My attempt at green parenting has been a precipitously slippery slope. I started out with cloth diapers, a natural rubber mattress, all organic clothing, homemade organic baby food and exclusively non-plastic toys. But what I've ended up with is 7th Generation disposables/part-time (like, when the mood strikes me) cloth diapering, a mix of pricey organic cotton and $2.97 Target specials (made, probably, by kids only slightly older than mine), frozen "all natural" chicken tenders & Whole Market taquitos, and more plastic toys than I can shake a stick at. So much for my lofty green ideals.
What happened between then and now?! Well, lots of things, like gag-inducing encounters with the diaper sprayer, the sheer economics of dressing a rapidly growing kid in $30 shirts, picky eating, and, of course, my kiddo's preferences in toys.
We recently had a green toy coups, however, when I discovered Sprig Toys, a Colorado-based eco-friendly toy line. For Huck's big 0-2, I purchased the Dolphin Explorer Boat (because anything to do with water is an instant win with the boy wonder) for $29.99, the dump truck and the loader, both $14.99 at Real Baby in Denver. All three toys are paint-free and made of Sprig's proprietary SprigWood, a delightfully satisfying-to-the-touch bio-composite material made of reclaimed wood and recycled plastic. If your little one isn't a classic dump truck/loader enthusiast, check out DuneBug's Sand Truck, which includes an adorable DuneBug character and wild flower seeds.
The little man especially adores the Dolphin Explorer set, spending nearly an hour at a go on his step ladder at the sink and in the tub with his boat, captain and dolphins, and we're looking forward to spending warmer spring days at the playground digging and dumping sand. For my part--and considering kids are spending record-breaking time in passive play with battery operated toys and electronic media--I adore how active he is in his play with these items--Sprig Toys are, as a rule, "kid-[not battery-]powered," which is just what this pseudo-green mama wanted.
Next Sprig Toys acquisition: The Discover Rig. Lights, motor sounds and songs are powered not by batteries, but by a generator triggered when your kid moves it. Also of interest, Sprig's Storybuilders: four classic story books with block-and-panel sets that allow kids to build and re-enact classic storylines. If I had a little gal, I might even do Princess Penny's Story Building Palace. I wish it weren't so. . . pink. . . but it would be a blast to build a little castle (as long as she can build skyscrapers out of normal blocks, too!) and hey, who doesn't like a pointy princess hat on a cute little faceless figurine?
Going as green as I can,