Everyone loves LEGO. Their popular brick system has been around since the 1950s, inspiring creativity in generations of children. Still, they’re made of plastic, which takes an environmental toll.
While the LEGO company does get kudos for making long-term sustainable plans — they aim to manufacture their products close to the point of sale to reduce transportation emissions and to operate energy-efficient factories, including renewable energy sources like a wind farm in the process of being built — their current partnership with the Arctic-drilling Shell oil company flies in the face of those values.
Click here for an awesome and affecting LEGO MOVIE-inspired video from Greenpeace to spread awareness about drilling in the Arctic — then sign the petition.
We forget that LEGO is not the only constructive toy out there. Perhaps you want your kids to play with safer and greener toys. Maybe you’re tired of supporting a hugely profitable, mega toy company. Or maybe you’re a bit like Wyldstyle, seeking something different. In my research, I discovered some unique and eco-friendly LEGO alternatives sure to ignite your child’s imagination.
Earth Blocks from Colors Tokyo
These blocks are made from cedar tree bark, coffee beans, green tea leaves and compressed cedar log dust. They come in natural, earth-colored hues and may even emit a natural fragrance of coffee or sawdust.
YOXO by Play from Scratch
Their philosophy is about using recycled raw materials to inspire kids’ creativity. Every toy they make includes recycled material and is recyclable. They provide a variety of kits, which include links, connectors and stickers to use with raw materials from your own home (toilet paper tubes, cardboard boxes, etc.).
EnviroBLOX™ from Cadaco Toy
EnviroBLOX is a 100% biocompostable building system that you could actually eat because the pieces are made from corn starch colored with food dye. Similar in shape and texture to foam packing peanuts, these “blocks” can be compressed, cut or twisted into various shapes. To build something, simply dab the block’s end in water (or lick it) and stick it to another piece.
These Dutch-designed construction toys are made of fully recyclable polypropylene in only two shapes (square and triangle) for endless creative possibilities.
Their recycled plastic blocks are meant for gardens but can also work great as large-scale building blocks. BPA and phthalate free, they are manufactured in the USA and 100% recyclable.
You can’t go wrong with classic wooden blocks. Dobney’s unique interlocking block systems are hand crafted from sustainably grown New Zealand timber and packaged in recyclable cardboard.
Have you ever tried any of these toys? Are there other building kits that your kids love?