San Francisco, CA
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Dr Toy's Best Green Play Information 2
Introducing! DR TOY'S BEST GREEN TOY COMPANY AWARD- 2011 © Eco Friendly Toys- Part Two
For the past five years Dr Toy has proudly identified excellent GREEN play products that are making a difference. Yes! These Best GREEN products constitute a small number now among all the choices of products available, but we need to start somewhere. The awareness grows as more families are thinking and considering new directions that are safer, more balanced and healthier. We struggled this year to choose the BEST GREEN TOY COMPANY from among many qualified companies. They are each making a difference in their own way and making important contributions. Even if the practices are not as extensive, they are among the companies that have been either outstanding leaders in this area or are now participants in the growing number who are pledged to make a difference. The Green awareness is spreading and that in itself is encouraging. Each step moves us toward a healthier home, community and planet. COMPANIES' GREEN COMMITMENT
When Dr Toy started the "Dr Toy's Best Green Children's Products Award Program"©, she wanted to recognize innovation in products that were making a difference, being made using new processes and/or based on principles such as planting new trees for those that were being used to produce their products.
Green awareness has grown throughout the toy industry due to many factors—product safety issues, wider realization of our precarious planet, and a broadening of principles to reflect daily practices. Dr Toy applauds these and all other changes and hopes the summary of these principles reflected by the growing group of green companies will continue to inspire others to match the important green effort.
After reviewing all of the attributes of all of the companies, one company was selected as the Best Green Company for 2011. This was a difficult choice to make as each company in the roster is worthy and has made a large difference already. We hope the activities of each company will be explored by others to expand their green practices.
The BEST GREEN TOY COMPANY WINNER 2011 is HAPE —
An outstanding toy company who has been practicing being Green for a long time as a leader in this area. As an example, Hape is responsible about the use of natural resources. Beginning testing, a worldwide design workshop, and bamboo as the key eco-friendly material the company has led the way in its collection of earth-friendly toys. Much more is included. Here are many of the important attributes provided by the all of the Green companies as to why they are qualified:
Manufactures eco-friendly products that reduces carbon footprint—manufacturing process and products reflect commitment.
GREEN Company's practices include:
• Uses recycled paper and other eco-friendly materials in minimum quantities in its packaging.
• Prints in the USA, on recycled paper, and uses vegetable-oil-based ink. Uses both sides of paper.
• Factory is Fair Trade certified.
• Uses organic products that are chemical free.
• Recycles materials used for products and uses new processes for plastic.
• Uses natural dyes.
• Uses Polylith™, a synthetic "tree-free" paper made of 100% polypropylene, one of the most eco-friendly alternatives to vinyl. This rugged synthetic paper is waterproof and can be wiped clean with a damp cloth.
• Hand assembles products.
• Uses non-toxic glues and other materials.
More Company's GREEN Practices Reflect Commitment.
The Green List of Best Practices continues--Examples include:
• Installation of energy-saving lighting fixtures throughout office and plant.
• Saves electrical energy by turning off lights.
• Reprograms computers and other electrical equipment to shut down automatically when not in use.
• Reduces energy consumption footprint.
• Installs solutubes, which allow for natural light to illuminate key workstations.
• Eliminates the emission of any Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) into the atmosphere.
• Recycling procedures are used that all employees participate in. One company recycled 2,170 tons of material, saving 37,000 trees in the process.
• Recycles cans, bottles, paper, cardboard, cell phones, electronics, electronic media, landscape waste, and construction debris.
• Eliminates individual plastic water bottles.
• Minimizes driving alone during work hours by using environmentally friendly options such as teleconference, videoconference, carpools and public transit.
• Reduces use of paper through electronic billing and management.
• Company's environmental messages expressed via press releases and advertising.
• Promotes consumer awareness by supporting and promoting public participation in Green practices in homes and schools.
• Companies are using new materials in new ways.
• Companies are replanting trees.
• Companies are inspiring special programs and services.
