Tree Planting - Guatemala
photo credit: jsbarrie

Editors Note: This article was originally published by Jennifer Lance from Eco Child’s Play. Read Eco Child’s Play for organic non-toxic ideas.

There was an interesting editorial in the NY Times yesterday written by Ken Caldeira, a scientist at the Carnegie Institution’s department of global ecology. He writes about the current trend of companies (like Dell) to plant trees in an effort to offset carbon emissions made during the production of goods. Yes, tree planting is not enough to save us from global warming, however it is a great activity to do with kids. Every spring, we receive overstock trees from the US Forest Service to plant. Last year, our family planted over 500 trees!

Click here to read the full editorial.

You may be wondering what carbon emissions has to do with natural toys. Besides assuming readers interested in natural toys are also interested in ecological issues, the production of natural toys as opposed to plastic toys is better for our earth. Plastic is made from petrochemicals, and petrochemicals are made from oil. According to, “The plastic manufacturing process begins by heating the hydrocarbons in a “cracking process.” Here, in the presence of a catalyst, larger molecules are broken down into smaller ones such as ethylene (ethene) C2H4, propylene (propene) C3H6, and butene C4H8 and other hydrocarbons. The yield of ethylene is controlled by the cracking temperature and is more than 30% at 850°C and such products as styrene and vinylchloride can be produced in subsequent reactions. These are then the starting materials for several other types of plastics. Therefore, this process results in the conversion of the natural gas or crude oil components into monomers such as ethylene, propylene, butene and styrene.” Doesn’t sound like something I want my child playing with and putting in their mouth!

For the rest of the story visit Eco Child’s Play.

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Originally posted 0005-01-21 00:00:17.