It is known that children at an early age change unsustainable patterns by experiencing the fun in circular consumption. Through interactions with others, especially during the first five years, children start making sense of the world and develop empathy for people and the earth.
Bringing home toys that are used, but “new” to them, can fill children with excitement rather than reinforcing a consume-and-discard model.
We all share the same earth and and the same rights, which makes us citizens of the world. All things surrounding us are created using materials from nature. It is therefore important that we recycle and reuse instead of discarding and buying new things. By doing so nature gets to rest, grow and thrive.
If everyone consumed natural resources as the average person in Western Europe, we’d need three planets today. In Sweden a five-year-old owns an average of 536 toys. It derives from unsustainable consumption behaviour.
If all of the 70 000 toys that the children have swapped at Retoy’s activities were newly purchased instead, it would had resulted in 120tn of CO2 emissions*. That is equivalent to driving 28 lapses** around the world!
* a newly produced smaller toy is equivalent to 3kg CO2
** calculated on emissions from a midsized car and one lapse around the globe is 40000 km
Just like nature needs different things to thrive, a child does too. Everything a child needs she is entitled to. This is what we call “rights”. It is our responsibility as adults to act in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and to acknowledge the child and that their rights are worth respecting.
55% of all children in Sweden has never heard of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Retoy aims at lowering that number.
You would think that there are no toxic toys, but unfortunately there are. A child is exposed to toxic substances everyday, some through toys.
Today there are more than 4 000 times as many chemicals as there were 50 years ago. The Swedish Chemicals Agency did a research on toys and found that a forth of all the toys contained toxic substances that is bad for both the environmental and our health.
According to article 31 in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child all children have the right to play. It is our responsibility as adults to make sure of that. At our toy-swaps it is important that the toys that children check out is as environmentally friendly as possible. We therefore always sort out toys that can contain toxic chemicals.