Social Innovation: Green Toys for Santa Clause

One of the traditions leading up to Christmas is buying presents, especially for children who are looking forward to lots of toys from Santa. One company that ensures there is a ‘green’ aspect to Father’s Christmas’s toy sack is the eco-friendly company, Green Toys(TM) Inc. All their products are 100% recycled, made in the U.S., in the state of California. Every step in their manufacturing process from the milk container recycling to toy production to final assembly occurs in California. The raw materials and toys aren't shipped from overseas, which saves a lot of energy and reduces greenhouse gasses.

Green Toys is a company dedicated to providing environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional toys and uses social innovation to create their products. Recycled milk containers are the main ingredient in creating their toys; the plastic milk cartons are collected by a local recycling company that then sorts them from all the other types of plastic. Next, the milk containers are reprocessed into super clean fresh plastic. The plastic material used is called high-density polyethylene (or HDPE). This material is considered one of the safest, cleanest plastics around. Their lines of classic toys do not contain phthalates or Bispenol-A (BPA).

In this social innovation brand’s first year, which was in 2008, it was honoured with a series of accolades from Parenting Magazine's, ‘Mom-Tested Toys of the Year Award,’ being named ‘Dr. Toy's 2008 Green Toy Company of the Year.’ Robert von Goeben, co-founder of Green Toys Inc. says, “Our products are environmentally friendly, non-toxic, U.S. made and award-winning. Our brand of toys makes excellent gifts because they make people feel good about giving and receiving them. Plus they contribute to the overall health and happiness of the planet."

Green Toys has an environmental mission that even extends to its packaging. It strives to minimise packaging and all of the boxes used are recycled and corrugated with no plastics, cellophane or twist-ties, making them 100% recyclable. So, not only are they earth-friendly and ready for the recycling bin, they are really easy to open for those little fingers just itching to get at the toys!!

Being "green" also means doing business locally. All the company’s operations are located within close proximity in California, which helps reduce its carbon footprint by avoiding long transportation distances. Green Toys products are available at over 2,000 retail and online stores in the U.S and Canada at a wide of range of distribution outlets including specialty toy, museum, organic grocery, and eco-friendly gift shops. This social innovation company’s products are unique in the toy industry.

Photo Credit: Green Toys Website

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