• Companies are contributing to the preservation of the planet. DR. TOY'S BEST GREEN TOY COMPANIES GO GREEN 2007-2011
These outstanding toy companies have not only developed products for play and learning and to educate children about green awareness through fun and meaningful experiences, but they have also expanded green mindset, expanded imagination and cognitive skills and expanded green awareness for adults. They share their practices with others to illustrate the importance of environmental concerns and how these practices can benefit everyone (youngsters and adults) today, tomorrow and for future generations. Dr. Toy's 5 Best Green Toy Companies 5th Best Green Toy Company Award Winner 2011 to Hape, April 21, 2011
Hape is responsible about the use of natural resources. Beginning testing, a worldwide design workshop, and bamboo as the key eco-friendly material the company has led the way in its collection of earth-friendly toys. Hape has new packaging is a brown recycled paper with a white label that covers just two panels, rather than the entire box. All ink is soy-based. In addition to bamboo, a drop of beeswax is added to many products to polish the bamboo. Hape has contributed to the future of young children by funding the construction of three schools in the poorest province of China. To date, more than 3,000 children have had the experience of attending a Hape-built school. Hape also supports gifted children with financial assistance and awards scholarships to high achievers. Hape's environmental efforts incorporate a rethink/recycle/reuse/reduce philosophy with regard to plant operations, sustainable packaging, and selecting appropriate raw materials. Hape put bamboo to work. This renewable resource is one of the fastest growing plants on the earth. It also helps increase biodiversity in the area in which it grows by increasing water table levels. Even more helpful to mother earth, bamboo grows so quickly it helps to lower the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.The rest of the GREEN practices for HAPE are included see www.hapetoys.com
4th Best Green Toy Company Winner 2010 to Vermont's Maple Landmark
Green has many definitions. Does "green" refer to the products? Could "green" mean business practices that are environmentally sensible? But maybe "green" means providing employees with fair wages, benefits and opportunities. Could "green" be supportive of local initiatives that help improve conditions? Or does "green" mean the company is located in the Green Mountain State? For Maple Landmark, "green" means all of these things. Maple Landmark makes award-winning, high quality "green" products and has done so for over 30 years. Since the beginning, Maple Landmark and its owner Mike Rainville has been committed to using locally grown wood species. Their lumber is purchased from local lumbering family, who has been working in Vermont forests for over 125 years. Maple Landmark works in cooperation with a Vermont-based finish company (CE Bradley), who provides high quality non-toxic finishes. From shop operations to shipping and business practices are environmentally sensible. In the factory, radiant heating helps maintain constant temperatures, in the winter, without spiking usage. And a process of a warm air return used in conjunction with the dust collection system helps keep the building warm without burning more fuel and reduces heat loss. By-products of production such as sawdust are given to local farmers for bedding and wood scraps are available for their neighbors. Maple Landmark ships in recycled cardboard boxes. Scrap office paper and magazines from a local publication distribution center are all shredded and used for packing. Peanuts and other packing materials are also accepted from local people. Catalogs and brochures are printed on recycled paper. Catalogs are e-mailed when possible. Employees are offered health insurance and reimbursed of safety related work items, such as glasses, Maple Landmark employees participate in yearly hearing tests, work safe training, and cross training. Local physical therapists are also called upon from time to time to evaluate work stations to help reduce muscle stress and injuries from repetitive motion. Maple Landmark also pays for many opportunities for outside factory job training. The technical school and the manufacturer's extension office offer classes on a regular basis. Employees can also earn monthly or yearly bonuses by meeting set production goals. Maple Landmark is conscience of their role in their community, as well. Their employees are members of local fire and rescue squads and if they need to go on a call – they go with no repercussions. Support is also given to employees who donate their time to civic organizations within the community. Donations directly from Maple Landmark are also generously given to local educational organizations. Finally, Maple Landmark is located in the heart of the Green Mountain State, where folks have to depend on Yankee Ingenuity and their ability to work cooperatively to succeed. Maple Landmark is a member of Green America, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and Vermont Business Environmental Partnership. www.MapleLandmark.com
3rd Best Green Toy Company Winner 2009 to Hugg-A-Planet
The concept of the Foundlings® Line evolved from Hugg-A-Planet. The company was using post-industrial fabrics processed for toy fill, when a customer called and asked if there was any interest in organic scraps. The caller was from a company that was one of the first to use USA produced organic fabrics for clothing and had lots of organic scraps it did not want to throw away. Hugg-A-Planet has been using organic scraps ever since. In late 1991, traditional plush had very few toys made in the USA due to offshore competition. No toys were made of organic fabrics. As it turned out, the factory on Mulberry Street in New York City housed many of the dies from the now defunct Knickerbocker Toy Company. The simpler ones were selected and Foundlings were born. The line was introduced at the New York Gift show in January 1992 with much success. Today the organic fabrics still come from our original supplier, made to a French terry specification. Hugg-A-Planet is a member of the Organic Trade Association. Organic products are big business. The Foundlings® Line was a contributor to an industry that by making toys out of organic fabric supported the further growth and awareness of the organic industry, which is now very much global. Due to the original involvement in these fabrics in the mid-nineties and using USA factories, the company helped develop a line of fabrics for Men's Warehouse using and blending color in organic-grown cotton fibers. This was first major retailer to offer a complete line of men's clothing using organic cotton. www.hugg-a-planet.com
2nd Best Green Toy Company Award 2008 to Green Toys Inc.
"This is the second company to launch a campaign to better the environment by making a promise to its customers and a commitment to society to use recycled plastics to make new products," says Dr. Toy, acknowledging the leadership of Robert von Goeben and Laurie Hyman, co-founders of Green Toys Inc., for their creative use of recycled, kid-safe materials and in adopting business practices that keep manufacturing local to California, which saves in carbon emissions and creates US jobs. This recognition considers how this company uses a sustainable eco-friendly approach in its material selection, packaging, and business philosophy, which results in high quality, fun toys. For more information visit www.greentoys.com
1st Best Green Toy Company Award 2007 to The Blue Orange Game Company
Due to its quality, durability, warmth and appeal wood has always been the material of choice for Blue Orange Games. Therefore, Blue Orange committed to plant two trees for every tree used in the creation of their games. This campaign began in the summer of 2006, planting on average 25,000 trees a year since the tree campaign's inception. They use and replant a variety of trees to preserve the integrity and biodiversity of the natural environment, trees such as Pine, Birch, and Beech. The packing product of choice is paper to minimize the use of plastics while packaging is made from recycled and recyclable cardboard. Visit www.blueorangegames.com
Dr Toy-author of Smart Play Smart Toys How to Raise a Child with a High P.Q. Play Quotient" says, "GO GREEN 2011! Happy Earth Day wherever you live! Please Take Care for Our Fragile Planet! It's the only one we have! Thank you! Let's Play!"
Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D. /Dr.Toy
San Francisco, CA