Neutral colored baby products.

Going Green with Kids

Going green with kids can be a little tricky—those cute monsters can generate as much waste as the rest of us grown ups. There are some kid items that are not easy, or even impossible, to find that are made with sustainable processes and materials. But for most, it just takes a little effort, and some of these options can even be cheaper than their more wasteful counterparts.

Buying used baby gear

Newborn babies and kids are expensive, and shopping for used products is not only a great way to save money, but is also a very eco-friendly practice. Extending the life of perfectly usable items and decreasing the volume of new items that need to be produced are an important part of creating a circular economy.

Just about anything for babies and kids is acceptable to buy used, with general caution about car seats and cribs. For more details, Parents Magazine has an article on what baby items are ok to buy used.

Try shopping at a locally-owned thrift or consignment store that specializes in children’s items. Some national franchises to look for include Kid to Kid and Once Upon a Child. Try your local Buy Nothing group to find items that others may be giving away.

There are some really great online marketplaces where you can buy and sell anything you might need for your little ones. Check out GoodBuy Gear and Rebelstork for some great deals.

Where to donate baby items

Sadly, our little ones grow up way too fast and leave us with a lot of unneeded stuff on our hands. Pretty much any baby items can be given away, sold, or donated—again with the general exception of car seats and cribs. Any unwanted/unneeded items including clothing, pack n play, stroller, car seats, formula, body wash, lotion, rash cream, diapers & pull-ups can be donated to the YWCA or a local homeless shelter.

Buy Nothing is a fantastic option to help out others by giving them baby items they are in need of. It is a particularly good place to find someone to take things off your hands that might otherwise not be an option to donate. An open pack of baby wipes or diapers, baby food that your little one refuses to eat, or a mostly-full bottle of unused shampoo.

Recycling baby items

Many unusable baby and kid items can be recycled through Terracycle with a purchase of their Baby Gear Zero Waste Box. Each section below contains item-specific instructions on responsible disposal or recycling.

Buying clean children’s products

Purchasing non-toxic items is important for all of us, but especially for little ones who are still growing and developing. Know what chemicals to avoid in the products you buy. The most common substances you should avoid are parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, lead, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Bisphenol-A (BPA) and synthetic fragrances and dyes. Fragrances are unnecessary for babies, and can contain chemicals that could cause skin irritation, allergies and future health issues. Look for eco-certifications to verify these products are made cleanly and sustainably.

Specific areas you may want to learn more about include:

Eco-Friendly Arts & Crafts/School Supplies

See Office, School, & Art Supplies page.

baby clothes

Sustainable Kids Clothing

Go Green: Preloved; Natural, non-toxic fibers

Buying gently used clothing is one of the best options for sustainable baby and kids clothes. Local thrift and consignment shops such as Kid to Kid and Once Upon a Child, as well as Buy Nothing groups are some of the best places to find inexpensive or free pre-loved goods for your kids.

Kidizen is an online consignment stores that specialize in kids clothing.

Choose clothing made from natural fibers such as cotton, bamboo, linen, hemp, or tencel fibers. In general, these contain less harmful chemicals than synthetic materials like polyester, and do not shed microplastics. Learn more about types of fabric here.

Click here for more information on reducing clothing waste, buying sustainable clothing, and more.

