Not your fault (but you can help!)
"It's really not your fault." I've had to say this to several people lately. Each was interviewing me for an article or research. As I described our eco-activist toystore, and our climate-kind and minimal-trash toys, their minds started comparing vs their own child's toys.
"Since chatting to you, I have looked at my own kids' toys with a new lens," one of them wrote to me. "I'm a bit appalled at my own decisions, to be honest."
I polled our 14,000+ strong Instagram community: 4 out 5 said, at some point, they'd felt the same.
Here's what we all need to hear: toys we've bought in the past are not our fault!
- We did what we were told - we needed toys, so we went to a toystore.
- Toys is the world's most plastic-intensive industry, with 90% made from virgin petro-plastic, releasing so much CO2 we'd have to plant 1 billion trees to absorb it. That's not our fault.
But we can help fix it, going forward, by:
- Reducing - managing others, and choosing well, to reduce the virgin-plastic toys, and the "sit on the shelf unused" toys, coming into our little loves' lives - in favour of fewer, more eco-friendly toys that will get many hours/years of play;
- Reusing - choosing pre-loved; cleaning / repairing / rotating to keep toys in use; and re-homing toys we're done with;
- Recycling toys too worn / broken to play with - not in home recycling bins, rather at civic amenity centers (see MyWaste.ie); and
- Micro-activism - asking retailers by email / in-person for what we wish they offered (minimally-packed toys made locally from natural or recycled materials - we stock 750 of them vs only 14 at Smyths, for example).
See our blog post here for more details, and love to hear your thoughts!