We all want the best for our kids. I’m sure most parents would agree with me when I say, if I could do one thing for my kids, I’d change the world.
I often find myself despondent by the anger and greed in the
world… but my kids are a ray of light in all of this. Yes, they exhaust me. Yes, they can give my sanity a good run around
the block. In this world where so much
is wrong, in this life where my kids’ full on living can be overwhelming at
times, in this world, in this time, their full-on living is intense. They love fully. They meltdown fully. They laugh fully. They explore fully. They drain me completely but in the next
breath they fill me up fully.
I want a better world for these beautiful children, for their friends. These innocent little people do not deserve the mess we live in. When one speaks to most parents about the future they are creating for their children, financial security and education are common goals. When we speak of the future, we speak of equipping our kids to live in this broken world.
… but, having lived through the drought in Cape Town, I learned how recklessly we add to the mess of this world by taking this gorgeous planet for granted. I also learned how we could all make changes, changes that saved us from disaster.
As a parent, I understand that my kids will follow my
example and that more than my lectures, they will learn from me talking to them
about what I am doing.
Honestly, I used to pat myself on the back for recycling and for the fact that by age 2, both my kids had a grasp of recycling and they would help me sort the trash.
Then the no straw movement started….
One day, I stood in our lounge and had a Mom moment. I was surrounded by all these toys. I was overwhelmed… because they weren’t going
to clean themselves up and well, I was the only adult in the room… but on this
day I looked at the toys differently.
Not only were they a mess that I needed to clean… but on this day they
were something bigger than mess.
So many of the toys were flimsy, cheap and going to break soon. I used to think “Ah, it doesn’t matter, it didn’t cost a lot”.
On this day though, I stood looking at all this stuff and thought “every piece of plastic ever created is still in existence today”. That means my old dolls are somewhere, my play food, barbie shoes! … all long forgotten by me … but somewhere. The bubbles I blew for my son on his first birthday, 3 years ago… that container is somewhere. All this stuff, my footprint on the earth. My legacy. My body will be gone before the toys that I have long forgotten about….
Before I had a huge meltdown, I patted myself on the back -at least some of my kids toys are wooden (as I generally preferred them).
Then I started Bizi Kids and I had to investigate toys and brands in ways that I never had before. One thing I did not want to do was contribute to the mass of cheap plastic toys that just gathered everywhere. I started my search with wooden toys.
I was horrified by what I found – most of the wooden toys that we buy in South Africa are not only knock offs of other toys but they are also made using both rain forest wood and child labour.
Again, I looked at my own children’s toys and my heart broke that somewhere in the world a child had no childhood, a child was working to put food in their tummy so that my own children could play.
Lives and Forests destroyed for toys. For TOYS!
… and I had thoughtlessly encouraged this by buying more and more for my kids.
Talk about an honest, hard look in the mirror! The world is a mess. Sure, I try to teach my kids to be kind. Sure, I want them to keep their little lights burning… but when I buy plastic that will litter the earth for generations, what am I really buying my kids? When I support child labour, what am I teaching my kids about respect, the rights of others and equality? When trees that have stood the test of time are cut down so that my child can have a moment of joy with new toy car, what am I teaching my kids?
I had to ask myself the question, when I buy toys for my kids, what future am I buying them?
Thus Bizi Kids only sells toys that have been created with the planet and its people in mind… How can I make a change? By making Ethically made toys available for like-minded parents, aunties and uncles to buy.
Yes, ethically made toys come at a price… but that cost is so much less than the future cost of the readily available alternatives.
if you have read this far, I would like to ask you to please ask yourself, each time you buy a toy “what future am buying for my kids? because these kids of mine, they deserve the world…. fully.