Sustainable kids clothing brands

BrandCertificationsKey MaterialsNotes
Athleta GirlCertified B Corp, Fair TradeTencel Modal & Lyocell, Organic cotton, Recycled materialsTrade in & shop Athleta Preloved x thredUP
City ThreadsOEKO-TEXCotton/GOTS certified organic cotton, Recycled nylonManufactured in LA; AZO-free dyes
Crann OrganicOEKO-TEX, 1% for the Planet memberTencel Modal & Lyocell, GOTS certified organic cotton
Burt’s Bees BabyOEKO-TEXGOTS certified organic cotton, Tencel lyocell
PatagoniaFair Trade, FSC, BluesignRDS Standard Down, RWS Standard Wool, Organic cottonTrade in & shop used with Worn Wear
Made TradeClimate NeutralHandmade clothing from a variety of vendorsShop by values, such as vegan, recycled, BIPOC, Fair Trade, and more
Hanna AnderssonOEKO-TEXGOTS certified organic cotton, GRS certified recycled materialsShop & sell pre-loved hanna-me-downs
tentreesCertified B Corp, Climate Neutral certifiedOrganic cotton, hemp, recycled polyester, Tencel lyocell.Company plants 10 trees for each item sold.
Q is for QuinnGOTS certified organic cotton, responsibly sourced merino woolGreat shop for basics.
Honest Baby ClothingAll products are GOTS certified organic cottonAlso shop for bedding and bath
MightlyFair TradeGOTS certified organic cotton
Little Planet by Carter’sOEKO-TEX, Sustainable Apparel Coalition memberGOTS certified organic cotton, recycled materials
*Click here for an explanation of clothing eco certifications.

How to recycle baby & kid clothes

For items too worn or stained to donate, send them for recycling via Carters free mail-in program with Terracycle. This program accepts all brands of baby & children’s clothing, not just Carters. You can also drop them off at H&M or Savers. Click here for more information and options for apparel recycling.

baby blankets

Sustainable baby linens

Find more sustainable textiles here.

As with clothing, choose linens made from natural fibers such as cotton, bamboo, linen, hemp, or tencel fibers. In general, these contain less harmful chemicals than synthetic materials like polyester, and do not shed microplastics. Learn more about types of fabric here.

Best non-toxic linen brands

Aden + Anais

I used Aden + Anais cotton muslin blankets with my kids. They are lightweight and super soft. They also offer a line of GOTS certified organic cotton products.

Shop at Target / Amazon

Burt’s Bees Baby

All of Burt’s Bees Baby products are made with GOTS certified organic cotton. The company only manufactures in factories that utilize renewable energy, recycle their water supplies, and agree to third party annual audits covering standards of labor, health & safety, environmental performance, and business ethics.

Packaging utilizes either 100% recycled materials or FSC certified materials, printed using soy-based ink.

Shop at Target / Amazon

Honest Baby Clothing

Honest Baby Clothing products are comprised of 100% GOTS certfied organic cotton, and free of flame retardants and PVC. Dyes used are free of heavy metal and phthalate dyes. Their factories are backed with numerous certifications, such as Fair Trade.

Shop at Target / Amazon

Cariloha

Cariloha specializes in creating products made of OEKO-TEX and GOTS certified organic bamboo. The company is a Certified B Corp and works with Fair Trade certified factories. They fund carbon offsetting projects and work with One Tree Planted. Packaging is from FSC certified materials.

Pottery Barn Kids

Pottery Barn Kids has always been one of my go-to’s for quality linens; we have always been very happy with everything we have purchased from there. They offer a wide range of OEKO-TEX and organic GOTS-certified bedding and textiles, as well as many that were manufactured in Fair Trade Certified factories. You can shop by these and other sustainability filters on all products.

Non-toxic linen products

Bibs & burp cloths

Blankets

Changing pad cover

Sheets

Swaddles

Towels & Washcloths

baby nursery

Sustainable Kids Furniture

Go Green: Shop used; Responsibly-made, natural materials

Learn how to shop for sustainable furniture, certifications to look for, and how to responsibly dispose of unusable items.

Sustainable kids furniture brands

Pottery Barn Kids

If it is within your budget, Pottery Barn Kids is actually one of the most sustainable furniture options available. Their parent company, Williams-Sonoma, has been the only home retailer on Barron’s Top 100 Most Sustainable Companies for the past six years. They offer products that are Fair Trade certified, Greenguard Gold certified, and FSC certified. They also offer many items that are handcrafted or made from organic cotton and recycled materials. Both of my kid’s furniture sets come from PBK and we have been very happy with the quality.

