Another great find at the Seattle Green Festival were these gorgeous handcrafted wooden toys. They are the kinds of toys your grandparents and great grandparents used to play with, each handcrafted and built to last. What was truly amazing is the craftsmanship of these toys. They are built sustainably by a small village of artisans named Channapatna in southern India that has made toys for generations, and it shows.
Fresh from Green Festival Seattle 2009 where I saw so much great stuff, i have decided to begin with some of the baby items I came across.
Drawn to the bright colors and simplicity of the designs, I could not help but love what I saw. The colors and patterns remind me of a roll of lifesavers candy, but with a European look and feel. Crafted to stretch and move with the energetic activities of young children, yet still be cute and stylish, and it’s no wonder; the companies founder Roxanne Quimby has a background in art and is well traveled.
While trying to find gifts for my ‘adopted’ nephews, I came across some adorable organic plush animals by miYim. With lead being found in several toys and all those toxins in plastics, I wanted to get back to some of those more natural toys I grew up with, and I ended up finding some that are probably a bit better. I chose baby ben, a cute raw organic cotton, naturally dyed sage green frog with overalls.
From it’s beginnings as a seed, the organic cotton used for the plush fabric and stuffing is grown without pesticides or herbicides. Because the toys are all natural, toxicity and allergy levels are greatly reduced, lessening instances of sickness or irritation. Also, there is no need to coat the fabric with chemicals; in it’s raw state, the fabric is naturally softer than regular cotton.
They use a process called PureWaterWash™ to achieve their charming colors, dying the unbleached, unprocessed, untreated cotton with nature’s own plants and minerals, including chestnut bur, clove, and gardenia seed. These contribute to its unique coloring, making each one a little bit different. I found mine at the local toy store in Downtown Seattle, Magic Mouse for $24.00, A great price to pay for such a well made and eco chic baby toy.
Disposable baby diapers are having a huge impact on our planet by filling our landfills and waste dumps with bulky long lasting plastics. Those dedicated eco conscious parents out there are bringing about a resurgence in cloth diaper services, but how earth friendly is all of that water usage and chemical detergents used to clean them? Then there is just the hassle of pins and getting the diapers to stay, its enough to just make you want to let your baby roam diaper-less. Dear green baby parents: your perfect solution has arrived!
Earth Baby has stepped in with a wonderful solution to your baby diaper woes with their compostable diaper service. Biodegradable baby diapers have been around for awhile and are usually made from a corn based plastic (similar to those compostable/biodegradable food containers or packing peanuts), however, landfills don’t compost very well. Unless you are doing something special to compost them yourself, they aren’t actually biodegrading much faster than traditional plastic disposable diapers. Earth Baby’s service takes your sustainable rating one step further than just buying biodegradable diapers, and actually composts them for you.
The Earth Baby services offers Nature Babycare Compostable Diapers and wipes, delivering them directly to your door with every pickup. The diapers absorbent layer contains a combination of natural unbleached FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood pulp and super-absorbent gel. The wipes they use are 100% chlorine and fragrance free so as not to irritate sensitive baby skin.
The composting process itself isn’t too complicated, but requires higher heat than most backyard composting piles. Earth baby uses a regulated industrial composting facility to compost the diapers and wipes to ensure the safe removal of all pathogens. The result is a high quality clean soil, usually utilized as fill in construction projects and other non-agricultural applications.
The service is a very reasonable $24.99 a month (which includes multiple baby households). Several other organic and sustainable baby products are also for sale on their website, which can be added to your order and delivered right to your door. Currently the service is only available for those living in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, but they are expanding, so check out their website and suggest they start a service in your area.
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