Make toys from salvaged materials
Making your own toys from salvaged materials allows you and your kids to do something crafty together using items you find around the house. Not only is this an economical way to build your toy supply, it keeps usable materials from entering landfills, saves the energy and water required to manufacture new toys, and stimulates your child's creativity and imagination.
How to make toys from salvaged materials
You can make new toys from used household items that would otherwise end up in the trash. Ideas for homemade, recycled-content toys abound:
- Amazing Moms
- Artists Helping Children
- Don’t Throw That Away
- Mother Earth News
- Science Toys
Choosing toys made from salvaged materials helps you go green because…
- The materials used to make the toys are kept out of landfills.
- The toys’ creation does not require additional resources or create new environmental hazards during production.
The average person creates 4.4 pounds of trash every day, nearly double the amount of trash the average person created 35 years ago. According to US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) experts, one of the best ways to stop this is to prevent the creation of waste by reusing items, which delays or avoids that item’s introduction into the waste disposal system. Reusing items in new ways conserves resources and reduces pollution, including global warming-contributing greenhouse gases. According to studies in Berkely, California and Leverett, Massachusetts, as much as five percent of the country’s waste stream is comprised of potentially reusable items.
Waste is generated at every step in the lifecycle of the average product, not just at disposal—from the procurement of natural resources, to transportation, to processing and manufacturing, to use. Reusing items decreases waste at each step in this process, reducing air and water pollution, and limiting the need and use of natural resources like timber, petroleum and fabric fibers.
Related health issues
Recent research conducted by Happen’s Toy Lab, a nonprofit outreach program dedicated to helping children create their own toys out of recycled, donated toy parts, has found that making new toys out of old recycled materials helps children develop brainstorming and problem-solving skills, and enhances overall creative brain function.