Target

Target is a great budget-friendly option, as you can shop with sustainability and safety filters such as Greenguard and FSC certified.

DaVinci

All DaVinci furniture meets voluntary ASTM standards in addition to CPSC regulations. Furniture is made from New Zealand and Chilean pine wood. Their products are lead, phthalate, and formaldehyde safe, and many are UL Greeguard Gold Certified.

Babyletto

99% of Babyletto products are Greenguard Gold certified. Sustainable materials include FSC certified wood and recycled polyester.

Available at Target

Buying non-toxic cribs

The Honest Consumer and Sustainable Jungle both have very thorough and informative articles on what to look for in a non-toxic crib, and good brands to consider. The furniture brands listed above are all great choices.

It is not recommended to buy or sell a used crib. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC): “A consumer should not resell, donate or give away a crib that does not meet the new crib standards, such as trying to resell the product through an online auction site or donating to a local thrift store. CPSC recommends disassembling the crib before discarding it.

Non-toxic crib mattress

Mattresses can be made with a variety of toxic chemicals, such as VOCs and phthalates, which should be avoided by all of us, especially developing babies and children who spend much more time in their beds. Avoid mattresses containing flame retardants and PVC and look for those certified by OEKO-TEX or Greenguard. Read the EWG’s recommendations on what to look for in choosing a safe crib mattresses.

The Ecology Center released a study of many crib mattress models, find their rankings here. Some great brands for organic, non-toxic crib mattresses include Naturepedic, Avocado, Saatva, or Pottery Barn Kids. Find more on this list by Treehugger.

For more detailed information on buying non-toxic mattresses and how to recycle them, click here.

Non-toxic crib mattress cover

Naturepedic Waterproof Organic Crib Mattress Protector Pad – GOTS certified organic cotton jersey, Thermoplastic Poly Urethane barrier

Naturepedic Breathable Crib Mattress Cover TOP LAYER:  Organic cotton  |  BOTTOM LAYER: Polyester WATERPROOFING:  polyurethane barrier

Both are free of vinyl/PVC, phthalates, perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) and butane rubber. MADE SAFE, EWG verified, Greenguard Gold certified.

Diapers in a lined basket.

Eco-friendly Diapering

Eco-friendly diapers

Disposable diapers have a significant environmental impact, starting with the numerous resources required for production. Nearly all disposable diapers contain plastic, namely polyester, polyethylene and polypropylene. In addition, they also contain wood pulp and/or cotton.

But even worse, a 2021 study stated that, “Unfortunately, disposable diaper manufacturers are reluctant to present their exact chemical composition, claiming that their trade secrets apply. However, several reports show that disposable diapers of well-known brands, “store” brands and “bio” brands may contain a number of toxic compounds.”

Even if made with recyclable or compostable materials, the stinky contents means disposable diapers go to the landfill where they will not biodegrade. Disposable diapers account for 2-4% of landfill waste and take around 500 years to decompose. And considering a single baby will probably go through between 5,000-6,000 disposable diapers before becoming potty trained, that’s a lot of waste. In fact, the EPA reports that in 2018, an estimated 4.1 million tons of disposable diapers ended up in landfills, 1.4% of total waste for that year.

Go Green: Reusable cloth diapers

Reusable cloth diapers generally have a lower environmental impact than single-use diapers. Cotton is resource intensive, but buying organic cotton helps to lessen this factor. The biggest ongoing impact from reusable diapers comes from the water and electricity used to launder them. Despite this, I think it is a good trade off compared to their fossil fuel-based, possibly chemical laden, and non-biodegradable counterparts.

These impacts can be lessened by adopting certain practices.

Amazon has lots of reusable cloth diaper choices, as does Etsy. Here are Babycenter’s favorite cloth diapers. Ask around for a local diaper service recommedation.

