I’ve fallen in love with a new online toy store, Natural Pod. They use FSC certified wood, everything is either organic or as close to organic as possible and they buy as local as possible. They also have a relationship with their craftsman and when possible use pin or screws verses toxic sealants (see video review of one stand archway). Natural Pod uses a bees wax coating and water based glue and all-processing is formaldehyde free.  This company that I’ve fallen for might not be allowed to sell in the U.S. because of another law that is meant to “protect” us.

Here is an excerpt from the Eco Child’s Play article written by Jennifer Lance that first alerted me to this:

Due to under staffing at the CPSC and the flurry of toy recalls that have occurred, the agency passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in August, 2008. At first glance, this seems like good legislation, as it bans lead and phthalates in toys, mandates third-party testing and certification for all toys and requires toy makers to permanently label each toy with a date and batch number.  Such requirements will be easy to fund for large toy companies; however, small independent natural toy companies will not be able survive these extra requirements.

As a parent who just walked through my local stores and tried to find safe non-toxic home made toys for Christmas, I am frustrated. I don’t know what is lead free and what isn’t and if I had one of The Smart Mama’s analyzers I would have gone shopping with it yesterday.  Instead, I think I will place an order with Natural Pod before it is too late and urge you and everyone you know to do something about this and advocate for natural and handmade toys!

From the Hand Made Toy Alliance:C

Parents, grandparents, and concerned citizens:

Please write to your United States Congress Person and Senator and the CPSC to request changes in the CPSIA to save handmade toys.  Use our sample letter below or write your own.  You can find your Congress Person here and Senator hereWrite to the CPSC here.

Read the buzz and reviews on what others are saying about about Natural Pod and maybe you’ll do what I’m doing and fill your cart because until the end of December you can save 10% with the code GCM08 at checkout.

Front Page of the Nature Conservancy

“Few people know where the wood that makes up their purchased furniture or paper products came from.

And probably fewer know whether those forests were sustainably managed and legally harvested before that timber became a coffee table or a paper card. “

Recommending Natural Pod for using FSC certified wood.

Classy Mommy

About the tree branch blocks: “I’ve never seen anything like it on the market before.”

Teensy Green

“I’m especially in love with Natural Pod’s collection of blocks and stacking toys. We checked out the Tree Branch Blocks – from the moment the blocks were poured out of the bag, my girls found them irresistible. They couldn’t believe they were “really” trees, and it took some explaining about how and why they make tree branches into useable blocks that don’t splinter or smell like wood. The blocks come from naturally felled Alder trees, kiln dried and sealed. “

The Green Parent

“Simple is best when it comes to kids toys.  And with the holidays approaching, I was pretty excited to come across a company called Natural Pod that makes simple, creativity-sparking toys, like wooden puzzles and musical instruments, hand-sewn plush dolls, hand-dyes play silks and more. ”

Green Talk

“Most importantly, I admire Nature Pod’s environmental standards.  They truly vet the products that they put on their site.”

Mamanista

“Natural Pod is one of my favorite boutiques for children’s toys.  All of the products are so lovely and I feel good knowing they are made from eco-friendly and child-safe materials, by fair-wage workers or independent craftsmen.”

Hip Mamas Place

“The toys and play items they offer are not only safe and non-toxic, they are also of heirloom quality. Something to be said about toys that will last a lifetime and can be passed down from one generation to the next.”

Rockin Mama

“The selection of toys offered on the site is truly the most unique and creative on the market.  Not only are they beautiful, they support creative, imaginative play.”

Mom Dot

“They are TREE blocks. They come in a variety of shapes; each unique in its own dimensions and shapes, and provide real creative play. In thin, thick, long, and short pieces, the blocks were fun the moment the bag dumped.”

Healthy Green Moms

“There are a few great toy makers that often get mentioned on green blogs, however there is another company that deserves special recognition as a terrific natural toy alternative: I have known about Natural Pod since Liv was born and as she grows we have included many items on our wish list. Of coarse it’s nice that the toys are locally made in Canada, but the handcrafted aspect with a focus on imaginative and creative play make all of Natural Pod’s toys extra special.”

Psych Mama

“The lasting quality means that these may even be toys that are handed down as heirlooms for many years to come!  You have to love it when you find that kind of “bang for your buck” while also being mindful of the world we live in.”

Recycle Your Day

“Wooden toys offer children a much bigger picture. A picture that we all painted in our minds as children….the land of imagination. It’s so important for children to learn, explore and be adventurous. The toys over at Natural Pod allow for this is so many ways, on so many levels.”

The Voice of Mom

Cate says about the wooden stacking rings: “The toy is made from alder and western maple and I love the wood version of it.  It is finished with pure oil that has no dyes, perfumes or additives.  My daughter (and even my son) has had fun playing with this, and I love that they’re playing with a toy that my husband and I grew up with as well.  Everything comes full circle, doesn’t it?  And the all-natural twist just makes it all the better.”

Green Baby Guide

“If we had endless baby budgets, we might find ourselves purchasing everything on their site-from the wooden oven to the fully waterproof suits for Oregon winters.  The toys and gifts are truly beautiful and heirloom quality.”

Eco Child’s Play

“If you live in North America, buying products that are manufactured closer to home lessens your carbon footprint tremendously. You might have to pay more for such craftmanship, but in the bigger picture, the cost to the environment, worker conditions, and your child’s health is the real issue in any product we buy.  Natural Pod is a company I trust to provide quality natural products for my children.”

Show Natural Pod you support them and tweet with them or join their Facebook page and leave a comment at their blog. I’m a regular blog commenter because the posts are quality and make me realize how important hand crafted natural toys are.

Why not? Great tips for free!

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