One of the suggestions from the children at a Green Gang meeting was having a toy swap. So at break time on Friday the 13th some children proved they were very lucky and got some fabulous 'new' toys to play with.
Did you know that more than 40 million toys were thrown away last year? And of that 40 million, 13 million toys ended up in the dustbin and landfill sites. That is a terrible waste especially when you consider that most toys are made in China and have to be transported around the world too.
Toys made of plastic are not biodegradable and they last a long time. Compared to glass, metal and other materials plastic is much harder to recycle. One of the biggest problems is that plastics need to be nearly identical in composition for them to be able to mix efficiently. That is one of the reasons we like using materials like HDPE milk cartons to make toys and sculptures with as it can easily be recycled. The children have all got a lot of enjoyment out of making these toys why not have a go yourself?
We know that Article 31 of the UNCRC says we have a right to play and take part in artistic activities such as making toys but Children do not have an inherent right to have their own toys, but we all think that it would be nice if every child did. Article 29e also says that education should "develop a respect for the natural environment." That does not specifically say that we should learn about recycling to protect our world or natural environment, but again we really think it would be nice if every child did.
There are lots of other things you can do with unwanted toys, selling them on e-bay is a great way to earn extra cash. Of course you can put them on freecycle or donate them to our local charity shops. There are a few toy libraries and local play groups may want them too. Do not forget if there is space in the weekly newsletter, you can ask Mrs Brown to pop a notice in saying you have toys to give away. We always welcome donations to the school fayres at Christmas and Summer.
You can see the original 'Toy swap event'idea on our list of Eco Christmas tips project, Do not forget if you have any ideas about how we can reduce, reuse, recycle and reclaim please tell us. We really do have lots of fun thinking and learning about such things and of course we can save lots of money to spend on the important things like our children!
Left is one of our on going projects to try and reduce food waste too. As with all of these projects we encourage the children to put 'Tips of the Week' and short messages in our weekly newsletter to tell parents governors what they are doing. We know it's not going to change the world but, we want them to get in the habit of trying.