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by Rebekka Atz
At KoalaBubs, continuing our commitment to ethical trade and sustainable production is of utmost importance to us. And one of the biggest issues we fight as inhabitants of this beautiful planet is deforestation and habitat degradation. Since it is our mission to provide you, as parents, with safe, organic products for your precious little ones, this naturally extends to our choice of safe wooden eco toys from sustainable wood plantations.
The obvious issue with the destruction of our forests is habitat degradation. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s plants and land animals live in forests1 and their loss at such an alarming rate has devastating consequences for wildlife. Loss of habitat leads to loss of diversity and, ultimately, extinction of species. Scientists aren’t really sure how many species there are on Earth, so we can’t be totally sure what we’re losing. But estimates indicate that the news is not good.
But our forests do far more than simply provide a home for plants and animals. Trees are natural consumers of carbon dioxide and producers of oxygen. Our forests, especially the Amazon rainforests, are our planetary lungs. As we humans exhale our respiratory gases, plants and trees soak them up as raw ingredients for the process of photosynthesis. Rainforests also live up to their namesake by encouraging rainfall in parts of the planet that regularly suffer droughts. We need to execute our custodial duties and actively contribute to the protection of our global home.
According to WRI research, 30 percent of global forest cover has been cleared, while another 20 percent has been degraded. Most of the rest has been fragmented, leaving only about 15 percent intact2.
Conventional wood farming is aggressive. It denudes huge tracts of land and displaces local farmers in the service of global agribusiness. Apart from destroying habitats, it degrades the soil, relies on large amounts of pesticides and herbicides, consumes large quantities of water and contributes to global climate change.
Ecologically sustainable plantations not only need to be able to provide an ongoing supply of timber, but also to maintain regard for biodiversity and soil and water quality. There is not much logic involved in cutting down a native forest in order to plant exotic and potentially hostile species that pollute the environment just for the sake of producing consumable timber.
Wooden Eco Toys by KoalaBubs
In line with our commitment to fair trade principles3, KoalaBubs only sources eco toys made from wood grown in sustainable plantations and produced under World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) guidelines.
One of the main species available for this purpose is Albizia. Commonly known as one of the silk tree family, albizia is a very light but extremely tough wood, perfect for children’s toys. It is also one of the fastest-growing trees in the world, making it an excellent choice for sustainable farming practices. Win-win.
We have sourced a supplier in Sri Lanka who uses this timber to produce our eco toys, such as rattles, teethers and mobiles. Even the sawdust produced from cutting the wood is recycled and mixed with glue to make small wooden fridge magnets. In line with WFTO guidelines, they employ youths in their workshops and young mothers, who also have the freedom to work from their own homes while looking after their own bubs.
KoalaBubs will continue to search for baby products that meet our stringent requirements for safety, sustainability and fair trade. Our line of eco toys are no exception.