Biodegradable diapers

For various reasons, reusable diapers may not be the most feasible option for you. Eco-friendlier disposable diapers minimize plastic use and use responsibly harvested tree pulp for their fluff.

  • Dyper diapers – Certified USDA BioPreferred 55% Product, Certified OK Biobased certified by TÜV Austria, OEKO-TEX certified. These diapers contain FSC certified bamboo and are the most expensive of the disposable diapers at around $0.56 per diaper. However, they are the only company that offers recycling of their products, as described below. I have a friend who loves these diapers and the service they provide.

The following diapers are comparably priced around $0.35 per diaper. (For reference, the very cheapest brands I found online were around $0.17 per diaper.)

  • Honest Company Clean Conscious Diapers – tree fiber harvested from FSC certified forests in North America; free of latex, fragrance, or parabens; cruelty-free. OEKO-TEX certified. Diaper boxes are made from 100% PCR post recycled consumer cardboard.
  • Eco by Naty Eco Diapers – contain 0% oil-based plastic, FSC certified wood pulp, TUV Austria OK Biobased certified, vegan, OEKO-TEX certified

Can disposable diapers be recycled?

They are not recyclable, with the exception of Dyper brand diapers. The company offers a curbside pickup program that operates in 20 cities across the country. For $20/pickup, their drivers come every other week and take soiled diapers and wipes for composting. Read about their unique process. If you don’t live in one of their pickup areas, you can purchase their return bundle to send the soiled items to them for processing.

Baby wipes

Go Green: Reusable baby wipes

Many of the baby wipes on the market are actually not made from plant-based material. Instead, they are usually composed of polyester or polypropylene, both fossil-fuel based non-biodegradable plastics.

Using a reusable cloth instead of single-use disposable baby wipes is the greenest choice, as well as the most economical. Simply use a damp washcloth as a reusable wipe, such as Burt’s Bees Baby 100% Organic Cotton washcloths, which are GOTS certified. Available on Amazon.

Biodegradable baby wipes

Reusable wipes may not be feasible in certain situations, especially when you’re on the go. 100% plant-based, compostable baby wipes are the best choice in this case.

  • Caboo Bamboo Baby Wipes – 99.3% naturally derived ingredients, plastic-free, unscented & MADE SAFE certified
  • Dyper Simply Kind Baby Wipes – Certified USDA BioPreferred 95% product, sourced from FSC certified bamboo and certified by OEKO-TEX. Hypoallergenic, unscented, and 99% water.
  • The Honest Company Clean Conscious Wipes – 99% water, USDA Certified Biobased Product, EWG verified, National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance. Free of plastic, fragrances, parabens, and chlorine processing
  • Water Wipes – Self-proclaimed “Purest wipes in the world” contain only two ingredients: 99.9% water and a drop of fruit extract. National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance, vegan, hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, cruelty-free. Packaging is made from low density polyethylene and contains 30% post consumer recycled polyethylene. Boxes are made from recycled cardboard.
  • Eco by Naty –  98.4% pure water, unscented, OK Compost TUV Austria certification

*Do not flush any wipe even when it claims to be ‘flushable.’ They are likely to lead to clogs pipes.

Can you compost baby wipes?

It is possible to compost wipes made from natural fiber if they were used to clean hands and face, surfaces etc.; if used to change diapers, they should be tossed in the trash.

Are baby wipes recyclable?

Baby wipes are not recyclable, with the exception of Dyper brand wipes (and diapers). They have a curbside pickup program that covers 20 cities across the country. For $20/pickup, their drivers come every other week and take soiled diapers and wipes for composting. Read about their unique process. If you don’t live in one of their pickup areas, you can purchase their return bundle to send the soiled items to them for processing.

Recycling baby wipe packaging

Recycle cardboard boxes. Most plastic packaging for baby wipes is made from #4/LDPE, which can be recycled with other plastic film.

