Monday, January 19, 2009

It's Been a Long Time Coming

Time files quickly - I hardly know where it has gone! to all who may read this - first and foremost Happy New Year, may you and yours feel peace and love.

Now the news:
I have opened a new online toys store called Little Footprints ( I offer Planet Friendly toys for kids of all ages. I'm quite proud of my new little baby and I hope you will stop by and have a look.

The store is all about having fun and being kind to the planet, just like this little blog. I have enjoyed so many hours playing with my children and I have spent perhaps as many hours thinking about what they play with. I enjoyed seeing my kids pleasure playing with their toys but quickly noticed how so many could not hold their interests long term. It also began to bother me that so many toys that they seemed to get were so plastic, cold and really noisy. I began to put painters tape on the speakers to lessen the noise and look for more interesting and inspiring toys that felt better to the touch.

As my firstborn grew we began to teach her to be considerate to the planet. To recycle and not waste, flush only when really necessary, to turn off the lights behind herself,the importance of fresh food. My little boy, only just 2, knows what can be recycled and puts it in the correct bin. And I will admit it makes me proud.

Then one day I began to see images of the great garbage patches in our oceans. The Great Garbage Patches of our oceans. Plastic crap everywhere. Then looked at my den. More plastic crap. My kids were party to mounds of consumer garbage waste that would take centuries to go away to the naked eye but would never fully disappear, their chemicals left in the earth forever filling landfills or, dear gawd no, chewing up the insides of animals. Even buying second hand to take the small footstep of difference in excessive manufacturing can't help this.

But the beautiful wooden toys, cardboard puzzles and cotton loveys we had begun to search out wouldn't leave such a legacy. I was a woman with a mission. They were hard to find, out there and poorly promoted, toys that wee not just natural and fun for kids but better for the planet. Sustainable, Fair Trade, FSC Certified, made from all natural or recycled materials and locally made as well - all kinds of toys, games, kids gear and fun. Wonderful stuff. As I searched for my own interests I realized I was certainly not alone. Parents looking for alternative choices to 'toxic toys' but having a hard time finding them. As long as you were looking for baby clothes and products the choices were phenomenal but finding toys for everyone to have fun with was hard. In the States there were a few online stores and small retailers, in Europe natural toys abounded, but in Canada they were few and far between and catered to baby and toddler and even if there were products for older people they were natural but not planet friendly, and there is a difference. (see my earlier post regarding properly sourced woods)

So, I decided to do it. I have taken everything I know from running my Interior Design consulting firm, going green and being a mum and channeled it into a new business and a new path for myself and my family. It's been a few weeks since I got our virtual doors open and I think it is going well, every day sees more and more visitors and customers. I hope that with each gift given from my shop, someone somewhere will stop and think about the toys kids play with and realize that we need not sacrifice fun and learning to be sustainable, perhaps choosing to take another little step towards changing how we think about what we leave behind when the fun is over.

Goes without saying folks - if your looking for some sustainable eco-friendly fun in Canada, no batteries required, that will be gone before your great grandkids are born (unless you keep it safe of course!) then please pop by and have a peek in my shop, maybe there is something there for you too!

As always, thanks for stopping by & always

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