Itty Bitty Greenie

eco-fabulous finds for kids

Archive for the ‘Fair Trade products’ Category

Eco, organic and natural does not = boring…

eco rainbow bright

When I started my search for eco products for children — long before Itty Bitty Greenie was born — I was overwhelmed by the selection of “natural” coloured organic onesies and plain wooden toys. Sure they were pure and beautiful, but having looked forward to the time when I could buy things for my own children, I craved a little more colour and fun. After all, making eco choices shouldn’t have to be boring, right?

I’ve always found rainbows cheerful and inspiring, so I guess it’s no surprise that colourful items figure prominently in our collection of eco-fabulous finds. Here are some of my faves:

1) Plan Toys Baby Car $24.95

2) Hess Spielzeug Elephant Rattle $15.95

3) Playable Art Balls $49.95

4) Beeswax Honey Sticks (box of 12 colours) $14.95

5) Hess Spielzeug Heart Rattle $15.95

6) Frugi Rainbow Organic Babygrow $29.95

7) Rainbow Rattle and Teething toy $14.95

8) Teddy Bear Rattle and Grasping Toy $16.95

9) Little Innoscents Certified Organic Skincare for children – gift set $19.95

10) Tots Bots EasyFit modern cloth nappy – Rainbow Spot print $32.95

11) Plan Toys Oval Xylophone $39.95

12) Frugi Rainbow Spot Organic Babygrow $24.95


By Donna MacMullin

Creative Communications, Graphic Design, Communications, Blogging, Copywriting, Content Management

5 steps to a greener Easter

After Christmas, Easter is one of those kid-friendly holidays we all look forward to. Here are some easy tips to help you celebrate in a more eco-friendly way:

One of the best things about Easter is the excuse to indulge in chocolate. It’s a $100-million industry in Australia alone, but unfortunately most of what you’ll find on store shelves is the result of cacao sourced unethically, including trafficked children, child slavery and hazardous labour. Take a moment this year to support fair trade brands. Here’s World Vision’s guide to buying fair trade chocolate in Australia.

Most commercial egg dying kits are made with petroleum or coal tar-based artificial colours that can pose a risk to health, including allergic reactions and hyperactivity in children. There are many natural options for dying eggs that are just as colourful and fun to do with your children. Here are some great natural egg-dying recipes.

If the traditional Easter egg is a symbol of birth, resurrection, or a more paganesque celebration of fertility, then what does a plastic Easter egg signify? This year, why not skip the garish plastic eggs, baskets and grass for natural alternatives? Even better, get your children involved with some eco-friendly craft ideas that are sure to make the occasion more fun and memorable.

An Easter egg hunt is a perfect chance for kids to explore all the nooks and crannies of the garden, so get outside and make it fun for everyone. Studies have shown that people who spend time outside are healthier, both physically and mentally. Take a deep breath, touch the grass, climb a tree, and run around with your kids – what better way to start a holiday?

Most families have their own traditions for Easter lunch or dinner, and why not create new ones by enjoying some seasonal dishes sourced from locally and organically grown produce? In Australia we are blessed with an abundance of pumpkin, sweet corn, figs, pears and apples this time of year (to name a few). Eating seasonally encourages you to buy local produce, which will not only reduce your carbon footprint, but also save you the labour costs of transport and storage, as well as supporting your local economy. For information, visit the seasonal food guide.


A guilty pleasure

When Easter rolls around, I’ll be the first to admit that all thoughts turn to chocolate. And I’m not the only one, as chocolate is a $100-million industry in Australia and a $100-billion industry world wide. But also like many people, until recently I gave little thought to how cacao was harvested – where and how – and I had no knowledge that much of it involves child or trafficked labour.

A new report released by World Vision Australia reveals that most of the world’s cocoa comes from West Africa, where children as young as eight years old are taken from their families to work in the cocoa fields of Ghana and the Ivory Coast.