Non-toxic changing pad

Like mattresses, changing pads can be filled with toxic chemicals. Avoid changing pads that contain polyurethane foam,vinyl (PVC), and flame retardants. Seek those that are certified non-toxic by third-party organizations.

Food for thought: anything that states it is antimicrobial or stain and odor resistant contains chemicals to achieve those capabilities.

BrandMaterialsCertificationsNotes
Naturepedic Organic Cotton Changing PadWaterproof surface is composed of sugarcane; stuffing is 100% GOTS certified organic cotton. EWG verified, MADE SAFE, UL Greenguard Gold100% plastic-free, making it the best overall option; however that also makes it the most expensive
DaVinci 31″ Contour Changing PadPVC-free, food-grade polyethylene waterproof cover, 100% polyester fiberfill padding UL Greenguard GoldFree of polyurethane foam, vinyl and chemical flame retardants
Babyletto PadPVC-free, food-grade polyethylene waterproof cover, 100% polyester fillingUL Greenguard GoldFree of chemical flame retardants, polyurethane foam, vinyl, and dyes

Eco-friendly diaper bags

baby foods

Feeding

Baby Food

If you have the time and inclination, make your own. For my kids, I pureed organic fresh fruits, steamed and pureed organic veggies and portioned them into ice cube trays. After they were frozen I stored the cubes in a freezer bag. They thaw quickly in a microwave, and then you can add rice cereal, formula, or breast milk to get it to the desired consistency. There are tons of resources online with more ideas and specific instructions, such as Babycenter.

I wouldn’t personally mess with a food mill; I didn’t find them any easier to work with than an immersion blender or food processor.

Recycle baby food containers

  • Glass jars can be recycled, as well as the metal lids.
  • Any Gerber brand packaging, pouch, cup, tub, container, and lid (as well as hangers) can be sent in for recycling via their free Terracycle mail-in program.
  • Cerebelly, Serenity Kids, and GoGo squeeZ brand food pouches can also be recycled for free with Terracycle. The GoGo squeeZ program accepts any brand of pouch.

Plastic-free kids tableware

Sippy Cups

Try stainless steel cups like Munchkin or Skip Hop. Target has several options made from BPA-free recycled plastic or sugarcane.

Plastic-free lunchboxes

EcoLunchBox has an assortment of leak-proof stainless steel lunch boxes, bento boxes, and snack containers, as well as organic cotton lunch sacks.

Bottle & breast feeding

Baby bottles

If you buy plastic, make sure they are labeled BPA-free.

Better yet, opt for non-plastic materials such as glass.

Upcycle Mason jars into bottles with this conversion kit.

If glass isn’t for you, try a Pura Kiki Stainless Steel Sippy Cup Bottle w/Sleeve.

Can you recycle baby bottles?

Glass, metal, and plastics 1-7 can be recycled.

Bottle Brush

Try a brush made with natural, compostable materials, such as the

Nursing Pads

Eco by Naty Nursing Pads – made with plant-based materials and certified compostable

Bamboobies Reusable Nursing Pads, made from cotton, ramie, or bamboo blends

Breast Pump

Try to find a friend or family member that can reuse your pump, or sell, because most goodwill or other programs will not take a used breast pump.

How to recycle a breast pump

In the case you cannot find anyone to take your breast pump, or yours is old/broken, Medela has a recycle program for their brand. Otherwise drop off at an electronic recycler. All other breast pump components (connectors, breast shields, tubing, bottles, valves, membranes, and cooling elements) can be disposed of in your waste management recycling container at your home, according to Medela.

strollers and high chairs in a store

Baby gear

Car Seat

The Ecology Center reports that about half of car seats contain flame retardants and other toxic chemicals like PFAS, some of which are carcinogens, or immune or endocrine disruptors. Obviously your child’s safety is most important, so don’t let chemical concerns dissuade your from proper car seat use. But if you can, opt for a model that is certified to be free of these chemicals. Check out the Ecology Center’s car seat ranking list. Some car seats like those from Chicco and Nuna have a Greenguard certification, denoting that these products meet strict chemical and VOC emission standards.

