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.

weekend links

Ten Things

carrot cake oatmeal

Happy November!  I love this week of the year, packed with Halloween and fireworks and other such delights.  Daylight savings though, I could really take or leave that nonsense.  I’m still trying to get used to the time change.  Just me?!  

This week’s links:

1. The big news this week is that wildlife populations are declining at a rapid rate. This was the very best article I read on the subject: capitalism is killing the world’s wildlife populations, not ‘humanity’.

“The Guardian headline reads “Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations”, while the BBC runs with “Mass wildlife loss caused by human consumption”. No wonder: in the 148-page report, the word “humanity” appears 14 times, and “consumption” an impressive 54 times.  There is one word, however, that fails to make a single appearance: capitalism… Although the WWF report comes close to finding the words by identifying culture, economics, and unsustainable production models as the key problems, it fails to name capitalism as the crucial (and often causal) link between these things. It therefore prevents us from seeing the true nature of the problem. If we don’t name it, we can’t tackle it: it’s like aiming at an invisible target“.

2.  Other equally big news is that the City of New York is suing Exxon Mobil, saying it deceived shareholders by deliberately downplaying the expected risks of climate change.

The litigation, which follows more than three years of investigation, represents the most significant legal effort yet to establish that a fossil fuel company misled the public on climate change and to hold it responsible. Not only does it pose a financial threat to Exxon that could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars or more, but it could also strike a blow to the reputation of a company that has worked to rehabilitate its image, framing itself as a leader on global warming“.

3.  Remember the kids suing the US government for inaction on climate change?  Encouragingly, that the case may now head to trial.

4.  Some of fashion’s biggest brands are (finally) addressing the plastic crisis.  The signatories include brands responsible for 20% of all plastic packaging produced around the world, suggesting that this Commitment has the potential to enact real change.

5.  Need an excuse to keep drinking coffee or to keep eating chocolate?  Let me be of service – here’s how drinking coffee and eating chocolate could help save a colony of endangered birds.  You’re most welcome!

6.  This is an interesting article clearing up the debate between paper and plastic packaging.  

7.  Apparently men are doomed, and they are going to take women down with them.  The answer?  As always: weaning ourselves off plastic.  

8.  One way to reduce food waste: use it to make soil healthier.

9.  Keeping clothes out of the bin is the holy grail of sustainable fashion – how close are we?

10.  Finally, I plan on baking the baked carrot cake oatmeal from Green Kitchen Stories (pictured above) today.  The cold weather and dark nights are making me crave hearty foods right now, and I’m sure this is going to fit the bill.

See you next week!


ps: did you catch this week’s post on how to shop online ethically?  It’s been a popular one!