to be more eco-friendly.

Here are a few eco-smart tips for parents when shopping for your little ones:

Look for PVC-free:
From production to disposal, PVC ( polyvinyl chloride) is associated with the use and release of hazardous chemicals. Many PVC toys also contain phthalates, chemical compounds that make the PVC plastic more flexible, which initial studies have linked to both cancer and hormonal disruption. The long-term effects of phalates on children is not fully known but it’s better to be safe now. The plastic number associated with PVC is #3 and it’s not recycleable.

Second-hand magic:
This is why companies like Toyconomy are such a great idea.  What a great way to be eco-friendly and keep toys out of the landfill.  Use a toy for a few months, return it, and rent some new ones.

Wood toys are a great way to go:
Look for FSC-certified wood to find sustainable toys that will last generations longer than the cheap plastic stuff. For the little ones, untreated, unpainted wood is safe to chew unlike plastics that contain PVC. When your child is done, wooden toys can be passed on to a relative, friend, to give it a second life. The FSC certification is
important, it ensures that the wood you buy has been forested responsibly, allowing for sustainable growth.

Power down:
Batteries have become second nature in most toys today. For the young ones, decide if all the battery-powered noise is worth it. Could your child stay just as entertained with a simpler toy? For the older ones that absolutely must have the newest electronics, look into rechargeable batteries to eliminate waste.

Raising Green Richmond Kids is committed to helping parents raise eco-smart children by teaching them more positive ways to cook, garden, clean, make crafts, and explore the world around them.   Dorinda Bredbenner is an independent eco-consultant for Green Irene and a blog writer. She also teaches eco-art classes for preschoolers at the Mom’s Treehouse.

More About Dorinda…

As a mother, former early childhood teacher, and earth enthusiast  I am committed to raising green children and I hope to inspire others to do the same.  At our home we try to buy organic, reduce our waste, use rain barrels, teaching our young children the art of taking short showers, use non-toxic cleaning products, recycle, and compost along with other small changes we have made in our lifestyle to be more eco-friendly.
    

I meet many parents who are trying to instill green habits in their children by making changes in their family lifestyle.  As an eco-consultant I perform in home consultations and home parties along with workshops called “Raising Green Children.” The eco-art classes focuses on teaching young children to create art with recycled and non-toxic materials.  My blog is full of eco-craft ideas, recipes, homemade laundry detergent, natural lip balm, what you should know about chemicals in cleaners, veggie gardening with children. To learn more about my services please go to www.RaisingGreenRichmondKids.com and check out the Mom’s Treehouse in Richmond, VA schedule for art class times.

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