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Imaginative and Eco-Friendly Toys

by Elke Erschfeld

Always on the lookout for new sustainable designs, I visit NY NOW twice a year. This summer I discovered many eco-friendly toys including the YOXO building system by Play from Scratch made from 100 percent-recycled high-density compressed wood fiber. YOXO is a series of colorful links in the shapes of Y, O and X that kids can connect to each other, or to found things from their home such as toilet paper tubes, paper towel rolls and cereal boxes. The trade show booth featured some amazing creations in the shape of robots, giant insects and cars, but the possibilities are endless.

YOXO is made in the U.S., and everything is sourced within 20 miles of the company’s workshop in St. Paul, Minnesota. The eco-friendly kits make great toys for kids and grownups alike. All links come in vibrant colors printed with soy-based ink and water-based coatings. The YOXO line of building sets includes YOXObot “Orig” which is a kit that has everything you need—YOXO links, tubes curves and positionable eye stickers—to build your own 18-inch tall recyclable robot. After you or your child assemble the impressive robot, you can take it apart again and invent your own design with found tubes or boxes from around your house. Pretty cool that there are no limits to what you can build since you can integrate discarded items into the imaginary solutions. Another fun structure is the YOXObug, “Flye,” which is a kit for a three-foot-long YOXO dragonfly. Both the dragonfly and the robot make great office decorations, as well, that can keep you inspired.

Other designs by YOXO include a dune buggy and YOXO to go, which is reusable pouch for on-the-go fun like weekend trips. My favorite part about the sustainable building sets by Play from Scratch is that they nurture children’s creativity and imaginations by encouraging them to reuse found materials. They teach kids to turn waste into something new by just tapping into their creativity. It’s a great lesson to learn. You never know, your kids might become the next generation of designers to create a more sustainable world.

Connect with Elke @eco_chic_design

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