It's Fun Being Green

Generation Z kids (born from 1995-present) who care about the environment will celebrate Earth Day 2009 with a range of toys made from sustainable or recycled materials and multimedia entertainment products that will foster a strong sense of altruism.

“Today’s youngsters are taking an especially active role in caring for their world,” says Reyne Rice, TIA toy trend specialist. “Toymakers are responding with an array of green products – some made from sustainable materials – which provide hands on learning and experiential role play.”

Companies such as HaPe, Blue Orange Games, Plan Toys and Sprig Toys have made the “eco-friendly” concept a corporate edict, making products that are built from post-consumer recycled (PCR) content, reclaimed plastics or 100% natural components such as bamboo, soy, kapok, hemp and rubber wood.

"Conservation is part of our corporate culture", says Vitool Viraponsavan, founder and president of Plan Toys, Inc., a green company that strives to use environmentally safe, responsible and sustainable methods to produce their green toys. “We are committed to minimizing our impact on the environment.”

Industry newcomer Sprig Toys was founded in 2007 by a trio of veteran toy designers. “We are deeply dedicated to reducing our carbon footprint," says Sprig CEO Craig Storey. “Consumers seem to appreciate that our products are both fun and green.”

Teaching toys that include lessons on ecology, animals, and climate change include the Planet Earth licensed products that are based on the Discovery Channel TV show and made by USAopoly, The Canadian Group and Imagination Games.

Science and discovery toys and do-it-yourself kits such as those made by JAKKS Pacific’s Discovery Kids and EyeClops products, Uncle Milton’s Solar Racers and Young Scientists Go Green Mini Kit also provide hours of educational fun on topics ranging from animals to gardening and chemistry.