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Children

Babies, Children, Families

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I recently came across the eco-friendly and ethical toy shop, For First Steps, and fell in love with their range of environmentally conscious toys that are incredibly kid-friendly.

For First Steps was set up in response to the founder’s, Jana, frustrations with the toy industry – which in general sees a lot of non-recyclable plastic products produced under exploitative working conditions.  As an alternative to this, For First Steps only sell products that are earth- and people-friendly.  Here you’ll find sustainably and ethically produced toys made from renewable sources that are designed to last.

And on top of these high ethical standards, For First Steps have also partnered with two charities – Best Beginnings, who work with vulnerable families in the UK, and Women & Children First, who fight unacceptably high levels of maternal and newborn mortality around the world – with £1 from every order placed going to these good causes to give back to those that need help the most.  

I’ve picked out a selection of six of my favourite eco friendly toys from the online shop, but could honestly pick out heaps more items that both of my kids would adore.

eco friendly toys

Eco-friendly toys, from top left clockwise:

Zoe Rabbit (£39.00) – this incredibly cute rabbit, destined to become a forever friend for a special small person, is handmade ethically from organic materials.

Woodland Puzzle (£14.90) – this beautiful 24 piece puzzle has been ethically made with recycled paper, and has been printed with vegetable inks for eco-friendly fun.

Whale Body (£14) – ok, not a toy, but I couldn’t resist this funky vest!  Made from organic cotton, and printed with azo-free water inks (azo dyes are suspected carcinogens), it’s ethically produced AND a proportion of the sale price goes to support the work of SOS (a joint initiative of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Global Environment Facility and the World Bank).  That’s a whole lot of ethics!

Bamboo Dinosaur Dinner Set (£20) – want to avoid traditional plastic dinner sets?  This fun dinner set is ethically made from bamboo and is PA-free, PVC-free, formaldehyde and phthalate-free.

Tool Belt (£22.90) – This fun Plan Toys tool belt is ethically made using sustainable rubber wood and natural non-toxic colours and is sure to provide hours of fun for your little one.  I’m thinking about getting one of these for my Little Miss Fix-It.  

Stacking Tree (£16.90) – Finally, for little ones this stacking tree, again made from sustainable rubberwood, looks like great fun to play with whilst helping to develop motor skills.

IF you’re looking to treat the little person in your life then For First Steps are generously offering 10% off for Moral Fibres readers – simply use the code MoralFibres at the checkout.  The code is valid from 5th November 2018 to 24th December 2018 . 

Visit the For First Steps online shop, and you can also follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Babies, Children, Families

Does Climate Change Put You Off Having Children?

does climate change put you off having children

does climate change put you off having children

I’m curious, does the threat of climate change put you off having children?

As you may know, I have two children, so obviously the threat of the climate change hasn’t personally put me off having kids, but I’m wondering if it has put you off?

As environmentalists ourselves, my partner and I do worry about what the future holds.  We are keen to teach our kids about good environmental stewardship, such as the need for composting, recycling, reducing our plastic consumption, not using the car when we don’t need to, and other things that help the environment.   We’re also keen to teach them key skills, such as learning to grow your own food.

Where our worry has led us down the teaching route, this worry about the future has led to some people abstaining from having kids all together.  I came across this article from 2016 in Vice (there is some bad language there, in case you are offended), where Harriet Spark says her “reasoning for abstaining from having children is two-fold: She does not want to contribute to pre-existing resource depletion by adding another human to this planet, and she does not want to bring a child into a world she sees as doomed”.

It sounds dramatic, but I’m just being realistic,” said Spark. “The way we live currently simply cannot sustain more people“.

I also came across this one from NPR (no bad language in there!) that asks if environmentalists should have kids, and provocatively says “maybe we should protect our kids by not having them“.  The article also references an American non-profit called Conceivable Future, which is founded on the notion that “the climate crisis is a reproductive crisis“.

Some other people say one of the answers to climate change is to have fewer children.   The article from Slate proposes  to “cut the birth rate to one child per couple, for a few generations at least. The population would dwindle by about 5 billion people over the next century, he says, ensuring the habitability of the Earth for the 1.6 billion who remained“.

There’s obviously lots to think about here for a Thursday afternoon, and I’d love to hear your thoughts.  And if you are child free, or have decided on one kid only, is climate change your main reason?

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