Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Wish - Toxic-Free Toys

Christmas is rearing its consumer-driven head. Like many, I’m cultivating a holiday experience that is calm, fun-filled and debt-free. This may seem impractical for folks whose children are jumping up and down over the latest flumtugtugger or hoohallhopper. There’s an added concern. Did the Whos in Whoville ever have to worry if their toys were toxic?

Welcome to the New Economy – the one that equates sustainability with everlasting growth, where profit is king and everything else , such as human and environmental health, are ‘externalities’. This is the same economy that’s currently crashing and burning around us.

For those buying gifts for kids, a must visit is Healthy Toys – the Consumer Guide to toxic chemicals in toys. Is Barbie a cesspool of toxicity? The Guide provides visitors with a breakdown of each toy under brand name. Another site worth checking out is 12 Tips for Non-Toxic Toys

Happily, more and more humane enterprising folks are creating toys that are safe for kids and the environment. Here are some eco-friendly online stores:

Nature Pod

Eco Toy Town


More on non-toxic toys from Ideal Bite....

Check out the following for the skinny on PCV – the poison plastic. Beware the rubber ducky.

Rant Against Toxic Toys
Needless to say, I am aghast, disgusted and furious by the fact that companies pump out toxic toys that end up in the hands of kids due to lax government regulation. William McDonough, architect and designer who is behind cradle-to-cradle philosophy in design, has some choice words when it comes to this unbelievable practice. He quite rightly asks: what kind of culture exposes its young to toxins?

Click here for his talk: William McDonough: The wisdom of designing Cradle to Cradle

Highway to Disaster
Skepticism of ‘everlasting growth’ is mounting. Check out Contemplating life without growth, by Toronto Star columnist Carol Goar

Also, if you haven’t already, visit Annie Leonard’s Story of Stuff. Is it really necessary to buy buy buy during Christmas?

Help hens where you live
On May 28, 2007, the City of Richmond, BC became the first city in Canada to go cage-free with respect to eggs when the local council passed a unanimous resolution to help hens. Since that time, 14 other cities in BC and Ontario have passed similar resolutions or made other progressive changes. Write to your local council to take positive action on this issue. Click on the link above to send a message to your councillor.

Help Support Ontario’s pesticide ban
For those of you living in Ontario, please click on the link and make the following comment - or edit so it’s in your own words - in the comment box:
1. I strongly support the pesticide regulations and hope they will come into effect by Spring, 2009.
2. The regulations will help Ontario industry become innovators in non-toxic lawn care, creating economic growth and green jobs.
3. I hope the government will also require golf courses to reduce pesticide use.

After writing your comments, please hit the ‘save’ button to submit it.

In the News
Canada ranked near bottom in list of climate change fighters

Recycle Your Plastic Shopping Bags & Styrofoam in Toronto

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