As a new grandfather, I’ve once again become interested in toys (though – really – I haven’t gone overboard yet!) And, of course, I want to get the little guy things to play with that have as small an environmental impact as possible. But an even bigger concern: I want to make sure that the toys we buy are safe. And while it’s a challenge these days, I know that any “eco toys” I get for him made in China may not be worthy of the label: we’re not perfect here, but I’d much rather see “Made in the USA” on the label, as I know the standards for health and safety are much more stringent.
So I was thrilled to receive an email from Jim Barber, one of the co-founders of Luke’s Toy Factory in Danbury, Connecticut. A family-run operation, the team at Luke’s has focused not only on design, but also materials that meet their own high standards for safety, environmental responsibility, and durability. They’ve been testing materials for years, and think they’re ready for a trial run of their first product. I’ll let them take it from here:
I asked Jim for more details on the plastics, as I know claims for “eco-friendliness” can get hazy here. He told me that the company will use a wood plastic composite that consists of “traditional polypropylene and organic fillers”… and those fillers will replace 30-40% of the plastic you’d normally find. This also creates a really durable product: they’re using 300% heavier gauge of material than normal. I’m satisfied… especially considering the lack of quality your tend to find on toy store shelves.
You’d may be thinking “all of this, made in the US? That’s got to be pricey.” I’d have thought so, too, but check out the prices on their Kickstarter campaign: $15-20 is a genuine bargain for a quality toy (I’m here to witness!). While I can’t contribute to every crowdfunding campaign about which I write, I’m doing so on this one: our little guy is still a little young for the EcoTruck, but it’ll be there for him when he’s ready… and long after, I’m sure.
Take a look at the extensive materials they’ve provided on the campaign page… and let us know if you plan to kick in.
Image credit: EcoTruck on Kickstarter