What to do with old car seats

It is not recommended that you buy or sell used car seats, but if you need to, used caution. Use the Consumer Reports ‘Interactive Decision Tree’ to help you decide whether it is safe. Read more car seat guidelines.

Recycle

  • Target has biannual car seat trade-in events, where you can bring in old, expired or damaged car seat and receive 20% off a new item.
  • For $40-65, you can purchase a car seat recycling kit from carseatrecycling.com; you will receive a coupon for a future purchase from Clek.

Stroller

Like car seats, you ideally want to find products with Greenguard and OEKO-TEX certifications. Brands to try include:

  • Greentom – a certified B Corp who makes their strollers from recycled plastic and other organic materials.
  • Bombi – another company who recycled plastic to produce their strollers.
  • Bumbleride – this company also utilizes recycled plastic, cork, GOTS certified organic cotton, and is OEKO TEX certified.
  • Nuna – uses GOTS certified cotton and some products are Greenguard certified.

Pacifiers

EcoPiggy, Hevea, and Natursutten all make 100% all-natural rubber pacifiers which are biodegradable and come in plastic-free packaging.

Teething

BPA free. EcoPiggy natural rubber, biodegradable teething toy or teething necklace comes in plastic-free packaging.

naked baby laying on their back

Natural Skin Care for Babies & Kids

Learn how to choose clean skin care products and get sustainable skincare product recommendations here.

Go Green: Natural ingredients in plastic-free packaging

Finding kids skin care products in plastic-free packaging is a bit more challenging to achieve than for adult products; just do your best.

All-natural diaper rash cream

ProductKey IngredientsCertificationsPlastic-free?Packaging
Ethique Baby Bott Balm Calming Solid Bum Balm
(on hold)
Zinc oxide & shea butterCertified B Corp, Leaping Bunny, PETA approved vegan, certified palm oil freeYPaper tube
Fat and the Moon Babies Moon SalveBeeswax & organic herbsYTin
Earth Mama Organic Diaper BalmShea butter & organic herbsUSDA certified organic, EWG certified, Non-GMO Project Verified, Leaping Bunny, Plastic Neutral.NBPA-free PET jars
Babo Botanicals Sensitive Baby Fragrance-Free Zinc Diaper Rash CreamShea butter, coconut oil, zinc oxideEWG certified, Leaping Bunny, PETA, Certified B Corp, veganNPlastic tube
Badger Zinc Oxide Diaper Cream99% Organic, zinc oxideCertified Non-GMO, Leaping Bunny, Certified B Corp, NSF OrganicN50% PCR plastic tube
Alba Botanica Un-Petroleum Multi-Purpose JellyCastor seed oil, sunflower seed oil, beeswaxLeaping Bunny, vegetarianNPlastic tube

Non-toxic baby lotion

  • Ethique Love Baby Bar Solid Massage Bar (on hold) – Certified B Corp, Leaping Bunny, PETA approved vegan, certified palm oil free

See clean lotion options for adults here.

Natural kids sunscreen

Avoid products containing oxybenzone or octinoxate. These are endocrine disruptors, and they also are harmful to corals. If you’re going to the beach, make sure sunscreen is labeled ‘reef safe’.

  • All Good Kids Mineral Sunscreens – Made with organic botanical ingredients, many of which come from their own organic farm. They are a Certified B Corp, WBENC certified Women Owned, Climate Neutral and Leaping Bunny certified, and 1% for the Planet member. Available at Grove / EarthHero

Zero waste kids sunscreen

If you’re looking for a zero waste sunscreen for kids, try Raw Elements Baby + Kids, which includes a SPF 30 mineral sunscreen packaged in a tin and one in a compostable cardboard tube. Available at Target

Click here for adult sunscreen options.

