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The History of Raising Children with Sustainable Products

6/28/2013 1:10:56 PM | by Anonymous

Children Playground Equipment

Parents today must remain vigilant against the influx of harmful chemicals and toxins. Along with headlines warning people to avoid genetically modified foods and pesticides, the interest in raising a child with sustainable principles has increased. Popular sustainable basic consumer purchases for babies or children are toys, diapers (nappies), clothing and food. Moreover, sustainability has also extended into areas such as playground equipment.

 

History of Environmentalism in America

There have always been groups of people that have honored the idea of keeping the planet healthy. In ancient times, many religions were earth-based. However, the idea that manufacturing of commodity goods was having a poor effect on the planet and children began with the rise of coal-powered factories. During the mid-1800's, England and New England factories that produced fabric were dependent on coal to turn the motors.

 

Sadly, children that lived near the factories were often affected by the billowing clouds of coal smoke they produced. As the 1800’s continued, manufacturing continued to inflict health horrors on the public. After years of enduring these foul conditions, works of literature (such as Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle”) convinced Americans that manufacturing was negatively affecting children and killing the planet.

 

The Modern Era of Raising Children Environmentally

Throughout the early 1900’s, reforms were made that recognized issues such as water and air pollution. Nevertheless, it was not until the 1960’s that it was determined that the way consumer products were made needed to change to have less impact on the planet. The message that woke up American consumers to a need for a greener world was Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring.” The premise of this book is that we need to evaluate whether herbicides, pesticides and other synthetic products are good for children and the environment.

 

Advances in Raising Children with Sustainable Products

When the oil crisis of the 1970’s happened, this drilled home the point that Americans were too dependent on products made from petroleum. With this, the 1970’s were the beginning of a wide range of sustainable consumer products for adults and children. The general idea was that anything that was made in a laboratory was likely to be harmful for the planet. For consumer products, the focus was on using less plastic and synthetic fabrics for child-oriented items. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, this translated into ideas such as using wooden toys for children instead of plastic ones. As environmentalists learned more about the manufacturing of diapers, using old-fashioned greener options became a focus of those who wanted to raise their children with sustainable principles.

 

The Future of Fustainable Children's Products

Today, you can get sustainable products for your child that range from organic clothing to baby food formula that is animal-cruelty free. In other words, it is not difficult to buy a sustainable option for everything you need for your baby, infant or toddler. Along with that, there are fringe items for children that are taking on the sustainable mission statement.

 

For instance, playground equipment companies are advertising the fact that they are completely environmentally friendly in every way. Like food or clothing companies, they know customers are ready to take sustainability as far as it will go. For this reason, playground companies will go as far as to run tests to assure parents that their babies will not be mouthing toxic paints that cover wooden surfaces.

 

Rules for Finding the Best Sustainable Products for Kids

There are thousands of products and gadgets for kids on the market today that are sustainable. While some are clearly labeled as green, others assume you do not need this type of notification. A good example is a product made from untreated wood. Since metal and untreated wood are biodegradable or easy to recycle, a product like playground equipment may neglect to mention they fit the sustainable kid-friendly model. Regardless, there are three rules of thumb you can rely on for figuring out if a product is sustainable. This includes examining if it is made from biodegradable materials, has no chemical additives, or can easily be recycled into a new product.

 

Author Bio: This post was supplied by Sally, from the marketing team at Kompan. If you're interested in seeing which playground equipment they offer, a catalogue is available online, follow the link.

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