I am not saying anything new or surprising here. Mother Earth does not like plastic. She doesn’t know what to do with it, where to put it, or where to get rid of it. It is suffocating her, hurting her creation, and stifling her potential.
Are you motivated by empathy?
If you are reading this then I can confidently assume that you are a caring, empathetic human. You wouldn’t be opening up a site like this one if you weren’t naturally motivated by empathy. And yet, how often are you choosing convenience over compassion?
Give sustainable toys, not plastic.
Using the word “you” is unfair. I should be saying “we”, because I am absolutely guilty of this. Being connected to and caring for the Earth is something that is deeply rooted in my values. I make responsible choices in many situations where others would not. However, when I look at my bags of unwrapped Christmas gifts for my kids, what do I see? Plastic, plastic, and more plastic.
How come this is the very first time that I am truly thinking about this?
Because more often than not, knowing that the plastic monster truck wrapped in the glistening Olaf wrapping paper is going to make my child so freaking happy, totally destroys any competing desire to be kind to Mother Earth.
What is the price of non-eco wrapping, bobs and bows?
I am guilty this year to the same extent that I was guilty last year and the decades before that. Buying gifts is fun. Wrapping them in colorful paper, with glittery ribbon, is fun. Plus, it makes me feel like a rock star mom.
But here is the 2020 difference… This year I have paused to recognize my choices. Yes, I paused a little too late, but the pause existed where it didn’t before. And this gives me hope, because I will likely pause before I hit “add to cart” next time.
If it’s not single-use plastic, is that okay?
Yes, it’s true that toys do not count as single-use plastic and maybe that’s why we go so easy on ourselves when we choose to buy them? But they will still end up in our landfills, in our parks, and in our oceans.
I am a big supporter of donating, repurposing, and second hand, but believe it or not, Mother Earth does not want our old toys. The children she is responsible for nurturing are being suffocated by our discarded novelties.
So how can we do better?
None of this is new information, but I’m going to remind us again.
- Buy sustainable toys – look for words like organic, renewable, eco-friendly. There are so many brands making beautiful, will-not-strangle-a-turtle toys these days. Plus, you will get bonus points for being a hipster parent.
- Skip the battery-operated toys and allow your child to experience new levels of imaginative play – using their own voice to create dialogue and word pictures
- Buy second hand toys – there is amazing stuff out there. Give it a good clean and you’re good to go
- Start a toy-swap group in your neighborhood – put together a box and rotate every month with a group of your friends who have kids of similar ages (not really a gift-giving tip, but too handy not to share)
- Learn about how you can recycle your toys properly. It might mean an extra step or 2, but it is totally worth it
- Wrap your gifts in eco-friendly paper. Good old brown paper with a hand written note on the paper, or a drawing, works wonderfully.
- Reuse stuff you have around the house – boxes, fabric, newspaper – all of this can be creatively turned into unique, not-going-to-choke-a-penguin gift wrapping
- Take a pause before you swipe your Visa next time and ask yourself, “WWMET – what would Mother Earth think?”
This season is the season of giving
So let’s give. Let’s give to those we love and to the Earth that loves us. Let’s remember the children that Mother Earth is caring for and, with the spirit of “it takes a village”, ask ourselves how we can be of service to the one who is forever serving us?
With joy always,