When I was first approached about reviewing Cascade’s recycled cardboard tree, I was a bit reticent. We have reviewed several cardboard playhouses before, and they usually end up in the recycling bin after a few months, as they are simply not sturdy. I anticipated this cardboard tree would be similar…disposable after one holiday season. I am pleased to report I was wrong.
Made of compressed cardboard, assembling this tree was a great exercise in spatial relationships for my kids. It is surprisingly very sturdy and can be reassembled year after year.
I don’t see this tree replacing our living tree, but it is a very nice complementary decoration.
Cascades is a leading recycler in Canada:
Would I buy this product? Yes, I might. I’m not one to spend money on decorations. I would rather make them, and I am not a big decorator for holidays. At $33.00, I think it is priced fairly, and if in the right holiday spirit, I might just buy this tree. It sure would be fun for a classroom holiday project too.
Nature’s Gate was one of the first “natural” beauty companies I trusted because their prices were affordable. Since I discovered the brand used carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane in some of its products, I’ve steered clear.
The Nature’s Gates holiday gift sets have not been tested by Environmental Working Group , so I am not sure if the company has cleaned up its act or not. When I searched 1.4 dioxane on the company’s website , I got zero results.
One thing I can tell you the company is doing right is supporting clean water efforts around the world with these holiday gift sets:
Would I buy these products? No. Even though these products contain many organic ingredients, recycled packaging, no parabens, no sodium lauryl/laureth/coco sulfates, phthalates, and are cruelty free/vegan, I just can’t get past my suspicions and distrust about 1.4 dioxane.
These snap together beads are festively colored and sure to appeal to children. Designed for ages four to ten, 500 pieces makes all kinds of jewelry. From toe rings to bracelets, children are sure to make many pieces out of this set.
Like any new toy company that approaches me, I look suspiciously at their green claims:
This toy is phthalate-free, and a portion of sales helps end childhood poverty . The packaging is made form PET that is recyclable. Still, I wouldn’t exactly call these green toys.
Packaging alone does not make a product green.
I would much prefer my children use wooden beads than plastic ones, as well as use their fine motor skills to bead. I associate snap together plastic beads with younger children.
Would I buy this product? No. I think $42.99 is a lot of money, and I avoid all plastic, phthalate-free or not, at all cost. A plastic toy has to something really special for it to be in our home. This just doesn’t qualify.
These blocks remind me of the classic squeezy blocks I probably played with as an infant, although they are probably safer since they are phthalate-free and BPA-free.
They have the perfect squeezability for little hands, but I think it borders on greenwashing to promote your product as eco-friendly, when it is only the packaging that is made from recycled polypropylene PP plastic that is recyclable and compostable
Would I buy this product? No. Unfortunately, my feelings are the same for this B. Toy as the one described above. Although these blocks are more reasonably priced ($14.95), the packaging is eco-friendly, but the toy itself is not.
I am not a fan of electronic toys. Although it is cool you can record your own message on this phone for your child, I feel this is a toyed designed for adults, not a child, as described in the presentation on neurology I recently attended. What 18-month-old needs a cell phone?
It is true that children learn through imitation, and it is natural for a young child to pretend to talk on the phone like mommy and daddy. That being said, it is much better for their imagination, and thus cognitive development, to pick up a wooden block and pretend it is phone than to use a plastic, electronic toy.
B. Toys has received rave reviews from other media outlets ( Cool Mom Picks , USA Weekend , Boston Herald ), but after poking around for these three B. toy reviews, I can’t help but feel like all the emphasis on green packaging is propaganda when the toys themselves are not:
Reversible packaging, as found on this toy cell phone, is a unique idea I hope other companies will embrace.
Would I buy this product? Obviously, no.
Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples, unless noted differently in the review. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.