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Counting The Cost Of Organic Toys

May 18, 2008
A couple of keywords or phrases which are banded about a good deal in our consumer society today are 'organic' and 'eco-friendly', and you may just have noticed that these are now no longer confined to the fruits and vegetables at your local supermarket, but are now being used to promote ranges of children's toys. But what do these terms mean, and what possible relevance do they have in the world of toys and games?

The term organic refers to the growth of natural products used in the making of toys for children. Organically grown plants and products will not have had chemical treatment during growth, as this can introduce toxic compounds in the plant fibres itself, and can also leak into the ground and harm the wildlife in the area, before seeping in to the water table and damaging the wildlife in the local streams and rivers, not to mention the people who may wash in and drink the water further downstream. Because chemicals such as insecticides and some fertilizers are not used, growth can take longer, and overall survival for the crops is lower, meaning that costs are usually increased. This is why the organically grown vegetables at the supermarket are so much more expensive than the ones produced using chemicals.

The most obvious way in which we can see this applied to toys is with those made from wood. Usually the wood used to build toys is pine, which is usually a crop that is grown specifically for the purpose. Some of these pine forests, or crops, are grown using special chemicals which enhance growth, kill off any competitors, and help feed the plant so that it grows well. Organically grown trees are those left to grow naturally, and toys made from this will not have left a legacy of chemicals seeping into the ground and harming the environment.

The term 'eco friendly' is a much broader phrase, and refers to any product which has not had any detrimental effect on either the natural environment, or those animals or people who live in it. Not only does this imply that chemicals have not been used, but also that the wood used to build the toys has not come from trees which are not sustainable. Those pine crops which are sustainable are those where, for every tree cut down, at least one is grown in its place, rather than simply cutting down great swathes of trees and leaving the ground barren and lifeless, or worse still, building on it.

Eco-friendly toys are also those which are either recyclable or biodegradable. Clearly, those toys made from wood are made from natural products which will, over time, simply rot down and become part of the natural environment, causing no harm by doing so. Those toys made from plastic, however, will, once discarded, sit in the environment stubbornly refusing to break down for many decades, even hundreds of years. Additionally, plastic can break down into chemicals which are harmful.

Natural toys that are organic and eco-friendly may come at a price, but the alternative cost, to the environment, could be considered a good deal higher.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant about kids toys, dolls, and video games. You will find the best marketplace for kids toys, dolls, and used video games at these sites for kids toys, organic toys, eco-friendly toys, dolls, and used video games.
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