Let’s face it, as nerdy parents, we’re concerned about more than just the educational and nerd-a-rific level of the toys and activities our kids get and participate in. Choosing toys and games that add less to the landfill from companies that don’t exploit unethical labor practices in the manufacturing process is important to us as thinking, caring parents with smarts. But where do we start? Here are a few resources to help us all do just that.
The Ethisphere Institute, an international watchdog think-tank, presents a list of the world’s most ethical companies each year. This year, toy and game maker, Hasbro, has made the list for the second time in a row. Among the reasons Hasbro was given this honor include its approach to the reduction of materials used in product packaging, as well as its global efforts to phase out PVC in new toy and game product packaging.
EthicalKids, a site out of the UK, posts a set of ethical standards by which it measures its recommendations for companies to purchase toys and games from, listing such factors as handmade products, locally produced, that don’t contribute to unsustainable behaviors like deforestation around the globe, or involve any child labor practices in their manufacture.
If you’re looking for ethically produced toys, there are a ton of resources out there, from the aforementioned EthicalKids site, to posts like this one from NatureMoms, a site dedicated to raising kids with concern for the planet. There’s a list of the best green toys for Christmas, a top ten best toys for toddlers list, and a guide for eco-friendly art supplies for children of all ages.
The EcoLife website also has a great list of Fair Trade toys and the companies that make them, with an interesting bit of information about why parents shouldn’t choose non-Fair Trade toys, including the use of child labor, the inclusion of toxins in both toys and packaging, and how these “cheap” toys take jobs away from local businesses and people.
Hopefully, we all now have just a little more information in our search for options when buying ethical toys and games for our nerdy kids who will eventually be the people who buy toys for their own kids.