How did we get here?
However, one thing we couldn’t look past was the overwhelming volume of plastic rubbish that overflowed rubbish bins and littered the streets. We found ourselves trying to think of businesses we could create that could re-home this rubbish.
Fast forward 5 years, and our eldest son’s third Christmas. All he wanted for Christmas was this one particular truck, and like any toddler, he was adamant about getting that truck. But of course he already had trucks – made from plastic, metal or wood, we had enough trucks already! With plastic toys steadily multiplying in our home, the environmentalist in me wanted to say no, but the mum in me struggled to do so.
That’s when the idea for Happy Planet Toys was born – thinking back to that trip to India and all that plastic rubbish, I saw an opportunity to create a range of affordable toys made from recycled plastic as a sustainable but fun and exciting alternative to new plastic toys.
The next stage of my journey from the first toy concept through to launch is a big one, and a story I’ll share another day. However, while I’ve been on that journey, the public attention and focus on the issues of plastic waste, climate change and sustainability has (rightfully) grown exponentially. This has really reinforced the importance of what Happy Planet Toys is trying to achieve.
Focussing on the positive…
There’s no escaping the dire, yet incredibly important, warnings about climate change and the devastation to our environment. Everywhere we turn, we’re bombarded with alarming statistics about our oceans being overwhelmed with plastic, the destruction of ecosystems, and a precarious future we’re leaving for our children. But we’re also bombarded with thousands of cheap and easy purchases every day – they make our lives easier, but all this ‘stuff’ doesn’t do anything to help the state of the environment.
We all care and want to save our environment, but in the face of all these mixed messages, knowing how to do our bit (while not making everyday tasks more difficult than they already are) can feel completely overwhelming and we’re left feeling guilty and stressed.
In the face of all the negativity, I wanted to focus on the positive – that there is an incredible movement to make positive change, and I wanted Happy Planet Toys to become part of that movement. With everything from small companies making clothes made from recycled plastic to the possibility for entire countries to run on 100% renewable energy, there are so many opportunities to invest in a better future for our planet, and to have hope that we can make meaningful change.
…and taking the opportunities where we can
No one wants to deny their children the joy of new toys. So that’s why I believe the mission for Happy Planet Toys is relatively simple – by creating toys made from recycled materials with a similar appeal and price to toys made from new materials, we’re providing an easy opportunity for families to make a more sustainable, eco friendly, purchase.
I genuinely believe we all want to do our bit for the future of our planet. I also believe that when we acknowledge, but don’t allow ourselves to become weighed down by the negative, and instead focus on the positive and on the opportunities that are out there, it becomes easier to make meaningful change. And I’m so excited to have Happy Planet Toys be part of that change.