Non-toxic baby shampoo & soap

Learn all about non-toxic, zero waste hair care here.

Weleda 2-in-1 Gentle Shampoo + Body WashPuracy Natural Baby Shampoo & Body WashEthique Tip-to-Tot Multi-Purpose Wash Bar
Earth Mama Simply Non-Scents Castile Baby WashDr. Bronner’s Unscented Organic Sugar SoapsBabo Botanicals Sensitive Baby Shampoo & Body Wash

Remember plastic pumps cannot go into your recycling since they contain a metal coil.

Natural baby brush

  • Constructed with a bamboo handle and goat hair bristles, Brush with Bamboo’s Baby Bamboo Hairbrush is a nice plastic-free brush option made from natural materials.
  • This Zefiro Beechwood Baby Hair Brush is made from all wood with goat hair bristles and is compostable at the end of its life.

Recycling skincare packaging

Depending on where you live, plastic bottles #1-7 may be accepted in curbside recycling, but many tubes and bottle pumps are not. Paperboard, aluminum and steel can be recycled anywhere, recycle glass bottles where accepted. Click here to find one of the many options for hard-to-recycle beauty containers, including pumps.

baby playing with toys

 

The average lifespan of a toy is a mere six months before becoming boring or broken. Even worse, 90% of toys are made from plastic, and eventually 80% of all toys are destined for the ocean or thousands of years in a landfill. In addition, these fossil-fuel based, non-biodegradable objects of short-lived fun potentially contains numerous toxic chemicals like lead, BPA, and phthlalates.

Go Green:

  • Look for sustainable toys that are made from natural materials, such as wood or natural rubber.
  • If it is within your budget, shop for good quality toys that will last and can even be passed down to future generations. Those kinds of toys will be so much more meaningful, too.
  • Buy used toys
  • Donate unwanted toys, sell, or do a toy swap with a friend.
  • Instead of buying toys and other objects, choose non-tangible gifts like museum passes, classes or camps that align with their interests, a special outing, or other memory-making experiences.

Best non-toxic toy brands

  • Melissa & Doug was one of my favorite toy brands for my kids. They are well-made with responsibly-sourced materials like FSC-certifed paper and wood that are tested by third party agencies to ensure to be sure they meet or exceed government recommendations limiting heavy metals, lead, and phthalates. They company also employs green business practices.
  • Hape is another eco-friendly brand with numerous eco certifications. Their toys exceed ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials) standards and are free from BPA and phthalates, lead, and formaldehyde.
  • Lovevery is a certified B Corp who uses FSC-Certified Wood, organic cotton, and biobased plastic in their products. 
  • Green Toys is a great brand who makes their toys from 100% recycled plastic from milk jugs. Their toys surpass US and international standards for BPA and phthalates. I purchased some of their stuff for my kids back in the day and they were well-loved.
  • Eco Baby Dolls are all-natural rubber, biodegradable dolls; free from BPA, PVC, or phthalates. Paints are non-toxic and heavy metal free.
  • Eco Kids Bubbles are plant-based bubbles free of parabens, phosphates and sodium laurel sulfate. 

Non-toxic bath toys

  • Hevea bath toys are made from 100% natural rubber from and FSC certified plantation; they are biodegradable at the end of their life.

How to recycle toys

Unusuable metal toys can be recycled at a scrap metal recycler.

Terracycle has a zero waste box for all kinds of toys. There are also boxes just for stuffed animals and action figures. There also many free programs for specific brands of toys, either through Terracycle or the manufacturer itself, including:

Inflatable pool toys, beach balls, and pool noodles are not recyclable. Patch them as able to increase their life, but ultimately they will need to be thrown in the trash.

Pool noodles can be repurposed in many ways, like using cut up pieces to hold the shape of your purses when you aren’t using them. For more ideas (some crafty), check Pinterest.

Eco-Friendly Sports Equipment

Sports & Outdoor page

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