“We’re eating cheap chocolate because of trafficked children, child slavery, hazardous labour, and it’s so simply fixed,” said Tim Costello, CEO of World Vision. “It’s simply fixed by as much as two cents extra on a $10 chocolate bar.”

The issue for consumers though, is that even through most of us would be willing to pay a little more for it, fair trade chocolate is often not easy to find. A quick trip to the local supermarket this week to stock up on Easter supplies was disappointing for the lack of fair trade options – and rather than buy the cheap chocolate that was there in abundance, I went home empty handed.

“Our report shows only 1 to 3 percent of global cocoa supply is ethically certified today. Despite the best projections for growth in ethical cocoa, it’s expected 60-75 percent globally will still be uncertified in 2018,” Costello said.

So, like many things – unless consumers choose to “vote” with their dollar to support ethical brands, we will continue to contribute to the problem. I guess this gives new meaning to the Easter egg hunt … how far do we have to hunt for fair trade brands?

Here is World Vision’s guide to buying Fair Trade chocolate in Australia:

Click here to read the full report: Our Guilty Pleasure: Exploitative Child Labour in the Chocolate Industry

*with files from ABC News

A cool change…

It’s interesting to be on the other side of the table sometimes, and being an exhibitor at the Baby & Toddler Show in Melbourne last weekend, I was reminded of what it was like three years ago when I was the one with the baby bump, going to every baby expo in town to check out the latest and greatest of goods and services that I might need or want for my impending motherhood.

As overwhelming as these events can be, with stand after stand promising bold things and having a different sales pitch to draw the crowds, where else can you get so much information in one place and have the opportunity to sample and ask, touch and feel?

It seemed back then that I just couldn’t find what I was looking for – innovative eco friendly and organic products, and toxin free feeding accessories – but what struck me this year was that even among the predictable brands, there was an abundance of environmentally friendly options for parents, from reusable nappies, to organic baby food, glass baby bottles and of course yours truly, offering the latest and greatest of green products sourced from Australia and abroad.

There is a definite change in the air, and Australian parents more than ever are are showing their preference for products that are not only practical and beautiful, but environmentally responsible as well. Even among those parents-to-be who had little knowledge about issues such as BPA and toys made from sustainable wood, there was a genuine interest to see what “all the fuss was about.”

For those who stopped by the Itty Bitty Greenie stand to say hi, ask questions, give our products a try and sign up for our mailing list, I’d like to say a huge thank you. The fact that you’re even interested is a sign of encouragement for me, as it has been my goal all along to make “green” choices part of the mainstream, and not the alternative lifestyle choice they formerly seemed to be.

And also, congratulations to Rachel Bentley, the winner of our gift box raffle containing more than $150 worth of eco friendly baby products!

Gifts for the Itty Bitty Locomotion Lover

Gift ideas for locomotion lovers

My son loves his trucks and trains and planes and … well, basically anything that has an engine and moves. If you have a little one in your life with the same kind of locomotives obsession, you know what it’s like to always be on the lookout for new and interesting things that will appeal.

So here are some of my favourite Greenie picks found on my never-ending journey of plane, train and automobile spotting.

1) “Hybrid Cars” Organic Bib with pocket (RRP $21.95)

2) Set of 4 Mini Tractors & Trucks puzzles, made in Norway from 100% recycled board (RRP$ 19.95)

3) Green Toys Dump Truck, made from recycled plastic milk bottles (RRP $54.95)

4) Propeller “Lunchbug”, made from acrylic-coated organic cotton (RRP $39.95)

5) Plan Toys Helicopter with Pilot (RRP $24.95)

6) Mini Cooper Organic Cotton T-shirt, made with certified ecological dyes (RRP $34.95)

7) Wooden “Go-Go” pull-along toy, hand-made in India under fair trade conditions (RRP $33.95)

8)  Plan Toys Classic Airplane with Pilot (RRP $24.95)

10) Engine Stacker, pull-along and stacking toy, hand-made in India under fair trade conditions (RRP $34.95)